Entrepreneurship research tells us that a great mentor can be a secret weapon for successful startups, and that mentoring is one of the most highly valued elements of accelerator programs. But finding great mentors to work with an accelerator isn’t enough: it’s imperative that each startup be matched to the kinds of mentors it needs most.


Great Accelerators Have Great Mentors

Here at The Farm, we take this matchmaking seriously — and so do our mentors. We’d love to shine a spotlight on our mentors so you can see what makes them so influential, so badass, and so helpful to our founders.

Today’s spotlight is on Charlene Ellis. Charlene is Senior Manager, Business Process Effectiveness in the Central Division at Comcast NBCUniversal, The Farm’s corporate partner. She’s also a lead mentor for The Farm, providing teams with support for business strategy, financial modeling, branding, and pitch presentations.


Experienced, with a Diverse Background, and Focused on Founders

Like many of our mentors, Charlene taps into her experience from a broad range of disciplines to inform her feedback and advice. She has a marketer’s understanding of storytelling, honed while studying English at Tufts University (where she also played point guard on the women’s basketball team). Her affinity for helping young people fulfill their potential led her to work with the Boston Public Health Commission and SLAM Atlanta. An interest in people and improving their lives motivated her to earn a master’s in public health from Boston University, and propelled her into roles in operations and performance management at Turner and Comcast. And her experience with the popular trifecta of agile and lean principles — people, process, and technology — turns out to be a great fit for startups that need to build a business from scratch, with maximum value and minimal waste.

Charlene currently is mentoring a startup from the Fall 2018 cohort that encourages young women to pursue STEM careers. Here’s what Charlene has to say about her work with The Farm.


Why do you mentor for The Farm?
I mentor because I am passionate about innovation, and being a part of innovation at the incubation stage is most rewarding. I feel that I am positively contributing to someone else’s dreams. That is a beautiful feeling.


What excites you about the company you’re mentoring?
Its mission is focused on children, education, building future leaders, and increasing the number of women and underrepresented women in STEM. Need I say more?


Thanks, Charlene, for all your work with us!


Work with Our Mentors

We’re grateful to Charlene for her involvement and support! Want to work with her and other folks like her? Apply to The Farm accelerator, and join us at The Farm Demo Day on November 9 to meet some of our mentors in person.

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