The Commons Akron

Be a Volunteer Business Mentor

The Commons seeks volunteer business mentors to participate in the program.  Guests and helpers are invited as visitors to attend any of the program sessions, and we assign 2-3 business mentors to each student team of 4 – 8 students.  While business experience is a definite plus, no specific qualifications are needed … Just a desire to work with students on meaningful innovation challenges.

Why should I volunteer for The Commons Akron Program?

  1. Connect with young, motivated talent from area universities that are interested in innovation;
  2. Help foster our area’s next generation of leaders – helping them to develop professional and interpersonal skills;
  3. Support innovative thinking with area companies;
  4. Network with other mentors, business and community leaders;
  5. Participate in one of the many exciting programs happening at Akron’s Bounce innovation Hub!

What is The Commons Innovation Accelerator Program?

The Commons Program started in Milwaukee, WI, and is a collaboration between area universities, innovative businesses and the region’s entrepreneurs and is designed to attract, develop, and retain the most talented and motivated minds by blending corporate innovation with mentoring professionals to give students a truly unique, real-world experience. And the program works with the most motivated undergraduate students of ANY major and ANY year in school.

What is The Commons Akron Program?

EDGE is working with leaders from The Commons, ConxusNEO, Bounce Innovation Hub and universities to bring the a highly successful innovation and entrepreneurship accelerator program to Akron.

In 2019 and 2020, The Commons Akron has held initial pilot programs in the spring and fall with a three to four-week program that engages students from area universities, experienced business mentors and a number of companies, including Akron Children’s Hospital, Consolidus, FinMango, FirstEnergy, Goodyear, Main Street Gourmet, Moen, The J.M. Smucker Company and The Timken Company.

Participating companies share a business challenge, offer some mentoring assistance to student teams, and support the program in different ways.

Program Schedule (Dates TBD):

  • Kick-Off Weekend: Saturday and Sunday, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM
  • Weekly Digital Team Check-ins via Slack (over four weeks)
  • Presentation Day, Saturday or Sunday – Student teams will develop and submit video final presentations to share.

Volunteer Business Mentor Commitment:

  • Minimum Commitment: First Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM
  • Medium Commitment: First Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Give feedback on Final Presentations.
  • All-In Commitment: First Sunday: 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM; Remotely available via Slack; Help student teams develop and prepare final video presentations.

Want to help out?

Contact: Chris Keller, EDGE,; 216-346-6300