We did the mash! Tuesday marked the first-ever “Mentor Mash” for the JOLT accelerator program at MaRS, a packed event that introduced JOLT’s inaugural Summer 2012 cohort to the diverse network of 80+ mentors who will help guide them to success.

Before the teams gave their introductory pitches, lead mentors took to the podium and set the stage for each presentation – telling the audience what first struck them about each company, highlighting the passion in these young entrepreneurs and explaining why they’re excited to work with them in building great businesses.

It was then time for the entrepreneurs to take the stage. CEOs from each startup pitched to the large gathering of mentors and industry leaders in the MaRS auditorium. The pitches gave a great overview of their company in terms of explaining the existing problem/proposed solution, market opportunity, target customers, competition and what they hope to gain from the mentors. And all this on only day seven of the 16-week program!

After the pitches, everyone participated in “speed-dating” format mentoring sessions (below), whereby the mentors moved from table to table in five-minute intervals to chat with the entrepreneurs. Lots of great discussions ensued – questions were asked & answered, guidance was provided and, best of all, the business cards were flying back-and-forth between the groups.

The networking continued over refreshments in the MaRS Commons (AKA second home to the JOLT teams). Many of the entrepreneurs were seen counting their stacks of newly acquired business cards and writing notes on the backs of them with looks of both excitement and exhaustion.

Thanks to all who attended this great event and to our amazing mentors for helping our first JOLT startups become the high-growth companies of tomorrow.

Follow @joltco on Twitter – and stay tuned for more information on our first JOLT cohort!

Jennifer Marron

Jennifer Marron was the Manager, Marketing and Channel Development for MaRS. See more…