Startup425 Innovation Lab Mentor Information

Startup425 is partnering with Bellevue College’s Tombolo Institute to offer the Startup425 Innovation Lab October, 2021, the second year of this successful program. The Innovation Lab is a business accelerator that consists of seven modules that capture the basics of scaling a business delivered virtually using a videoconferencing platform, lectures, expert presentations, required homework, and peer-to-peer interaction. The program also has a customized approach designed to meet the unique needs of the participating businesses; a comprehensive assessment of the business, its successes and challenges, conducted ahead of the course work.

Course instructor, Professor Leslie Lum, has over twenty years of experience at Bellevue College and is a published author of Multicultural Marketing and Business Consulting, one of whose co-authors includes UW Foster School’s Michael Verchot. She will be assisted by a group of local expert business advisors and mentors who will be available to provide their insights and expertise and connections to the Eastside business ecosystem.

The topics covered are:

  • Becoming an Entrepreneur
  • Customer Journey
  • Product, Channel, Price
  • Legal, Source of Capital, Strategy & Metrics
  • Value Analysis
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Recruiting & Retaining Teams, Leadership


Startup425, ( is an alliance of five Eastside cities (Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond, and Renton) dedicated to providing education, training, networking, and support to entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers. Startup425 provides easily accessed, primarily free programs to small businesses including: Foundations, Small Business Essentials, the Innovation Lab, Boost Your Business and counseling re COVID-19 recovery strategy and business resilience in partnership with Business Impact Northwest (BINW).

Mentor Description  

Startup425 is looking for volunteers interested in becoming mentors for the Innovation Lab, an intensive, seven-week program, delivered virtually, and designed to help existing Eastside businesses that have advanced beyond the pre-revenue stage to acquire new knowledge and adapt to the changing economic environment created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mentors are experienced Eastside business owners and managers. One or more mentors will be assigned to each participating business and can assist during the course and beyond. Their role will be to help the participants stay on task, offer feedback on homework assignments, and provide general guidance and networking opportunities based on their own business experience. The mentor is expected to attend an orientation and also, follow the business and continue to help them for at least six months beyond the Innovation Lab.

Submit Your Mentor Interest Form Now