Congratulations on this new project! How exciting! Great mentors are everywhere, definitely not just in Silicon Valley. The local schools are full of possibilities - community colleges, colleges, graduate schools. There are professors and also student groups who would love a project
like this. I'd also think about some of your local businesses/companies, all of whom have employees who might be interested in skills-based volunteer opportunities. You could also even post an ad in your local paper if you are looking for mentors with very specific skill sets. Business plan pitch competitions are a great way to drum up interest and support. You should definitely think through a screening process, especially because your mentors will be working with students - maybe a short questionnaire/interview that all applicants will need to complete?
Thanks so much for your question. Start Small works with 1300 volunteers each year, who provide about $10 million worth of pro bono legal, financial and/or marketing support to our entrepreneurs. We recruit our volunteers primarily from major law firms, banks, financial institutions and marketing companies (e.g., Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Debevoise & Plimpton, Morgan Stanley, AIG, Goldman Sachs, Neuberger Berman). Our projects really vary - some are longer-term (e.g., building a website) and some are just a few hours (e.g., incorporating a new
business). All of our projects are limited scope - i.e., the volunteers know ahead of time exactly what they are signing up for.