Innovation Mentors

A pilot program designed to help students through the stages of innovation and entrepreneurship from student advisors

Innovation Mentors are student advisors that can help student innovators, entrepreneurs, and makers at MIT match their interests and needs with the resources that are available to them. Scholars of innovation, entrepreneurship, and making, the mentors are qualified undergraduate and graduate students with deep knowledge of the MIT innovation ecosystem and are up-to-date on the latest resources, events, and opportunities on campus in this domain.

The MIT Innovation Initiative is introducing the pilot program for the spring 2018 semester as a way of increasing access and easing the entry points into the landscape for students who aspire to move their ideas from conception to impact.

​Meet the mentors

Alli Davanzo, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering with a concentration in product development. Alli is a volleyball enthusiast and plays on the varsity team at MIT. Last semester, she took the course 2.009 (Product Development) and learned about what’s available for innovators and entrepreneurs at MIT and is excited to help others access those resources.

Alli’s calendar can be found here.

Marla Odell, a sophomore majoring in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS). Marla is the president of MIT Women in EECS and a researcher in the Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative. She is also a rower on MIT’s varsity crew team and a leader in Amphibious Achievement.

Marla’s calendar can be found here.

Michael Amoako, a junior double-majoring in mathematics with computer science and business management. Michael was one of the organizers of the BetterMIT Hackathon and is one of the founders of the Minority Business Association whose primary purpose is to provide mentorship and opportunities for students of underrepresented groups in business fields.

Michael’s calendar can be found here.

Sumit Khetan, an MBA candidate at MIT Sloan School. Sumit graduated from NYU in 2013 with a bachelor’s in economics as a Lew Rudin Scholar. Upon graduating, he worked with early-stage Israeli startups in New York to help them fit their technology and products in the US market. He is on the organizing committee of the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition as a mentorship lead and is also vice president of community for the Technology Club.

Sumit’s calendar can be found here.

Consult the mentors

The program builds on the existing networks maintained by the Innovation Initiative. The mentors are deployed across campus to engage with the community through office hours, at events, and by working directly with resource centers and core classes to help students through the various stages of innovation and entrepreneurship.

Innovation Mentors are available to all students at MIT, regardless of their major, year or program.

Innovation Mentors can be located in several ways:

  • Meetings: Each of the Innovation Mentors has an online calendar (linked above). Their pooled availability is available here.
  • Office Hours: Innovation Mentors hold office hours in various locations around campus. Keep an eye on the Events and Opportunities pages for specific updates.
  • Email: All of the Innovation Mentors can be reached by email at
  • Events: Innovation Mentors are all MIT students and can attend events around campus as their schedule permits. Participants in the event can consult the mentors to find out what resources might match their interests around campus. Event organizers can request an Innovation Mentor by emailing