The Institute's Mentor Program

The most important factor determining an adult’s success—more important than education—is an individual's network: The friends, family, and acquaintances whose lives and careers they normalize, and whose access can be leveraged to get a foot in the door at crucial junctures. The Institute's mentor program is designed to democratize and scale network-based advantages.

The Mentor Program

The Collins Institute's mentor program allows our students to pitch projects to some of the best and brightest professionals in the world. If they find the project compelling, they will work with the student to bring it to life.

Build Confidence

This program is designed to help students build the confidence necessary to reach out to and engage with top players in their interest areas—a critical life skill.

Learn to Pitch

One of the most important skills to rapidly advance one's career is the ability to get high-level people excited to work with you. This program teaches that skill.

Access Power

This program allows our scholars to insert themselves within powerful networks at very young ages, accelerating career advancement.

The Institute's Active Mentors


Daniel Gastfriend is the director for Biodefense and Pandemic Preparedness at the White House National Security Council. He helps students who are interested in biosciences and public service paths in the sciences.

Daniel Gastfriend

Julie Shain is editor at the Daily Skimm, a publication with a daily readership of over seven million. She helps students interested in careers in writing and journalism in a modern context. 

Julie Shain

A.J. Crabill is one of the most influential educational policy leaders in the United States. He works with students who want to make an impact on public policy or other large bureaucratic systems. 

A.J. Crabill

From working on NASA’s Mars rover mission to building successful companies in the AI space, Patrick is one of the world's most talented engineers/operators/entrepreneurs. He helps students who are considering tech-focused entrepreneurship. 

Patrick Martinchek


André Ailoje applies experience working with hospitality investment management and runway fashion to develop and deploy game-changing innovations for the healthcare sector. He helps students interested in healthcare, investment, and international projects.

André Ailoje

Nick Navaro is a world-renowned community builder and activist. He has led major community building initiatives in both the corporate world and in the arts. He helps students interested in community building and activism. 

Nick Navaro

Having started 41 companies over the course of his career, David Nayer, now a VC, runs Apex Innovation Ventures. He helps students interested in entrepreneurship. 

David Nayer

Dr. Kanpassorn Suriyasangpetch is founder of the largest digital mental health company in Thailand. She helps students interested in careers in psychology. 

Dr. Kanpassorn Suriyasangpetch


Christopher Ede-Calton is a leader in the climate change space at the World Resources Institute. He helps students interested in climate-change-focused advocacy and community building for social advocacy causes. 

Christopher Ede-Calton

Daniel Linville is in the Assistant Majority Whip in the West Virginia House of Delegates and chairman of the Committee on Technology and Infrastructure. He aids students interested in running for local political positions (something the Collins Institute encourages). 

Daniel Linville

Will Swaim is the president of one of the largest political think tanks in America: the California Policy Center and formerly worked as a publisher and editor of major magazines. He helps students interested in political theory and traditional publishing.

Will Swaim

Isaiah Baldissera works on building The Project on Workforce at Harvard with his role spanning learning experience design, UI/UX, growth strategy, and product management. He works with students interested in experience design and new ways of structuring the work force. 

Isaiah Baldissera


Originally an entrepreneur and angel investor, Michael Basch is managing partner at the VC firm Atento Capital, which deploys capital in a manner designed to make a strong positive impact on Tulsa, Oklahoma’s economy. He works with our students interested in entrepreneurship and impact investing. 

Michael Basch

Gwendolynn Thomas ran one of the largest Harry Potter fan fiction sites in the world and teaches widely-acclaimed classes on writing that have a unique focus on modern content delivery mechanisms. She helps students who have a passion for writing with a focus on pop culture high engagement content creation.

Gwendolynn Thomas

Stav Shaffir is the leader of the Green Movement, an Isreali political movement, Chair of the Shira Special University (centered around students with autism spectrum disorder), and a former member of the Israeli parliament. She works with students interested in international politics and autism advocacy.

Stav Shaffir

With a background in journalism, business, multimedia design, and lecturing at Stanford’s famed d.school, where she served as editor-in-residence and senior media designer, Emi Kolawole is a leader at Google X. She works with students working on television, print media, web, and moonshot projects.

Emi Kolawole


Francis Pedraza is the CEO of Invisible Technologies, which runs the back end for many major Silicon Valley companies. He works with students interested in coding and automation. 

Francis Pedraza

Joel Moxley is a VC focused on data-heavy applications and a big proponent of climate change tasks. He works with students interested in novel uses of big data and climate-change-related endeavors. 

Joel Moxley

Tandice Urban is the founder of the Lanby, a new system for medical care. She works with students interested in healthcare innovation. 

Tandice Urban

Bethany Ehlmann is a Professor of Planetary Science at Caltech. She works with students interested in planetary science and astronomy. 

Bethany Ehlmann


An entrepreneur, business strategist, and artist, John Lee Gaston White is Founder and Managing Member at RaumCo and CEO of the fashion brand platform Gaston & Claudine. He works with students interested in fashion, wealth management, and entrepreneurship.

John Lee Gaston White

Atin Batra is the founder & general partner at Twenty Seven Ventures, a global VC fund that invests in edtech and future of work startups. He works with students interested in edtech innovation and educational entrepreneurship. 

Atin Batra

Eugenia O'Kelly founded and ran the lab at Cambridge tasked with studying the efficacy of different mask types during the COVID pandemic. She works with students interested in human anatomy, medical research, and infectious diseases. 

Eugenia O'Kelly

Christos Makridis is a researcher, entrepreneur, and policy adviser with over 40 peer-reviewed publications and 100 stories in the popular press. He works with students interested in economics and management science. 

Christos Makridis


Katerina Girginova is a professor in the fields of global communication, media, and audience engagement at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to her academic life she was Editor-in-Chief at gnovis digital media journal and worked at the National Geographic Channel in several capacities. She assists students interested in educational media creation. 

Katerina Girginova

After serving as Director of Life Science Investments at Thiel Capital, William Eden currently serves as Entrepreneur in Residence at Ulysses Diversified Holdings. He works with students interested in life science entrepreneurship. 

William Eden

Bowen created Facebook marketplace and has served time running Facebook Games and Stripes user experience. He works with students interested in traditional pathways into engineering and tech management. 

Bown Pan

Founding engineer and Head of ML at Abnormal Security. He is a writer in the fields of AI, ML, Data Science, and Cyber Security, He helps students interested in these subjects. 

Jeshua Bratman


Gaia is the CEO of the worlds largest forecasting marketplace, Metaculus. Metaculus focuses on predicting the timing, nature and impact of scientific and technological advances and breakthroughs giving her insights to help students think through the big opportunities of their generation.

Gaia Dempsey

Sarah E. Hunt is a leader in conservative clean energy policy and a successful social entrepreneur. As CEO and President of the Joseph Rainey Center for Public Policy, she leads public policy research and leadership development programs by and for women, minorities, and mavericks.

Sarah E. Hunt

Julia Bossmann serves at the World Economic Forum as council member for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics. Previously she was president of Foresight Institute, a leading organization for world-changing technologies, co-founded Anticip8 Analytics, a prediction start-up in the energy sector. She helps students interested in AI, innovation, the future, and how technology transforms society.

julia J. Bossmann

Rhys Lindmark cofounded ETH Denver and previously taught crypto ethics at the MIT Media Lab. He empowers young people by making them more agentful and wise. Through increasing their surface area of serendipity.
He is writing a book on What Information Wants and founded Roote, an online school and nonprofit startup studio that is co-creating the Wisdom Age.

Rhys Lindmark

Want to be a mentor?

Apply to be a mentor

If you think you would be a strong fit for our mentor program, reach out. We are excited to expand this program and help build the next generation of geniuses.