student advisment and professional mentoring
The WE Mentoring Program occurs on two levels: student advisment and professional mentoring
Step 1: Student Advisment
Meet with a WE student advisor. All of our student advisors are qualified to help you with...
Ideation: coming up with a business idea
Validation: is this a profitable idea you should pursue?
Marketing: How can you get customer/clients?
Strategy: How can you maintain competitive advantage in your industry?
Our student advisors meet with both start-ups and lifestyle/hobby businesses.
Our Student Advisors
Hello! I’m a junior in the entrepreneurship program from Chicago IL. I am actively involved in many Marriott School Clubs and can offer some insights into the entrepreneurship major as well. I love all things social innovation, and I especially love helping people and would love to help you expand your network and jumpstart your business!
I’m a Public Relations major at BYU and am from Edmond, Oklahoma. Fun fact about me, I’ve run 2 half marathons!
Step 2: Professional Mentoring
If you want more in-depth help with your business (e.g. connecting with suppliers, scaling, improving profitability, marketing, anything!!!) then tell the student advisor you meet with that you are interested in being connected with a professional mentor. To meet with our mentors, you need to have at least started the validation stage of your business. See our available professional mentors and their bios below!
Our professional Mentors
Director of Strategic Partnerships at Divvy, Co-founded the Founder Chapter
Emily Smith is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at Divvy, the leader in spend and expense management. In her role, Emily is focused on forging partnerships with technology companies and financial institutions to further the company’s mission to spend smarter. Prior to joining Divvy, Emily served as the Director of Kiln Lehi, a coworking community for startups, where she lead the Lehi team to build the first Kiln space, a hub to Utah’s startup ecosystem and home to more than 250 thriving startups and VC funds.
Driven by her passion for Utah’s growing technology community, Emily co-founded the inaugural Silicon Slopes chapter: The Founder Chapter, a panel series for local up-and-coming founders within Utah. She also co-founded Pari Passu, a network for Utah’s women in venture capital and private equity, with a focus on collaboration and mentorship.
Emily thrives in a high-energy, fast-growth environments. Before joining Kiln, she served in a variety of capacities at Peak Ventures, Cougar Strategy Group, Cake Technologies and Eat My Words, a San Francisco based naming firm, where her team generated names for more than 50 startups as well as product names for Frito Lay, Burger King, and Google.
Influenced by a family of entrepreneurs, Emily has built several successful businesses of her own where she further developed her skill set to build teams, grow a social presence, launch products and turn customers into a community.
Most recently, Emily was named a 40 Under 40 honoree by Utah Valley BusinessQ, a Women Tech Awards finalist, and a Sego Award recipient. She holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters of Business Administration from Brigham Young University Marriott School of Business.
Social media Marketing, Public Relations, Communication Strategy
Bri Ray started her marketing ventures as a 15-year-old in the music industry. She now oversees social media marketing, public relations, and communication strategy for companies in a range of industries including: food/beverage, social platforms, education, travel, childcare, audience engagement, entertainment, and more. Ray has always had a knack for relating to people, making her the perfect team member for businesses seeking to better their audience communication and engagement.
Outside of work, Ray can often be found at a recording studio putting a new twist on a combination of music genres including pop, soul, and RnB. Music helps keep her sharp, creative, and passionate. She has been seen on stages across the nation and her music has been recognized both nationally and internationally. Fun Fact: Ray can be spotted on the Finalé season (15) of American Idol on Fox.
Founder of Braid, Co-Founder of Sego Awards, Head of People & Culture at Blip Billboards
Allison is the founder of Braid, a community for women entrepreneurs, co-founder of the Sego Awards honoring female founders and CEOs, and head of people & culture at Blip Billboards. She has a BA in comparative literature and an MPA, both from BYU.
Executive Leadership, Technology Development, Strategic Partnerships, Project Management, Workforce Development
Angela Dayton is a successful entrepreneur, investor, and speaker. Angela has built two companies, has invested in eight companies and is a Limited Partner for a VC firm. In addition, Angela holds two U.S. utility patents and four registered U.S. trademarks. She has delivered hundreds of presentations, nationally and internationally, and wrote a workbook that helps others achieve success. Her expertise includes executive leadership, technology development, strategic partnerships, project management, workforce development, and public speaking.
At age 20, Angela graduated with a Master’s degree in Instructional Technology and now has twenty years of training and development and executive experience. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for MedForums and President of Your Steps Toward Success, Inc. She has served as the Chief Executive Officer for Products, Inc., Coordinator for President George W. Bush’s High Growth Job Training Initiative, Senior Instructional Designer for the U.S. Department of Labor, Training and Communications Project Manager for Morgan Stanley, Independent Facilitator for Franklin Covey, Trainer for Delta Air Lines, and National Western Region Vice President for the college division of DECA.
Angela enjoys advising entrepreneurs as well as providing technical assistance and consulting services to start-ups, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and corporations.
Operations, Integrated Marketing Strategies and Strategic Partnerships
Originally from Toronto, Robyn has lived in two continents, three countries and seven cities over the course of 25 years.
Robyn has been in the women's empowerment space for over a decade. First with Girls in Tech, then launching her own platform when she lived in Brazil, then as one of the first executive committee members of Womenpreneurs, and finally producing Women’s Week two years in a row when she was Director at the Impact Hub Salt Lake. She has always been passionate about giving women a platform to showcase who they are, the businesses they have founded or run, and generate more positive and consistent media attention for them.
She’s also an accomplished professional with 15+ years of experience specializing in operations, integrated marketing strategies and strategic partnerships, having worked with startups, medium-sized businesses, as well as large corporations.
Robyn is very active in the Silicon Slopes community, a certified health coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and loves calling Salt Lake City home.
In her spare time, you can find her in the gym, camping somewhere in the Intermountain West, and spending time with her furry daughter Asia and her husband.
President & Founder of Hen House Ventures, Previous VP of Marketing at SugarCRM
Tara Spalding is the president and founder of Hen House Ventures. Founded in 2012, Hen House Ventures is a highly efficient technology start-up incubator, helping companies analyze and improve their marketing and sales strategies to rapidly scale when entering the massive tech market.
Tara began her high-tech career in Silicon Valley when she taught herself to code software and became the first employee, and eventually VP of Marketing at industry leader, SugarCRM. Her Silicon Valley startup experience included roles as CMO at GroundWork Open Source , VP Marketing at Magnet Systems, and co-founder and CPO at BenchPick. Tara attained her BS from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Hen House’s programs are uniquely designed for each startup according to their specific development and funding needs. These programs leverage market data and benchmarks to ensure positive transformation. Hen House offers entrepreneurs a SaaS platform that prepares startups for funding with professional pitch deck creation and funding education plus market analysis that compares an entrepreneur’s pitch to other comparable pitches. Headquartered in Salt Lake City, Hen House Ventures has worked with over 30 startups throughout the U.S., helping secure over $23M in funding. Hen House clients include Analytic Orange, ApolloGraphQL, Applitools, Commtrex, eTeam Sponsor, Savioke, Sequent Software, Inc., Ten Digit Communications, and X2CRM. For more information visit hen-house.com
Founder & Managing Partner of Beta Boom, Founded & Ran a Silicon Valley Innovation Firm
Kimmy is founder and Managing Partner of Beta Boom, a startup academy and pre-seed fund that unlocks the potential of overlooked founders by providing daily coaching from product, marketing and fundraising experts.
Prior to Beta Boom, Kimmy founded a Silicon Valley innovation firm which she ran for over a decade. She also developed and led the whitespace gaming division for LeapFrog Inc. and served as Director of Digital Marketing for a 3D printing toy startup. She currently sits on the board or executive committee of VentureCapital.org, Womenpreneurs, the WCollective and UnBank Ventures (FinTech Accelerator). Kimmy earned her B.A. in Computer Science from Dartmouth College and MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.
Co-Founder of Gyde & Seek, Board of Directors of Shoe Carnival, Principal with The Boston Consulting Group
Andrea is the Co-Founder of Gyde & Seek, a disruptive travel tech startup connecting discerning travelers with rigorously vetted guides and specialists in 20 global destinations across 4 continents. She sits on the Board of Directors of Shoe Carnival, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCVL), a $1B family footwear retailer, and serves as the Chairman of the Board of Pando Labs in Park City.
Previously, Andrea was Senior Vice President of Strategic New Businesses at Claire’s Inc., a $1.5B global retailer, where she led the development of global corporate strategies and drove large-scale growth initiatives for both the Claire’s and Icing brands. Prior to Claire’s Inc., Andrea was a Principal with The Boston Consulting Group in New York, Melbourne, and Boston, where she focused largely on retail, consumer, and travel industry clients. She started her career as a Buyer and Merchandise Manager at Saks Fifth Avenue and A|X Armani Exchange in New York.
Andrea holds an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and an AB from Duke University. She has lived around the world in countries including Germany, Austria, Argentina, Senegal, Kenya, and Australia, and now resides in Park City, Utah, where she spends her time supporting the local entrepreneurial community (especially female entrepreneurs!), and taking full advantage of the ski slopes, cycling routes, and hiking trails.
VP of J.P Morgan's private bank | Advisory Boards of the BYU Information Systems Department
Rachelle Morris is a Vice President for J.P. Morgan’s Private Bank in Salt Lake City, Utah. Rachelle is responsible for overseeing private client relationships across the state of Utah and advises on a wide range of wealth planning matters including asset allocation, investments, credit, fiduciary services, and philanthropy. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Rachelle was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs in its Private Wealth Management Division, advising and serving some of the wealthiest families in Texas. Rachelle also managed foundation and endowment portfolios in the Houston area. Prior to her experience in Houston and Dallas, Rachelle spent her first 2 analyst years at Goldman Sachs, living and working in Salt Lake City.
Rachelle received a B.S. in Information Systems from Brigham Young University’s Marriott School of Management, where she was both a BYU Heritage and Houston Endowment scholar. Rachelle is currently serving on the Advisory Boards of the Information Systems Department at BYU, the Salt Lake Estate Planning Council, the Women’s Business Center of Southern Utah, and is on the Board of Trustees at Hale Center Theatre. She is Series 7 and 63 licensed.
Founder & COO of West Tenth, Former Manager at Amazon, PwC, and a Silicon Valley startup
Sara is a cofounder of West Tenth, a digital marketplace where local, home-based businesses are aggregated and easy to find. She is an alum of the BYU Marriott School of Business where she received a Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science. Sara started her career in New York City where she worked at PwC and Guggenheim Partners in finance and accounting roles. In 2011, she pivoted her career to Talent Acquisition and Talent Management. She has built and managed recruiting teams at PwC, Apttus, and Amazon. She also has developed expertise in operations, project management, program management, and building scalable processes. In her spare time, Sara spends her time traveling the world and learning about different cultures. Since 2004, Sara has volunteered as a camp counselor or fundraising volunteer for Okizu, an organization supporting families with childhood cancer.
Founder, CEO of West Tenth. Former CFO at Locus Financial and employee at PwC in NYC.
Lyn started her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers in New York City. Later, she became the CFO of Santa Monica-based Locus Financial, a private financial advisory firm. In 2017, she returned to graduate school and was the 2018 winner of the University of Oxford's Map-the-System Challenge for her work on the economic inequality of women in the U.S. Shortly after graduating from Oxford, Lyn founded West Tenth, a digital marketplace where you can discover the women in your community who have turned their household talents into home-based businesses. Lyn is an alum of the BYU Marriott School of Business where she received a Master of Accountancy and Bachelor of Science.
Founder & CEO at Acanela Expeditions, The Adventure Dress, & Wander Camp, Former Division I Athlete, Utah's 40 under 40
Kylie has traveled to over 100 countries and has spent numerous years both living abroad and leading tours across the continents of Europe, Asia, South America, Oceania, and Africa. She studied Business Strategy and International Development at the BYU Marriott School of Management and attended the University of Oxford and University of Cambridge to study Social & Business Innovation. Her international experience and love for impactful travel led her to found Acanela Expeditions, a boutique travel operator that curates hands-on tour experiences around the world for thousands of travelers each year. In March 2020 she launched The Adventure Dress, which supports female artisans in Indonesia with high quality, creative jobs. The Adventure Dress allocates 1% of their revenue toward eliminating poverty in communities across the globe. Kylie also recently launched Wander Camp, a group of Luxury Mobile Tent Properties across different US national parks. She is the recipient of many awards, including Utah Business 40 under 40 and Sego Award’s Fastest Growing Company in Under 5 years Finalist