Proving Ground Call for Mentors

Proving Ground Speaker Development Program Call For Mentors is OPEN

Proving Ground Call For Presenters is OPEN – More info here

Roles & Responsibilities

Conflict Resolution




Hello everybody!


It is that time of year again– where we ask for the InfoSec community to help mentor a new speaker. Our “Proving Ground” tracks’ main acceptance criteria is being a first time national conference speaker and as we all know how hard it can be to find your voice, or even to just translate data into talking points that won’t lose your audience, we are looking to pair each Proving Ground candidate up with a mentor.


The process works like this:

  • Call for Mentors (CFM) – we ask for persons that could be potential mentors to sign up.  Mentors are persons who have a record of speaking at industry conferences (e.g. DEF CON, RSA, ShmooCon, Black Hat, DerbyCon, HITB, Infiltrate, BruCon, 44Con, SyScan, ISTS, ShakaCon, SecTor, ToorCamp, CCC, etc.) and would like to spend time working with a new speaker to deliver content to the podium.  Mentors are required to accept both Participant Roles/Responsibilities and Conflict Resolution “Policies”.
  • Mentor Validation – Proving Ground directors validate the mentor applicants based on provided information and additional information as available.  Mentors are then asked to join the program via email.
  • Proving Ground Call For Presentations – Potential speakers will be asked to submit an abstract for a 20 minute talk that they would like help preparing for presentation.  We verify that the speakers have not spoken at any major industry conferences (as noted above).  No group talks will be accepted in this track as a mentor/mentee is proven to work better as a one-on-one relationship. The talk abstract is then reviewed and accepted by the CFP Review committee.
  • Mentor/Speaker Matching – Once the final list of Proving Grounds speakers have been accepted by our CFP review team, they will be forwarded to the Mentor List. Potential mentors will be able to indicate preference for which talks they want to help mentor. Final selection will be based on area(s) of expertise and experience. Once all mentors and mentees have been paired, an introductory email will be sent to each team encouraging them to meet and start working together.
  • Talk preparation – From the introductory email onward, the mentor will then work with their Proving Ground mentee, answering questions and otherwise collaborating by email as needed. The mentor will assist with translating data into talking points, providing feedback on presentation content and style, and helping to shape the mentee’s content into a form accessible to the greater hacker community. The day of the presentation, the mentor will attend their candidate’s talk, to boost morale and assist with Q&A, if needed.


Each accepted mentor and candidate will be provided with:

  • All speaker amenities at BSidesLV
  • Breakfast and lunch, both days
  • A BSidesLV Mentorship Program t-shirt
  • A badge that will identify them as a part of the Proving Ground program
  • An extra conference badge for a friend


Acceptance into the program is contingent upon being available to attend BSidesLV during your candidate’s talk. Please state any possible scheduling conflicts during Black Hat as soon as possible.


We hope that by providing this service to the community, we will have the chance to “Pay it forward” to the new generation of Information Security researchers. Let us give them a chance to find their public speaking voice in a welcoming, encouraging, collaborative environment.

We thank you for your interest in mentoring for the BSidesLV Proving Ground Program.


The BSidesLV Proving Ground Staff:

Magen Wu (@tottenkoph), Michael Ortega (@securitymoey), and Grant Dobbe (@guy_mcdudefella)

Proving Ground Speaker Development Program Call For Mentors is OPEN


Security BSides Las Vegas, Inc. 2017


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