In February, Washington State University Vancouver will launch MAP Tech Collective, a cohort for technology businesses. Funded by a $125,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co, MAP Tech Collective will help technology businesses grow and positively impact the economy in the region.
The collective is part of the larger WSU Vancouver Business Growth Mentor & Analysis program which includes a student consultancy and the MAP Alliance. Collectively these programs aim to empower organizations and entrepreneurs in southwest Washington to grow their ventures with access to a variety of resources. The decision to expand the program to include the Tech Collective came from the growing need in the region.
“The software and technology sector is growing in our region,” said Jane Cote, academic director in the Carson College of Business. “In 2013, the state designated the greater Vancouver area as an Innovation Partnership Zone for applied digital technology. The city has helped foster the growth of tech firms and we’re seeing the results. In addition, regional economic development leaders see this as a burgeoning sector. It makes sense to do our first cohort with the tech cluster.”
The MAP Tech Collective will combine management education, mentoring, connections and community. For businesses that are at least one year old and have an annual revenue of $200,000 or more, the MAP Tech Collective will provide access to resources to help the business grow. Benefits include:
- Management education leading to the development of strategic growth plans
Cohort-based program designed to leverage resources and networks from the software/technology industry
- An advisory board to provide feedback and guidance
- Networking opportunities with business experts, lenders and other entrepreneurs
- Relationship building with other technology businesses in the region
Cohort participants will manage companies that offer software products or technology products and/or services. Sessions will include education, hands-on experience, mentoring, shared learning, networking and establishing a resource network. MAP Tech Collective participants will meet twice a month between February and June for management education and growth plan development sessions at WSU Vancouver’s Carson College of Business. Participants will meet Fridays from 8 to 11 a.m. The cost to participate is $250.
The MAP Tech Collective grew out of a larger program, Business Growth MAP, which has served the area for five years. The pro-bono student consultancy integrates student coursework with practical learning opportunities, giving students valuable experience while helping small businesses.
The Business Growth MAP has served 145 organizations and entrepreneurs. Each one receives more than 500 hours of consulting services. Students’ recommendations resulted in $4.6 million in revenue growth and 14 full-time jobs. Multiple organizations have recognized the success of the program. In 2015, the program received the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ Regional and Economic Development Award, and in 2014, the Excellence in Impact Award from the Nonprofit Network of Southwest Washington.
In 2014, Business Growth MAP decided to expand its services by adding MAP Alliance, a monthly forum that brings small businesses and entrepreneurs together to learn from each other, local experts and WSU Vancouver faculty. The alliance strives to develop a community of small business owners who want to help each other make progress on their business ventures and discuss important topics around growth and success.
With the launch of MAP Tech Collective Vancouver small business owners can expect education and networking opportunities to expand their community and help ensure success.
For more information on Business Growth MAP or to register for the MAP Tech Collective contact Mistie Josephson, Business Growth MAP manager, at 360.546.9533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mistie Josephson is the Business Growth MAP manager, and has been with WSU Vancouver for almost four years. Prior to joining WSU Vancouver, she was an account director at Alling Henning Associates, a marketing and communications firm in Vancouver.