Jones Progress Awards

This rigorous SU alumni business accelerator turns goals into accomplishments by providing a solid infrastructure of grants, mentors, and connections. Video created by Nils Gollersrud, Bridge MBA '20. 

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Seattle University's Alumni Business Accelerator

The Jones Progress Awards is an alumni business accelerator program that supports Seattle University alumni and graduating students in ramping up their new businesses by providing a solid infrastructure of mentoring, grant funds, and connections within the regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. 

After a rigorous application process, three candidates are selected each year to set challenging goals for their team to complete. Teams are then matched with 3-4 expert business coaches who guide and advise the teams over 6 months to achieve their desired milestones. At the end of this working period, each of the candidates give a presentation to a panel of judges who award up to $10,000 to each of the teams that successfully meet key criteria and milestones within the 6-month period.

The program involves the following components:

  • Each eligible alumni-led business team goes through a rigorous application process to test its commitment, resources, and ability to take the new business to the next level.
  • Three business teams are selected and are each matched with a group of 3-4 volunteer expert business coaches (all local entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, and professionals).
  • Under the guidance of their coaches, the teams each craft 5-7 milestones (specific objectives, indicators, and measurements) that they will meet over the next six months - two required milestones are 12-month operations plans and 12-month financial projections.
  • Teams meet with their group of coaches in person monthly and are encouraged to connect directly with each coach on a regular basis over the six-month program.
  • After the six-month coaching program concludes, the three teams will present their milestones and proof of completion to a panel of Judges, who will determine if the teams should receive the full $10,000 award, or some portion of the award if all milestones are not met.

Jones Progress Award Sponsor

The Herbert B. Jones Foundation has generously provided a grant to the Albers Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center (IEC) to offer three $10,000 awards per year to eligible student and alum teams. The Herbert B. Jones Foundation believes that entrepreneurism and small business are the backbone for the strength of our economic system.

The Jones Progress Award was a six-month journey for Mad Dawg's Hot Dogs. I was mentored by four business leaders specifically chosen for me and our company's needs. In these monthly meetings, I began to mature from a business owner to a business leader with CEO qualities while our MDHD moved from being a cool small business to a focused, goal-oriented company.

Daniel Dovinh Mad Dawgs Hot Dogs Founder


Peter Rowan

Lawrence K. Johnson Endowed Chair of Entrepreneurship

Amelia Marckworth

Director of Community