The Jones Progress Awards (JPA) 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. The JPAs are annual awards given to these entrepreneurs that successfully meet key criteria and milestones within a 6-month period. The program involves the following components:
- Each eligible business team goes through a rigorous application process to test its commitment, resources, and ability to take the new business to the next level.
- Two business teams are selected and are each matched with a group of 4-5 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 two 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.
- Teams will have access to key Innovation & Entrepreneurship Center contacts and networks and will be supported in building these connections.