Now in its seventh year, the JPA supports graduating Seattle University students and recent alumni entrepreneurs by providing a solid infrastructure of mentoring, grant funds, and connections to local networks. SU Student or Alumni Entrepreneurs who are accepted into the program work with a team of expert coaches to set large “milestone” goals for their business, and then work towards those goals over six months under the advisement of their coaches. If teams are able to fully realize all their milestones, each business receives a $10,000 prize.
The accepted teams for the 2020-21 Jones Progress Awards include:
- rThreat, led by Daniela Applegate, BA’15, is a cybersecurity breach and attack simulation platform that allows companies to challenge their cyber defenses using real cyber threats in a secure testing environment. They empower businesses small and large to take a proactive approach to their cybersecurity by identifying security gaps, addressing vulnerabilities, and optimizing solutions before hackers get a chance to strike. rThreat is a Latinx-led startup that has been in development since 2018 and officially launched August of 2020, and their current challenge is securing a seed round of funding and new beta-customers.
- Noir Lux Candle Co., led by Colina Bruce, MA’15, is a black-owned, woman-owned business, specializing in handcrafted natural wooden wick candles, poured in small batches. Noir Lux believes in self-care, good vibes, and nostalgia, and they have a little something for everybody. Currently, their biggest struggle is that they are a one-month old, one-person shop, self-funded and resourced company, in need of some expertise around marketing, financial stability and general sustainability.
Past Jones Progress Award Winners include Encora, Actuate Media, Ro Health, React Mobile, and The Madrone School. Jeff Widmyer, CEO and Founder of Ro Health, credits the JPA with some of his company’s success: “The Jones Progress experience provided me access to mentors that helped me look at problems in a different light, and that perspective gave me the courage to make decisions and take action.”
As an added benefit, WTIA is offering the Jones Progress Award participants a free year’s membership to the WTIA Startup Club! Washington Technology Industry Association (WTIA) is the unifying voice for the technology community in Washington, consolidating the power of member companies to solve business problems they cannot solve on their own. For startups, WTIA provides a variety of stage appropriate resources including resources like investors, service providers, and relevant product discounts, HR benefits, discounts, and exclusive event invites.