Jones Progress Awards

The Jones Progress Awards are a rigorous Seattle University alumni business accelerator that turns goals into accomplishments by providing a solid infrastructure of grants, mentors, and connections.

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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 three to four expert business coaches who guide and advise the teams over six  months to achieve their desired milestones. At the end of this working period, each of the candidates gives 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 six-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 their business to the next level.
  • Three business teams are selected and each are matched with a group of three to four volunteer expert business coaches (all local entrepreneurs, advisors, investors, and professionals).
  • Under the guidance of their coaches, the teams each craft five to seven 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.

Learn more about application requirements and questions for the Jones Progress Awards.

What participants learn from the experience "The courage to make decisions and take action."

Jeff Widmyer, '15 JD and MBA

"The Jones Progress Awards 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."

CEO, Ro Health

2023-24 Key Dates

All applicants of the Jones Progress Awards are required to meet the following deadlines and attend the required events.

  • Application Deadline: September 1, 2023
  • Monthly Check-Ins: All selected candidates are required to meet with their coaches on a monthly basis throughout the six-month working period. 
    • Schedule: Meetings will be held in November, December, January, February, March, and April with a kick-off event October and a presentation practice session in May.
  • Halfway Check-In: All selected candidates are required to have a halfway point check-in—this is to evaluate your standing in the program, and to connect with any needed parties. 
  • Presentation Date (TBD): late May or early June 2024

Applying to the Jones Progress Awards

Learn more about the Jones Progress Awards' application requirements and questions

Join the Jones Progress Awards

Contact Peter Rowan for more information.

Peter Rowan

Executive Director, IEC

Peter Rowan headshot