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University Vendor Program Based on SPS Curriculum Graduates Third Cohort

Based on a curriculum designed by the School of Professional Studies (SPS), the CU Grow: Vendor Development Program helps businesses build capacity and develop a formal, three-year growth plan.

A December 11 ceremony honored sixteen businesses as the third cohort to graduate CU Grow: Vendor Development Program, a Columbia University Facilities and Operations initiative that provides executive and strategic coaching to leaders of minority-, women-, and locally-owned businesses.

Ranging from architecture firms and HVAC contractors to cleaning services and lighting experts, the latest graduates follow 29 vendor businesses in the preceding two cohorts, which have collectively earned $30 million from the University.

"CU Grow asks the hard questions and asks you to take initiative necessary to earn the opportunity to do the hard work,” said recent graduate K.A. Stacie Alexiou, CEO of WATT + FLUX, according to a report on the graduation ceremony. “The program gave us a fresh perspective on our business model, inspired innovation and provided new resources we needed to grow.”

Business owners were coached by experienced coaches from Columbia University and partner organizations.

To apply for the program, vendors must be certified minority- or women-owned business enterprises, or be based in Upper Manhattan or the South Bronx, have annual revenue between $250,000 and $5 million, and be an existing vendor of the University or provide a product or service that is needed at the University. 

Learn more about the CU Grow Program and find information on applying to join the fourth cohort (deadline: January 31, 2020).