By Brenda Alling

L to R: Team mentor Mike Pawlowski and MAP students prepare to work with clients. Photo by Laura Evancichy

The WSU Vancouver Carson College of Business’s successful Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program is expanding to include a cohort for technology businesses called the MAP Tech Collective. Funded by a $125,000 grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co, the collective will help technology businesses accelerate growth and positively impact Southwest Washington’s economy.

WSU Vancouver’s Business Growth Mentor and Analysis Program includes a student consultancy and the MAP Alliance. Collectively these programs aim to empower organizations and entrepreneurs in Southwest Washington to grow their ventures with access to a variety of resources. The decision to expand the program to include the Tech Collective came from the growing need in the region.

“The technology sector is growing in our region,” said Jane Cote, academic director in the Carson College of Business at WSU Vancouver. “In 2013, the state designated the greater Vancouver area as an Innovation Partnership Zone for applied digital technology. The city has helped foster the growth of tech firms, and we’re seeing the results. In addition, regional economic development leaders see this as a burgeoning sector. It makes sense to do our first cohort with this industry cluster.”

The MAP Tech Collective will combine management education, mentoring, connections, and community. For businesses that are at least a year old and have an annual revenue of $200,000 or more, the MAP Tech Collective will provide access to resources to help the business grow. Benefits include:

  • Management education leading to the development of strategic growth plans
  • Cohort-based program designed to leverage resources and networks from the software/technology industry
  • Access to an advisory board to provide feedback and guidance
  • Networking opportunities with business experts, lenders, and other entrepreneurs
  • Relationship building with other technology businesses in the region

Participants in this cohort manage companies that offer software products or technology products and/or services. MAP Tech Collective participants will meet twice a month between March and July at WSU Vancouver’s Carson College of Business. The cost to participate is $250.

The MAP Tech Collective grew out of WSU Vancouver’s five-year-old Business Growth MAP. This pro-bono, student-conducted analysis and consulting service helps small businesses grow and prosper while giving students real-world experience.

In 2014, the Business Growth MAP added a forum called the MAP Alliance. It meets monthly to bring together small businesses and entrepreneurs to learn from each other, local experts and WSU Vancouver faculty.

For more information on Business Growth MAP programs, contact Mistie Josephson, Business Growth MAP manager, at 360-546-9533 or