Growth Accelerator Program (GAP)
Piloted in 2012, GAP is a dynamic business mentorship program designed to accelerate the growth of high-potential small businesses located in the Twin Cities, by creating relationships between mentors, possessing wisdom and experience from their successful entrepreneurial ventures, and mentees, in the early stages of business ownership. The most critical element of empowering entrepreneurs to make their businesses successful is the ability to leverage all resources. By providing a supportive framework for eligible businesses, GAP helps business owners gain access to economic opportunities to build sustainable companies that create jobs and contribute to the strength and vigor of our economy. The program involves the following:
- Six month cohort sessions which begin every three months
- Kick-off session for all participants to connect the team participants and articulate procedural rules and expectations.
- Monthly face-to-face meetings for mentors to provide mentees strategic guidance and support.
- Follow-up telephone call or e-mails between mentor and mentee to discuss progress toward action plan.
- Five workshops providing education to the mentees and graduate students from subject matter experts on relevant topics like high performance management systems, leadership, finance and marketing.
- Facilitated peer group support meetings to share experiences and ideas among the mentees.
- Closing ceremony to build and strengthen the connections between all participants to forge relationships that last well beyond the program itself.
- Advising & Consulting: Receive strategic guidance, support and connections from a seasoned entrepreneur or executive and cutting-edge consulting services from a U of M grad student. (Monthly meetings).
- Peer Support: Share experiences, ideas, and connections with fellow GAP business owners in a facilitated group setting. (5 meetings).
- Education: Hear from subject matter experts on relevant growth topics such as Leadership, Marketing, and Finance. (5 workshops).
- Connections: Build relationships with a high-powered group of business owners and professionals that are part of the GAP network.
Successful outcomes have included:
- Provided access to $1M in capital
- Developed market entry strategies for new product launches
- Established a strong network of business owners and professionals
To learn more about the program, please click on the appropriate link below: