CREATING CONNECTIONS, ENABLING OPPORTUNITIES
Delivered by the Facilities and Operations department, the CU Grow: Vendor Development Program is a multi-dimensional coaching program developed to assist minority-, women-, and locally-owned (MWL) firms by expanding their existing portfolio of business and contracts with large clients. The program is at no cost to vendors and runs annually from February to December.
Read the welcome message from the Executive Vice President of University Facilities and Operations.
THIS PROGRAM IS FOR YOU IF:
- You are seeking a greater understanding of large company procurement procedures
- Provide a service or commodity that aligns with the needs of Columbia University
- Are a certified Minority-, Women-, or Locally owned firm with annual revenue between $250K and $5M*
- Your firm has been established for at least three years and is in the built environment including construction trades, professional services, suppliers, and commodities
What Alumni Are Saying
Read quotes from alumni below and learn more about past cohorts on our alumni page.
"CU Grow made me gain a different, fresh perspective. Many times, I questioned my ideas or second-guessed myself, but having a mentor helped me work out my strategies. She helped me understand and make a better, clearer picture of my ideas and how to use social media to express my ideas as a marketing technique."
"Through guidance and mentorship, we have been able to flesh out ideas and approaches, not only to ascertain whether they are feasible but how to implement them. Being held accountable is something I am not used to, but needed. I was focused on making the necessary changes for my strategic growth plan."
"The CU Grow team has helped place our company on the institution's radar screen through networking opportunities provided during the procurement events and introductions to buyers and other Columbia resources."
"The CU Grow Vendor Development Program has challenged me to document more. I relied a lot on memory, although it is not the best way to convey, analyze, gauge, or confirm progress or setbacks, etc. The program allowed me to adopt the RACI Chart and Key Performance Indicators. The SMART 3-year growth plan culminated the program."
"I discovered there is a science to running a successful business and a wealth of information and resources available to help you. Passion alone is not enough to become successful. It must be combined with knowledge, training, and skill. The tools and resources were new, different, and very effective. The prep work and coaching sessions forced me to get out of my comfort zone and think outside the box."
"The CU Grow program has given us tremendous insight and provided us with resources on how to record and formulate our growth. We’ve learned that taking the time to go through the worksheets and review the available literature can drastically change the course and direction of your company, if you follow through with its proposition. If anything, we’ve gained respect for the concept of strategic planning."
Students from Columbia Law's Entrepreneurship and Community Development Clinic (ECDC) provided contract guidance to current participants in the CU Grow Vendor Development Program during a legal pop-up clinic, which provided assistance in strategizing, negotiating, drafting, and reviewing contracts and agreements, is a newly added component to the CU Grow program’s curriculum.
The CU Grow: Vendor Development Program welcomed 21 new firms at its matching ceremony in February, launching the program's sixth year supporting minority-, women- and locally owned (MWL) businesses in strategizing their business growth.
Facilities and Operations AVP Tanya Pope Recognized as Practitioner of the Year by US Association for Small Businesses and Entrepreneurship
The United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship presented its Minority and Women Entrepreneurship Practitioner of the Year SIG Award to Tanya Pope, Assistant Vice President for University Supplier Diversity at Columbia, the highest recognition given to a practitioner that has demonstrated extraordinary work with minority and/or women's entrepreneurship programs or people.