Business Accelerator Program - Advisors

Program Information

Teams for 2013

Contact Information
Mauvalyn Bowen, PhD
Phone #: (612) 624-3578

The program relies on volunteer advisors who are seasoned entrepreneurs and/or experienced executives. Matches are made based on the needs of the small business owners and the expertise and interests of the available advisors.

Benefits & Time Commitment


  • Make a real contribution to the growth of a local small business
  • Collaborate with a U of M grad student on a specific growth project
  • Connect with fellow Business Accelerator Program Advisors who are seasoned entrepreneurs or experienced executives from the local
    business community

Time Commitment (Est. total of 30 hours)

  • Kickoff (2 hours)
  • Assessment Workshop (3 hours)
  • Planning Workshop (3 hours)
  • Team Meetings (15‐20 hours)
  • Advisor Meet-Ups (3 hours)
  • Closing Ceremony (2 hours)

How It Works

Each selected business owner is matched with an Advisor and a University of Minnesota or University of St. Thomas grad student, who work as
a team to assess the business’s current situation, identify specific growth goals to work on, develop a plan of action, and then put the work in to
reach these goals. While the Advisor guides the growth process, bringing in people from his/her network for additional support, the student
provides hands-on assistance on a specific research project. To further accelerate growth, the business owners also meet on their own to share
experiences, ideas, and connections, while also hearing from subject-matter experts on relevant growth topics.

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For a more detailed overview of this process, click here.


Selection, Expectations, & Application Process

Selection Criteria

  • Able to commit 2-3 hours a month to entrepreneur.
  • Proven experience in growing (or helping grow) small businesses. 
  • Strong assessment, planning, and advising skills.
  • Ability to quickly become a trusted Advisor.
  • Strong network of industry/functional contacts.
  • Willing to provide some hands-on assistance if needed.


  • Attend all Business Accelerator Program events (Please refer to schedule for specific information).
  • Commit 2-3 hours a month to entrepreneur. This includes at least one face-to-face meeting.
  • Coach and lead client through assessment, planning, and growth-process.
  • Provide valuable, actionable, strategic advice on how to grow business.
  • Be empathetic towards the needs of the business owner.
  • Help identify growth-related goal/project that team can work on.
  • Help scope out and guide student project.
  • Provide introductions to network of industry/functional contacts as needed.
  • Help act as task-master to ensure that the client and student hit milestones.
  • Sign “Non-disclosure agreement.”

Application Process

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Most promising Advisors are selected for an interview.
  3. Top 10-12 applicants are selected as Lead Advisors. Others may be selected as Support Advisors depending on the specific needs of the
    Business Accelerator Program portfolio.