ASCEND National Cohort

September 2022 - April 2023

*Sponsored by JPMorgan Chase Foundation

Please visit our Health and Safety Protocols page for all COVID-19 updates.

The Kellogg School of Management is partnering with JPMorgan Chase to offer Kellogg ASCEND National Cohort business growth program, held September 2022 - April 2023.

We will engage a select cohort of up to 20 minority-owned and other businesses with revenues of $3M+, although other companies with high growth potential will be considered.

This partnership between the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University, the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, and JPMorgan Chase aligns and develops a network that links business schools, market and capital access organizations, and Chase small business banking.

ASCEND National Cohort Program:

  • Provides in-person and live virtual executive management education program for minority-owned businesses to enhance growth potential and increase hiring. Coaches and Kellogg MBA students serve as resources for owners.
  • Facilitates preparation for market opportunities with organizations such as Ascend National and the Minority Supplier Development Council
  • Provides access to CDFIs, Chase, and other funding opportunities

This collaboration — Fisher, Foster, and Kellogg schools, with JPMChase Foundation, also includes tools from EY, RSM and JH Lowry and Associates which will enhance the performance of participating businesses by increasing revenue and employment.

Who Should Attend

Kellogg ASCEND seeks to partner with minority business owners interested in growth through management education, access to potential funders, and access to potential new business.

We are targeting businesses owned by people of color with $3M+ in revenue. Other businesses with strong growth potential will be considered. Please join if your business will be represented at all sessions.


Key Benefits

  • Through 50+ hours of business coaching and 50+ hours of residential and remote engagement with business school faculty over five months, MBEs will gain insights that address their identified problem to produce measurable business improvements
  • Address key management concepts related to company stability and growth including culture, change management, strategy, capital markets, technology, negotiations, leadership, finance, marketing, and supply chain
  • Think strategically about your facility and identify important concepts you can apply to build the organization, increase stability, and enhance growth.
  • Build a network of peers and mentors to support continued professional growth and development
  • Enhance knowledge and skills for strengthening your organization's capacity to meet the challenges of a changing competitive landscape

Program Content

The curriculum will address principles, models, and examples that enhance company success and growth. This program has both in-person and virtual sessions held September 2022 - April 2023.

Program Schedule

September 28-30: Leadership/Inaugural Residential Session | Kellogg School of Management (in-person)

October 14: Financing Middle Market Firms I | JPMorgan Chase (virtual)

October 28: Technology Transformation I | EY (virtual)

November 4: Technology Transformation II | EY (virtual)

November 18: Financial Systems Transformation I | RSM (virtual)

December 2: Organizational Change Leadership | Foster School of Business (virtual)


January 13: Financial Systems Transformation II | RSM (virtual)

January 27: Financing Middle Market Firms II | JPMorgan Chase (virtual)

February 10: Organizational Change Leadership II | Foster School of Business (virtual)

February 24: Operations & Supply Chain Management I | Fisher College of Business (virtual)

March 10: Operations & Supply Chain Management II | Fisher College of Business (virtual)

March 31: B2B Marketing I | Kellogg School of Management (virtual)

April 14: B2B Marketing II | Kellogg School of Management (virtual)

Late April (TBD): Final Project - Residential Session | Kellogg School of Management (in-person)


Practical Application

  • Apply learnings from the program to your business
  • Discuss applications of the learning in small peer group sessions
  • Address your business questions to faculty and industry experts
  • Work with business coaches and MBA ASCEND Fellows


Gail Berger - Clinical Associate Professor of Management & Organizations; Deputy Director, Center for Executive Women; Associate Professor of Instruction, Industrial Engineering and Management Sciences, McCormick School of Engineering

James Lowry - Sr. Advisor, Boston Consulting Group and CEO, James H. Lowry & Assoc.

Karin O'Connor - Executive Director, Heizer Center for Private Equity and Venture Capital. Clinical Assistant Professor in Entrepreneurship

Nicholas A. Pearce - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Michele Rogers - Clinical Assistant Professor of Nonprofit Executive Education and Director of Chicago Partnerships

William Towns - Adjunct Professor in Kellogg’s Sustainability and Social Impact Program

Lance Bennett - Founder & Managing Partner, L.E.B. Partners

Brenda Ellington Booth - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations

Harry M. Kraemer - Clinical Professor of Management & Organizations; Former Chairman & CEO, Baxter Intl.; Executive Partner, Madison Dearborn Partners

Fees & Accommodations


Company Fee: $6,000 for 2-3 senior level managers.

Over 2/3 of the full program price of $18,500 is charitably underwritten by JP Morgan Chase; the participant fee of $6,000 covers the balance of tuition and fees.

Location & Accommodations:

The in-person program sessions (first and last sessions) are hosted in Evanston, IL at the Allen Center on the Northwestern University Campus. All other sessions are virtual. A limited number of rooms are available at the Allen Center so some participants will be housed in nearby hotels.

Application Deadline

Applications are considered on a first-come first-served basis, so early registration is suggested. The deadline for fee payment is September 12, 2022.

Cancellation Policy:

Participants must notify the Program Manager three business days in advance of the program start if they are unable to attend. Otherwise, participants forfeit the program fee.

Contact Us

Please email or call Michele Rogers to learn more about ASCEND Business Growth program at Kellogg.

Kellogg School of Management

James L. Allen Center
2169 Campus Drive, Evanston, IL 60208