As a growing business owner, your company is becoming more complex. You need someone to dive into your business strategies with you. Ascent brings high-quality advisors and mentors alongside you and your leadership team with a structured team-based approach. We will help you identify trouble spots and key growth opportunities so you can 2X, 3X, even 10X your revenue.
“Ascent has been the best investment we’ve ever made as a company. We are now able to chart a pathway to bridge the gap between our current reality and envisioned future.”
Ray Barreth is a serial entrepreneur and has 35 yearsʼ experience creating, directing, and leading SME ventures in the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe. As a serial entrepreneur, Ray has launched six companies from product inception to scale. His companies ranged in size from $40M U.S.to exceeding $100M U.S. in revenue. Ray coached entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and the Silicon Prairie, in the Kansas City Start-Up Village. Ray hasbeen training, coaching, and growing African companies through his Venture Village (V2) GROWTH Lab which operates in Zambia and Nigeria.
Martin is a seasoned business and organizational strategist with over 13 years of experience working with a major Kenyan international company, including leading the innovation hub. Martin is passionate about innovation and co-creation with the start-up/SME ecosystems as a practical and mutually beneficial way of solving existing and emerging business challenges. He has mentored and coached start-ups to build sustainable business models. He believes in pushing boundaries and that impossible is only a figment of our imagination.
As Managing Director, Toby leads Sinapisʼ acceleration and advisory services. He is passionate about seeing entrepreneurs flourish in frontier markets, embracing both building businesses with excellence and intentionally living out their faith and values through their endeavors. Tobyʼs career prior to Sinapis involved working with executive teams of leading domestic and international institutions successfully addressing core strategy and performance issues. As a partner at Deloitte Consulting and Kearney Consulting, he was responsible for building practices and serving Tier 1 clients. His focus-areas included growth strategy development and execution and customer experience enhancement. Toby received an MBA from Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics from Vanderbilt University.
Purity Wainaina is an entrepreneur trainer and coach with over 18 years of experience in financial management, internal audit, risk management, and control systems assessment within national projects, micro-finance, and business accelerators. In the last four years, she has successfully facilitated training and coaching for more than 200 entrepreneurs from various sectors who have subsequently gone on to achieve exponential growth. A recent achievement was designing a business continuity and recovery program to support business growth during COVID - 19. The businesses that participated in this program made changes in their business models that enabled them to realize increased sales despite the depressed market and reduce costs to achieve profitability.
“Unlike other programs, Ascent has clearly delivered on the promise to connect with and engage investors.”
Get honest, constructive feedback on your business and how you are presenting it. We have a group of investors who engage with you during the Ascent journey. They include:
You will also be connected with a broader array of local and international investors, through and after the Ascent pitch event. This includes preferred access to the Faith Driven Investor Marketplace, representing more than 750 accredited investors.
“I’ve been through a variety of programs, but this has been truly distinctive and impactful.... it has enabled me to bring my leadership team along and for us to move forward.”
The application process just takes 10 minutes
Discuss your business challenges and goals to see if this is the right solution for you
Break free from incremental growth
Ascent takes place over nine months with a small cohort of similar level growth-stage businesses, and consists of four primary elements: multi-day leadership team workshops, founders round tables, investment readiness-related activities, and mentor engagement. Together, these are designed to provide structure, space, assistance, and active engagement with other entrepreneurs to chart growth pathways (both business and personal) and remove bottlenecks and obstacles.
A key component of Ascent is a series of workshops that work through core business dimensions — strategy, sales, operations, and overall management — to define where and how to maximize growth potential and solve constraints to growth.
The first working session is held individually with each business’ leadership team. The DiSC assessment framework and results provide the context and content for working to enhance how the leadership team can work more effectively together. The work done here sets the direction for ongoing advancement of how the team can improve effectiveness in the coming months.
During the following months, we conduct a series of six multi-day workshops that bring cohort teams together with clearly defined objectives. Anchoring on a modified lean canvas structure and utilizing other frameworks, we will work with teams as they consider the “art of the possible” for their businesses, define and architect pathways to growth, and solve bottlenecks. These workshops also create space for peer-to-peer support and learning. Each team has the opportunity to provide constructive feedback and collaborate in the exploration of new ideas.
In these workshops, we also address how personal faith and values can factor into how businesses are built and led. How can brokenness in lives and communities be addressed through entrepreneurship? How can a business be an agent for transformational change? How could intentional consideration of these questions inform business design, decision-making, and stakeholder engagement? There are modules to explore these questions throughout.
The following is the slate of workshops and their objectives:
In addition to the workshops, a series of four round tables are held during the initial seven months. These are designed for founders only, recognizing their unique responsibilities and challenges.
These sessions address leadership, culture, governance, and personal wellbeing. These times together are also intended to be energizing and reinvigorating. The founder’s journey is often a difficult and lonely one. We desire to foster honest discussion and sharing, which leads to the building of relationships that can be sources of support that continue beyond the program.
Below is the slate of founders’ round tables:
Are you curious who's in our current cohort of Ascent? Browse their business bios!