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A Local Network in a Global Community

About Ascend Long Island

Ascend improves Management skills, increases access to Money, and grows Market connections in a tailored approach to maximize the unique opportunities that businesses have in cities across the US through a customized approach to accelerate business and job growth. 

The Ascend Long Island Program is housed at the ideaHUb at Hofstra University. This unique program has an individualized focus on helping local minority-owned firms solve unique problems that they may encounter and produce measurable growth opportunities.

We are proud to be a contributing partner at Ascend Cities.

What Ascend Involves

There is no charge for admission to the program. However, applicants must demonstrate competence and promise through a competitive interview and selection process.


Businesses that will benefit most are MWBEs with revenues $100,000-$3 million who are seeking to grow above $10 million in the next two years. Ascend Long Island focuses on businesses that target sales in B2B or B2G environments in:
• Construction & Construction-Related Services
• Professional Services
• Commodities, Suppliers & Distributors
• Green & Renewable Energy
• HealthCare Industry
• Food Services Industry

Participants should be located or do business in Long Island or the greater metropolitan area.


The goal of the Ascend Long Island Cohort is to promote leadership teams rather than individual development. The candidate’s CEO plus up to 2 other senior people in their business are responsible for creating a growth plan and implementing action items to achieve that plan

They will be prepared to attend the entire length of the program and complete each of the sessions. There is an expectation that companies in the program will possess a robust entrepreneurial mindset which is recognizable and coachable.  An individual interview is required.


Each business accepted to the program is connected to a “Hub” institution that delivers customized programming, coaching, mentoring and business orientated curriculum in a collaborative environment. Our “Hub” is at the ideaHUb located on the campus of Hofstra University.

The CEO and/or two other senior leaders from each business will attend program sessions from September 2023 to April 2024. Businesses will work with coaches, mentors and subject matter experts and participate in in-person or remote programming involving faculty, business owners and government agencies. These sessions are designed to encourage collaboration and drive organizational improvement and leadership team growth.


The senior leader is responsible for driving results to solve the self-identified problem. Entrepreneurial resources and a research driven approach will provide support in building M3 solutions to accelerate growth in:
• Management: incubation and acceleration resources
• Market: networking, partnerships, and pipelines
• Money: early stage seed capital and flexible credit products


September 23

Applications Due

October – December 2023

Hybrid Virtual &
In-person Sessions

December 2023

Opportunity Forum

January - March 2024

Individual Business Mentoring


Our Team

Dr. Neva Alexander

Dr. Neva Helena Alexander is a professional speaker, advisor, trainer, and author. Dr.Neva is the owner of Nevalliance is a training and development company that has conducted workshops and speaking engagements worldwide on leadership, entrepreneurship, diversity, and culture. 

Dean Bennett

Dean Bennett is the founding President of J.K. Bennett and Associates, a New York-based management consulting firm. Dean has served as Executive Director for the Empire State Development Division of MWBE, and as Director of EEO and Deputy Director for the Office of Minority Affairs for Nassau County.

Dr. Richard Hayes
Executive Director, Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Hayes is an Associate Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship in the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra. He's primary entrepreneurship professor, advisor to the entrepreneurship club (Hofstra University Startups) and director of the Entrepreneurship Challenge, an innovative partnership between Hofstra and Capital One Bank. 

April Jones
Program Manager of Entrepreneurship and Business Development

April Jones has extensive administrative experience in both academic and corporate settings. April provides program support for the Entrepreneurial Assistance Center Program (EACP), MWBE Certification Assistance Program (CAP) grant and other programs at the Business Development Center and Center for Entrepreneurship.


Let’s talk about your business