General QuestionsWho can / should become a Ascenum Member?
Ascenum Memberships are for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) based in the United States. Owners / Senior Leaders of their businesses usually register as the Member.What benefits are available to Ascenum Members?
Members can realize the benefits of a community platform to connect with like-minded business owners, a learning center with relevant content that can educate, guide and inspire, and a digital marketplace that shortens the cycle time, expands the supplier network and matches your business characteristics and service requirements to curated providers that are looking to help a company like yours.Do I need to provide confidential personal (PII) or business information?
No social security number, account information, or employer identification number is necessary to become a Member, gain access to Ascenum Marketplace, or find Matching Providers in Ascenum Marketplace.What happens to the data and information I provide to the Ascenum?
Yes, but Ascenum is here for you every step of the way in your business journey. While a business sale may be an end goal for some Members, many see Ascenum as a resourceful option to get the help they need in building and growing their company.Do Ascenum Members come from all industry sectors?
Yes. Any SMB in the United States can be a Member and benefit from Ascenum Marketplace. As Ascenum scales the Provider side of Marketplace, we often think of Member/Buyers (prospective “Ideal Clients” for Providers) as SMBs with < = $25M Annual Revenue. But there is no hard revenue threshold on Membership. Any SMB can become a Member.
MarketplaceHow do Members identify Network Service Providers within the Marketplace who meet their requirements?
Members use intuitive, easy-to-follow service request templates to fully describe their requirements for Private Capital, certain Financing Options, Improving their Marketing, Technology and Finance Functions, or Help Selling Their Business Sell. The templates make it easy to specify characteristics of their business (without requiring PII or Financial Statement specifics) and describe precise service requirements.
Meanwhile, our Network Service Providers (NSP) have been curated by Ascenum, and each NSP completes a detailed profile of their Ideal Client(s) and service(s) capabilities, including the same parameters that Members use to describe a service request.
Using both the Member requirements and the Network Service Provider profiles, our Ascenum Marketplace algorithms then present matches to our Member, who can then determine whether they wish to purchase a Summit Pass that will unlock the identity and contact information of matched Network Service Providers.Ascenum “curates Providers”...what does that mean?
The Ascenum team actively identifies Providers, nationally and across service categories, who will be a strong fit in our B2B Marketplace. In addition to strong service capability, this means Providers who are ready to respond to pipeline activity from interested SMBs. Ascenum confirms fit by interviewing every Provider prior to admitting (creating an offer for) that Provider in Marketplace. In certain cases, interviewed Providers are not admitted.Can Members explore the Marketplace without paying a fee?
Yes. Ascenum encourages all Members to explore, learn and investigate options to improve their business via Marketplace connections. Therefore, Members can complete and modify a service request template in the Marketplace as many times and as often as they like. Each service request will result in a limited Match Listing, showing Members “headline info” on Network Service Providers precisely matched to their service request.If a Member needs to refine and run multiple Searches / Matches, can search logic be retained / refined?
Yes, and very easily. Each time a Member is presented with a Match Listing, there is an option to Save the search parameters, allowing the Member to build an inventory of Searches to re-use, or to access and modify/refine for a future Search.How does a “Summit Pass” help a Member connect to NSP(s)?
When a Member has interest in a specific limited Match Listing associated with a service request, the Summit Pass “unlocks” detailed profile and contact information about each NSP in the Match Listing, allowing a Member to proceed, on their own terms and using Ascenum tools to contact specific NSPs (potentially all NSPs in the Match Listing) for service discussions.
Ascenum thought carefully about the Match Listing and Summit Pass. We want all of our Members to search, learn and see what may be possible from our NSPs. The Match Listing, prior to purchase of the Summit Pass, allows Members to see the possibilities from a specific search. The Summit Pass, and associated fee, allows the Member to initiate the next step, with full Network Service Provider information / detail, when they are truly ready to act on a new service requirement / project.If I purchase a Summit Pass, what kind of information is associated with each matched service provider that can help me compare and qualify them?
Summit Pass holders see a full profile of service parameters and contact details for matched providers. Agreements to engage between Members and Providers are completely controlled by Members, initiated and facilitated by the matching information Ascenum provides, monitored for recordkeeping and review, but completed outside Ascenum with pricing details and service levels agreed to between the Member and Provider.Does the Marketplace help Members communicate directly with individual Service Providers of my choosing and limit unwanted solicitations?
Once a Summit Pass has been purchased, Ascenum facilitates direct communication between Members and matched Service Providers through our Marketplace tools. In consideration for a Member’s privacy, these communications are initiated and controlled by Only the Member, not the Service Provider. Members are Never Solicited by Providers.What happens if a Member isn't satisfied with their Marketplace experience?
Ascenum has focused our Marketplace design and user experience on Member satisfaction. It is important to emphasize that the Marketplace is a capability for matching/introducing Members to Providers who are specifically aligned to a Member's service requirements. This Matching, and the Member's option to purchase a Summit Pass to reveal Provider details, is designed to simplify, accelerate and significantly improve how a Member finds Providers for their high impact requirements. Ultimately, and realistically, it does not guarantee service provision satisfaction. That, by design, is controlled between the Member and an engaged Provider.
Should a Member engage with a Provider and find the experience unsatisfactory, Ascenum is ready to take feedback, improve the Marketplace going forward, and revisit a Member’s Summit Pass transaction.What services are in the Marketplace?
Ascenum continues to expand the number of service providers and types of services in Marketplace. As of April 2022 the most developed service categories are:
- Private Capital and Financing
- Private Capital Firms, raising their own funds and looking for attractive SMB firms for investment
- SBA Lenders
- Working Capital Financing, often younger digital / fintech models with A/R factoring, Equipment Leasing, Micro Lending, etc. products
- Improve and Grow Marketing, Technology and Finance Functions
- Strategic / Multi-Service Marketing Agencies
- Digital Development Agencies
- Custom Application Development Firms
- Executive as a Service (fractional Chief Financial/Technology/Marketing Officers)
- Sell Your Business
- Exit Planning
- Business Brokers (State/Regional/National in reach)
- Sell-side M&A Firms (with SMB / Lower Middle Market focus)