CU Grow Hosts Second Procurement Event of 2020

The CU Grow Vendor Development program hosted the second procurement event for its fourth cohort virtually, bringing together the program’s current participants, alumni, and department managers from Columbia University Facilities & Operations (CUFO), and industry partners to discuss upcoming business opportunities for Minority-, Women-, and Locally-Owned Firms (MWL). 

September 02, 2020

The CU Grow program team has transitioned all program events to an online format due to COVID-19 in an effort to continue offering current participating CU Grow firms the opportunities to learn more about upcoming projects, network, and gain valuable resources to continue growing their businesses. Greg Switzer, principal of an eponymous architecture firm Greg Switzer Architects (GSA) and a CU Grow alumni, provided opening remarks, highlighting how the program’s curriculum and connections has led him to grow his business within and outside of Columbia University. 

Among the panelists were department directors and consultants from CUFO, including Franco Morizio, Director of Residential Construction, Raphael Lynch, Director of Campus Operations, and Marc Craig, Consultant of Construction Procurement at Central Purchasing, who provided an overview of their departments and shared information on upcoming projects they oversee with potential procurement opportunities for MWL firms.      

Rohan DeFreitas, a principal of Crescent Consulting, presented on contractor requirements to bid on opportunities at a new University residential building that will be constructed at 125th Street and Broadway. Like all of Columbia’s projects in Manhattanville, the University has ambitious diversity goals for construction contracting at the new residential building, targeting at least 35 percent of construction spend with minority-, women- or locally-owned businesses and 40 percent MWL workforce. 

screenshot of Zoom Procurement webinar with CU Grow participants and supporter

The event concluded with breakout sessions, allowing participants to virtually network with each presenter, allowing them to ask questions to better align their business capabilities for available contracting opportunities. 

The CU Grow Program is currently recruiting for Cohort 5 that begins in February 2021. To learn more about the program offerings and how to apply, please complete this form and visit