Frequently Asked Questions
Our purpose is multi-faceted, but often boils down to this: We want more Cougs to do business with more Cougs.
We serve as a platform for Washington State University alumni and friends to connect, interact, and collaborate within a positive business environment.
There is no other university network that elicits the same emotion, connection, and passion as WSU.
CougsFirst! is the only alumni business network of its kind in the Pac-12. Many other universities have an Alumni Association with memberships for individuals and some have a list of alumni-owned businesses, but we've yet to find another organization like ours.
We connect the Coug business community primarily through special events held year round and leveraging the power of social media.
These initiatives provide WSU alumni and friends with opportunities to connect, share experiences, and form valuable professional relationships that ultimately lead to more business being done between Cougs.
Yes! However, we have close partnerships with both WSU and the WSU Alumni Association, which allow us to bring our community together and make sure that each of our organizational purposes are met.
CougsFirst! has a captivating history rooted in the vision and camaraderie of our founders - Jack Thompson, Glenn Osterhout, Robbie Tobeck, Mike Bernard, Paul Dent, and Kyle Basler.
Some might say that it all started with a Ford Flex. That is, when Jack Thompson wanted to purchase a vehicle from a Coug-owned dealership and wished there was a list of Coug-owned businesses to reference.
This sparked an idea of supporting Cougs wherever possible and making it easier for all WSU alumni and friends to find Coug-owned and -managed businesses. Shortly after this experience, Jack and Glenn gathered this small group of alumni for lunch where they shared their stories and reflected on the special connection they felt as Cougs.
Shortly after, this group set out to create a business network that would empower and support fellow Cougs. Thus, starting the journey of CougsFirst!, all driven by the idea of "Thinking CougsFirst!"
All businesses, organizations, or individuals that own their own business (e.g., Real Estate Agents, Insurance Agents, etc.) are encouraged to join the network and have a listing on the CougsFirst! Business Directory.
While joining the network as a member is intended for businesses and organizations, any and all individuals can participate in CougsFirst! events and networking opportunities.
If you have more questions or a specific situation, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
To join as a business member, please visit cougsfirst.org/jointhenetwork and submit an application.
We have various membership options to fit your specific business needs, starting at only $100/year.
After joining the network, you can unlock the full potential of your membership by:
- Making it a point to attend as many events in your geographic area as possible.
- Coming to events with a well-rehearsed elevator pitch that succinctly highlights your expertise and goals.
- Exhibiting at a trade show or career expo (if applicable to your business).
- Creating a comprehensive and engaging profile for the CougsFirst! Business Directory.
- Engaging with fellow members through your member hub and networking opportunities.
- Leveraging our online resources, communities, and communications to access educational content, stay ahead of industry trends, and take advantage of exclusive opportunities for members.
If you have additional questions or ideas for our membership team, please reach out to email@example.com.
One of the primary ways to get connected is by attending our monthly networking events. These events provide an incredible opportunity to meet fellow Cougs, exchange ideas, and create meaningful connections!
You can also engage actively through your member hub and our website to share valuable insights, ask questions, and offer support to fellow members. Through this platform, you can seek out fellow members whose skills or services complement yours and explore opportunities for joint projects or ventures. By pooling resources and expertise, you can create a stronger impact and tap into new markets or customer bases.