Babson teams with Wildcat Venture Partners and GreenFig

July 10, 2019 | Babson College

 Wildcat Venture Partners, an early stage venture capital firm, and Babson College, a thought leader ranked #1 in entrepreneurship, have joined forces to offer a range of classes this fall aimed at injecting a shot of real-world Silicon Valley venture know how into the classroom. The classes will share best practices aimed at helping early stage venture companies scale and reduce risk of failure, harnessing the Traction Gap Framework® – a step-by-step survival guide for startups developed by Wildcat Venture Partners. The classes will be delivered by GreenFig, the leading micro education company partnering with institutions around the country to deliver hands-on, applied learning experiences.

Starting in September, classes will be offered at the Babson College campus in Wellesley, near Boston, Massachusetts. They will consist of a 16-week program for undergraduate students titled “Silicon Valley Tech Ventures: Traversing the Traction Gap;” a series of one-day workshops woven into Babson’s new MBA curriculum for graduate students; and immersive, high-impact Executive Education workshops.

“Given the sky-high risk of startup failure, the collaboration between business schools, real-world CEOs and venture capitalists to teach students how to build early stage ventures in a smarter way is paramount,” said Randall Ussery, an adjunct professor of entrepreneurship at Babson who will facilitate the classes. “The Traction Gap Framework offers a pragmatic approach to building startups based on operational business experience, and the GreenFig classes and workshops set learners up for success by giving them access to a scientific approach they haven’t had in the past. Personally, as a professor, if I can help early entrepreneurs identify ways in which to minimize the risk involved in starting new ventures, I’ve done my job.”

The Traction Gap Framework

The Traction Gap Framework fills a conspicuous vacuum in business literature, seminars and workshops by providing guidelines for navigating the period between the go-to-product and go-to-scale phases when 80 percent of startups fail. Most entrepreneurs have a solid product to offer, but in order to scale their business, they must first create go-to-market traction by getting their product into the market and generating initial awareness and interest. The Babson classes will focus on how to traverse this crucial phase, known as the Traction Gap.

“Entrepreneurs often focus on what they’re passionate about – their product and how to get it to market – rather than looking at the bigger picture, which includes operations, revenue and team building,” said Bruce Cleveland, co-founder of Wildcat Venture Partners, chief architect of the Traction Gap Framework and author of the best-selling book Traversing the Traction Gap. “Often, they don’t understand the hotspots that may be an issue, until it’s too late. As a result, rather than engineering their success, they’re potentially engineering their own failure. We developed the Traction Gap Framework based on decades of experience within our partnership and greater network of successful CEOs. Every aspect of the framework has been tested, and under the right conditions has led to astounding levels of business success. We’re excited to be sharing our insights with a new generation of entrepreneurs eager to learn.”

About the Curriculum

Participants will learn and put into practice the necessary tools to compete among the world’s best entrepreneurs in technology across the following sectors: healthcare, education, finance, work and logistics. Whether starting a technology company, working in a startup or even a Fortune 1000 corporation, the course will provide learners with tangible ideas that can take a company, project or initiative to the next level of success. Concepts include a variety of best practices for success, including how to handle a failure by failing fast, pivoting or deciding to shut down and move on.

For more information about partnering with GreenFig to develop innovative applied business science learning programs, please contact [email protected].

About GreenFig

GreenFig Micro Education provides skill development and hands-on training in applied business science. GreenFig’s delivery model combines live, interactive online and offline collaborative learning with hands-on instruction from industry experts. GreenFig is headquartered in San Mateo, California, and delivers its programs in partnership with higher education institutions across the country. To learn more about GreenFig’s applied business science programs, visit www.GreenFig.com.

About Babson College

At Babson, we believe that entrepreneurship can be a powerful force within organizations of all types and sizes, in established businesses as well as new ventures. In any industry, in any position, it takes Entrepreneurial Thought & Action® to solve problems and make an impact. We were the first to understand that thinking and acting entrepreneurially is more than just an inclination. It can be taught. And we do it better than anyone. Today in our collaborative community, students gain the fundamental business skills and liberal arts knowledge necessary to cultivate an entrepreneurial mindset. They then use that mindset to navigate real business situations, putting what they learn into practice and becoming leaders equipped to make a difference on campus and around the world. To learn more, visit www.babson.edu.

About Wildcat Venture Partners

Founded in 2015, Wildcat Venture Partners is a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm that invests in early stage technology companies. Wildcat invests in B2B and B2B2C startups leveraging key technologies such as Machine Learning/AI, IoT, and Cloud & Mobility in the following markets: Digital Health, EdTech, Enterprise SaaS and FinTech.

The Wildcat team brings decades of entrepreneurial experience, venture experience, and deep domain expertise to help early stage companies effectively navigate through  The Traction Gap® and go on to scale.

Wildcat’s current investment portfolio includes companies such as: Aceable, Amplero, C3.ai, Carrum Health, Clover Health, GreenFig, LeaseLock, Obo, Ritual, Tuition.io, Vlocity, what3words, and Zebit. To learn more, visit http://wildcat.vc or follow @Wildcatvc on Twitter.