Being in tech is not just about coding — it’s also about bringing people and technology together. There is a massive need for smart, driven people who have the skills and experience to help innovators get their products into the hands of customers. And the demand for trained, skilled entrepreneurial sales and business development professionals is only going to continue to grow. It’s the perfect complement to what tech founders learn, and it’s a skill set that requires a different type of intelligence than coding does.
That’s why we launched the Sales and Business Development Program at GrowthX Academy.
We’re entering an incredibly exciting time in tech right now. Innovators and technologists are working on solutions to some of the world’s most pressing problems, while also working to make everyday life better. But as tech firms have been making strides in bio-tech, robotics, consumer goods, and a host of other arenas, they’ve been intently focused on product development — quite often at the expense of business development. This dearth of skilled professionals is an incredible opportunity.
If you can seize the moment and get the training and the experience you need, you’ll be headed toward having your pick of meaningful jobs in tech companies who are doing groundbreaking things.
The reason for this shift is actually pretty simple. We’ve entered the age of “applied technology.” Products are easier and cheaper to create than ever before, and product talent is everywhere. For founders to ultimately succeed, they have to hit higher traction milestones to secure the investor funding they’ll need to be the next unicorn.
Unfortunately, many founders simply don’t know how to do that. Which is why most companies need people to help them get the technology out there.
And yet, only a quarter of the business schools in the US offer even a single course on sales, let alone course work on entrepreneurial selling. As Craig Wortmann, a GrowthX Academy mentor and Clinical Professor of Entrepreneurship at University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business emphasizes, “Entrepreneurial selling is distinctly different from professional selling.” With entrepreneurial selling, “you’re learning your sales model, how you sell, who you sell to, how you do it, how you delight them. [All while] your product is still taking shape.”
But who is training smart, driven individuals to help create the next technology success story?
Even tech accelerators like 500 Startups and Y Combinator focus on teaching founders how to build products and raise money. But the reality is that in this new landscape, those skills are no longer enough. Now, more than ever, tech companies require people who have the skills and experience to help them market their product and make money.
What We’re Teaching
As a Silicon Valley-based VC fund, we at GrowthX have seen the problem first hand. We would love to have more companies in our portfolio and in our Market Acceleration Program, but if they don’t have the talent on the sales side, we can’t invite them in. That’s why we’re offering this solution.
A product and market may be unique, but the path to product-market fit (which a company must find to succeed) is not, it’s a formula. We’ve succeeded at teaching this formula to dozens of founders in our portfolio. At GrowthX Academy, we’re going to teach that formula to you.
It’s fun, it’s challenging, and it’s rewarding. And it’s never the same. It’s all about growth. You’ll call on these skills for the rest of your career.
Our students will spend most of their time working directly with real companies in Silicon Valley, solving real problems and gaining substantive, resume-building experience with companies that will need to hire to win.
You’ll form relationships with the innovators you’ll work closely with, while developing your own area of expertise, and gaining a network of likeminded peers that will grow with every academy cohort, so your professional network will continue to expand.
We’ve also put together an incredible network of professional mentors who’ve built and sold tech companies, who’ve helped shape the future of tech, and who are ready and willing to lend their expertise to help you grow both personally and professionally.
Who We’re Looking For
We’re thrilled to be inviting competitive applications from bright, sharp, motivated individuals who bring an intelligent curiosity, a record of success in whatever they’ve done, and a passion for life-long learning and collaborating. We also want people who share our core values, because we believe in being happy.
Six of the top ten reasons given for why a startup fails involve some form of misunderstanding the market and consumer need. That real-world “education” cost tech companies and investors at least $500 million in 2015. They know they need help but there is a shortage of people with the skills and experience to make an immediate impact.
If you’re already with a tech company and want to change gears, if you’re itching to get into tech but haven’t found the right opportunity, if you’ve been in the military and are looking for your next challenge, or if you just want to learn this because you’ve already got a company and can’t find anyone else to do this for you, this is your moment! And we can’t wait to learn more about you.
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