Why does GrowthX Academy cost $15,000? It’s a fair question that we get asked by prospective students, and we hope everyone is thinking critically about their career options. I had to make the same type of decision when I was in my twenties.

What helped me make the right decision was questioning the value versus the cost.

I had been working for a year on what would eventually become Match.com. But, at the time, we were struggling to get traction and I needed a Plan B.  Naturally, I considered business school (there was nothing available like GrowthX Academy). I applied and was accepted at the University of Chicago, one of the top MBA programs in the country.

This is the framework that I developed that helped me decline the traditional path of a top MBA in favor of pursuing my dream to be in tech. This framework includes five parts – facts, mindset/beliefs, coaching on personal brand, providing many choices for hiring, and a lifetime community – and I will share each of them with you in the context of GrowthX Academy.


Any educational program transfers a set of facts from faculty to students. Many people focus on what facts are you going to learn?  When looking at MBA programs, they all seemed to cover similar topics so this was a tough area to compare.  

GrowthX Academy’s three tracts have been designed by entrepreneurs with the specialized skills of entrepreneurial selling, growth marketing, and UX Design.  We are also pulling in curriculum from our mentor network.  This network represents some of the most talented people in the industry.  I would argue that, while the facts are amazing, it is the least valuable of the five areas offered.


More than the individual facts, each teacher brings to bear a mindset and belief system.  This is where the excellence of the teacher comes into play.  Even if the MBA programs had the exact same topics, the abilities of the different faculty determine what is emphasized.

GrowthX’s team has tremendous experience.  We look for the intersection of two skills that don’t always come packaged together.  First, every instructor has street cred.  We have all built companies and worked at startups, both successful and “learning opportunities.” Equally as important, we are great teachers.  Every person on the faculty has a give-back-to-the-world attitude.  We can all choose from many opportunities, but have chosen to give back to the next generation of company builders and startup founders.  We know what it takes to make companies grow and can instill this mindset into our students.


Each MBA school I looked at had a brand halo that would attach to me, and offered coaching on how to create a personal brand.  This is where programs really began to separate themselves.  This is why Harvard MBA has such a low acceptance rate. People want to be associated with their brand.  The best programs also focused significant effort on helping students with their resume and interviewing.  They know that once a student is accepted, the student’s image affects the college’s brand.

GrowthX Academy devotes a significant amount of time and resources to helping each student develop their personal and professional brand. We have a student success coordinator that tracks activities around each student creating a personal brand on social media. Andrew, our co-founder, was the Publisher of Reuters News and Stacy, our head of media, has spent over 20 years as a journalist and producer. In the age of information, blogging has replaced the resume. We use our expertise to teach students how to create online content that builds their reputation. We also teach students how to boost each other’s content so that 1 + 1 = 5.  Each person is taught how to present in front of group and has weekly opportunities to get better.  Every action you take communicates, and we want that communication to take your career to the next level.


The different MBA programs provide vastly different career opportunities based on their location and reputations.  I would ask things about average salary exiting and which companies and industries were the jobs in.  One program I looked at had a high number of students from family owned businesses.  They were all going back to work in the family business, so their starting salaries would not reflect the kind of offer I would receive.

GrowthX Academy has been launched out of a VC fund.  This gives us a tremendous network of companies that we have invested in, looked at, and have influence with.  Layer on top of that the companies connected through our mentor network, and the opportunities are plentiful.  I personally have invested in over 160 companies in the last 3 years.  Beyond the numbers is our reputation.

GrowthX’s motto is “Help is our due diligence.”

One question we almost always ask is “How can we be helpful?”  This is before we invest, because we know that entrepreneurs have a tough road to walk and we care.

At GrowthX Academy, you will spend most of your time working directly with real companies in Silicon Valley, solving real problems. You’ll work closely with innovators who are hiring, developing your own areas of expertise and building relationships based on helping them (and that’s always more impressive than just talking during an interview).


Beyond what you learn when getting an MBA, a big benefit pitched potential students is the alumni network.  Do they open doors for you long after you graduate, or are you forgotten as soon as your final payment clears? Top tier schools take this promise very seriously and deliver a framework to connect their alumni beyond graduation.

GrowthX, from the very beginning, has focused on the people involved and creating value for each other.  We refer to it as a Trust-Network. It’s a community of people who share the view that entrepreneurs shouldn’t have to leave their hometowns to build great companies.

We’re working to level the playing field and enable every city, state, region and country to harness home-grown innovation to fuel economic growth and foster change around the world. GrowthX Academy is at the center of that mission.

We want to be doing business with our graduates over the next decade and beyond.  Otherwise we are all leaving tremendous value on the table.  I still interact with founders and investors that I met the first month I moved to Silicon Valley over ten years ago. Part of the reason for a 12-week immersive program is that building personal connections takes time.  From the beginning we teach everyone how to network and add value to other people’s lives.  Doing this in a sincere way is what separates a GrowthX Insider from others who behave transactionally.

Is going to a full-time program to up your game expensive? You better believe it. The real question is what is the ROI in terms of future earning potential.  We know that GrowthX Academy can make a meaningful difference in the right person’s life.  That person needs to be self motivated and have a track record of accomplishing what they set out to do.  We welcome that kind of person and we will take you to the next level.  At the end of the process you will be joining a worldwide network of humans dedicated to changing the world forever through bringing life changing technology to market, you will step into a non-tech role at a tech company and begin making a meaningful difference from day one.

The question is whether you think the value of all of that is worth at least $15,000.