What does it mean to work with a female combat Veteran who served as an Engineering Officer (Sapper) that graduated from Wellesley College and is currently a Babson MBA candidate? It means the answer to every entrepreneurs prayers.
Courtney Wilson, Babson MBA class of 2016, just spent two weeks over her Winter vacation in Miami working with Tactivate. In that time she launched, from soup to nuts, an entire operating business, Tactivate HQ, a hybrid creative workspace environment designed to mesh local military Veterans and entrepreneurs.
If Babson College drives one point home, it is to build a team. That is sage council, but in execution, it is fundamentally among the hardest things to do and to get right in a start-up. It is the rare occasion when a macro level concept can be handed off to a new team member and taken from concept to fruition with little more than a pat on the back and a few words of encouragement. Furthermore, to have the task executed to excellence - it's is almost unheard of. More often than not, the talent start-ups can afford to bring on need to be managed due to less experience. This tends to result in more managment bandwidth on behalf of the individual(s) driving vision, micro management and a degradation of the “start-up” experience for both leaders and supporting team members. This was not the case with Courtney, or with many of the other Veterans Tactivate has had the pleasure of working with.
The second we stepped out of her way she laid out her plan, made it her own, and executed beautifully. Most refreshing, was Courtney’s perspective, attitude and overall demeanor. One thing we have experienced through Tactivate, and working with the military Special Operations Veteran community is the sense of being, an appreciation for the present and an innate and unflappable desire to drive through to execution that many Veterans exhibit. Courtney brought a levity, a positive attitude, and a ceaseless sense humor to the team - these things are invaluable in the startup arena.
Here is a woman that the Babson community introduced to us while on a quick trip to campus from Miami a few weeks ago to wrap up a student MCFE consulting project for Tactivate with an incredibly talented cohort of young Babson women and members of CWEL. After a one hour coffee meeting it was decided that in two weeks Courtney would spend her winter break launching a Tactivate project in Miami. Because of the innate camaraderie shared by fellow Babson students, and because of Courtney’s sheer badassery, she jumped on the plane and dug in based on nothing else other than a quick chat and a handshake.
Courtney accomplished an incredible amount in very short order, and with very little direction. In fact it is when we stopped providing insight that she truly soared! There is something to hiring Veterans into the start-up world, especially out of Babson. The last Babson MBA we hired into Brooklyn Boulders as General Manager is now COO of the company…. We don't know, maybe Babson should create a dedicated Veteran centric entrepreneurial track, good things seem to be happening!
In celebration of a combat Veteran who is crushing her transition and making big waves.
Tactivate is humbled to have worked with you Courtney!
Jesse Levin and the Tactivate team