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Silicon Valley in the Classroom: Babson College Teams with Wildcat Venture Partners and GreenFig to Offer Fall Courses that Tap Real-World Venture Expertise to Help Budding Tech Entrepreneurs Succeed

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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.”

 

SOURCE Wildcat Venture Partners

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Wirex Launches Enhanced Cryptoback™

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Today, payments platform Wirex launched a supercharged update of their revolutionary Cryptoback™ rewards programme. Customers can now earn up to 1.5% back in Bitcoin on Wirex Visa card purchases.

Released in 2018, Cryptoback™ was the world’s first rewards programme that paid out 0.5% in cryptocurrency for all in-store spending with the Wirex Visa card. Thanks to the recent launch of the Wirex Token (WXT), customers can now triple the amount of BTC they earn – making investing in cryptocurrency easier than ever before.

Depending on the amount of WXT held, in-store Wirex card purchases now generate up to 1.5% in Bitcoin. There are three levels of crypto rewards available:

  • 500,000 WXT = 1.5% Cryptoback™
  • 100,000 WXT = 1.0% Cryptoback™
  • 50,000 WXT = 0.75% Cryptoback™

Wirex have calculated that the average UK consumer stands to earn more than £300 in Cryptoback™ every year, just by using their Wirex Visa card for day-to-day spending. Unlike many other cashback programmes, Wirex doesn’t impose restrictions on what customers can do with their rewards. Cryptoback™ can be redeemed instantly into their Bitcoin accounts, or quickly and easily exchanged into fiat for spending.

Enhanced Cryptoback™ is just one of the ways that holding Wirex Tokens allows customers to get even more out of their account. They can also enjoy heavily discounted fees based on the same structure, with access to premium products, merchant offers and airport lounges coming soon. As Wirex co-founder Pavel Matveev explains:

“We created the Wirex Token to be something that provides tangible value and benefits for holders beyond its market trajectory. Enhanced Cryptoback™ is the perfect example of this, as it allows customers to earn and invest in digital currency with a minimum of fuss. We’re looking forward to introducing even more benefits for WXT holders soon.”

 

SOURCE Wirex

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Aegis Capital Corp. is pleased to announce its commitment to Equity Research

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Aegis Capital Corp. continues to expand its equity research platform with the addition of Benjamin Zucker and James Jang. Benjamin joined in May 2019 as Head of Specialty Finance and James joined in June 2019 to head up the Maritime & Special Situations. These new coverage areas will bolster Aegis’ existing research footprint in the Internet/TMT and Healthcare sectors.

Mr. Zucker joined Aegis from BTIG LLC, where he was a Director and lead analyst covering Mortgage REITs and real estate finance companies. Prior to BTIG, Mr. Zucker was a Vice President at JMP Securities LLC where he covered similar sectors. Benjamin began his career in equity research at Pritchard Capital Partners. At Aegis, Mr. Zucker’s coverage will span across several Specialty Finance sub-sectors including Mortgage REITs, Equity REITs, Business Development Companies (BDCs) and Financial Technology firms (FinTech). Benjamin’s current coverage list includes: Medalist Diversified REIT (MDRR), Sachem Capital Corp. (SACH), and Saratoga Investment Corp. (SAR).

Mr. Jang joined Aegis from Maxim Group LLC, where he was a Senior Vice President and lead analyst covering the Industrials, Infrastructure and Clean-Technology sectors. Previously, Mr. Jang was a senior analyst at Sidoti & Co. covering furniture and textiles and was an equity research associate at Canaccord Genuity covering Maritime and Upstream E&P companies. Since joining, Mr. Jang has expanded Aegis’ research platform into the Agriculture, Oilfield Services, and Industrial Technology sectors with coverage of Profire Energy (PFIE), Marrone Bio Innovations (MBII), Yield10 Bioscience (YTEN) and Sigma Labs (SGLB).

Michael Pata Aegis’ Head of Business Development commented: “Hiring Benjamin and James continues to show Aegis’ commitment to equity research, which brings institutional quality analysis to the small and mid-cap universe.”

 

SOURCE Aegis Capital

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LexinFintech Announces US$300 Million Private Placement of Convertible Notes with PAG

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LexinFintech Holdings Ltd. (NASDAQ: LX) (“Lexin” or the “Company”), a leading fintech platform for educated young adults in China, today announced that it has entered into a convertible note purchase agreement with PAG, a leading Asia-focused private equity firm with over US$30 billion in capital under management, pursuant to which the Company will issue and sell convertible notes in an aggregate principal amount of US$300 million to PAG through a private placement. The private placement is subject to satisfaction of customary closing conditions and is expected to close on or around September 16, 2019. The gross proceeds raised from this placement will be approximately US$296.4 million.

The convertible notes will mature in seven years, bearing interest at a rate of 2.0% per annum. The notes will be convertible into fully paid Class A ordinary shares of the Company or ADSs at a conversion price of US$14 per ADS at the holder’s option from the date that is six months after the issuance date.  The holder of the notes will have the right to require the Company to repurchase for cash all or any portion of the notes on the fourth anniversary of the issuance date.

At closing, the Company will appoint to its Board of Directors one person designated by PAG.

Mr. Jay Wenjie Xiao, Founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Company, said, “We are excited to have PAG as our new investor. This investment will enable Lexin to further develop and enhance our consumption-based ecosystem, improve product offerings to our educated adult customers, continue to invest in technology, build up additional consumption scenarios, and provide more consumer benefits to our customers.”

“PAG has a strong commitment to and deep understanding of China’s financial services industry, and we have a demonstrated track record of seeking out and engaging with the industry’s leading companies,” said PAG Chairman & CEO Weijian Shan. “Lexin has an unparalleled platform for meeting young consumers’ credit needs while strictly controlling and minimizing credit risks, which makes it unique, and we are looking forward to supporting the company as it embarks on its next stage of growth.”

Goldman Sachs (Asia) L.L.C., BofA Merrill Lynch and China Renaissance acted as the private placement agents to Lexin on the transaction.

 

SOURCE LexinFintech Holdings Ltd.

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