Accelerating Entrepreneurship

John Butler ’52, P’84, and his wife, Alice

John Butler ’52, P’84, and his wife, Alice

At Babson, participants in the John E. and Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator develop financial projections, create marketing plans, and explore strategies to grow their businesses.

One thousand miles west, in Dubuque, Iowa, John Butler ’52, P’84, is working on the same issues at Cottingham & Butler, the insurance business that his great-grandfather founded in 1887 and that John now oversees as executive chairman.

In 2011, Butler and his wife, Alice, made a generous gift to support the Venture Accelerator, which is housed in The Arthur M. Blank Center for Entrepreneurship and serves more than 300 undergraduate and graduate students. The program provides young entrepreneurs with faculty advisers, workshops, and open lab space to help them launch and grow their businesses.

Butler supports this hallmark Babson program because the College has given him so much, including a wonderful life with Alice, who was studying at Wellesley College when they met. Babson also gave him the tools to grow his family’s insurance firm from three employees in 1957 to now 460 employees across the country.

The Butlers are proud to support other entrepreneurs as they work to grow their businesses. “Alice and I are very enthusiastic about the Accelerator and the students who are taking part in it,” says Butler. “We believe entrepreneurship has a positive impact on society, and we are delighted to help cultivate it among today’s students.”