Core BD & Partnerships

A 4-week part-time training program for BD & Partnerships professionals

What is the Core BD & Partnerships program?

Core BD & Partnerships is the flagship program offered by the Firneo Academy.  It is designed to provide Business Development and Partnerships professionals with tools and frameworks to:

  1. Evaluate growth opportunities to invest resources wisely
  2. Open doors faster with more effective pitches
  3. Navigate organizations and build advocates
  4. Negotiate mutually beneficial terms to drive lasting results
  5. Build stronger relationships with partners and clients
  6. Work effectively with cross-functional teams in your own organization

What will I learn in the Core BD & Partnerships program?

Topics include:

1. Value Alignment Frameworks: Learn systems to thoughtfully evaluate BD opportunities, avoid "shiny objects", and get on a viable pathway to creating long-term value for your organization.

2. Effective Pitching: Understand how to create and validate strong "value hypotheses" that open doors to start deals.

3. Getting Inside the Company Mind: Leverage principles of behavioral and organizational psychology to reveal how companies "think", how to successfully navigate organizations, and how to drive deals forward.

4. Herding Cats: Securing Resources and Getting Buy-In: Getting support from your own company is sometimes the hardest part of getting a deal to market.

5. Negotiatiating for Sustainability: Negotiating for business development is like negotiating with a spouse - you’ll need to live with them after the deal is done.  

6. Power Dynamics and Relationship Management: Knowing how to manage strong, complex relationships is the only way to make sure the deal delivers after the ink is dry.

7. The Partnership Lifecycle: Forecast a future for your deals as partnerships rarely stay a steady course - they evolve, or they die.  

How is the program structured?

Each week you'll dive deep into instructor-led lectures, interactive group discussions, and hands-on role play scenarios.  In between sessions, you'll connect with members of the Firneo community to start building your professional relationships.

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  1. Weekly in-person sessions: Participate in weekly 3-hour in-person sessions with lectures, interactive group discussions, and hands-on role play scenarios.
  2. Project work: In between weekly sessions, you'll work with your classmates on projects that cement your skills and help you build relationships with peers. 
  3. Guest speakers and mentors: Connect with guest speakers and mentors from the Firneo BD community, which include BD leaders from companies like WeWork, Facebook, Quora, Google, American Express.
  4. Join the Community: Firneo BD Academy graduates stay connected with peers across the globe as members of the Firneo BD community (Academy programs include 1-year of Firneo community membership, a $329 value). 


Who teaches the Core BD & Partnerships program?

Firneo CEO and Academy instructor, Scott Pollack

Firneo CEO and Academy instructor, Scott Pollack

Core BD & Partnerships is taught by Scott Pollack, Founder & CEO of Firneo, former VP of Business Development at WeWork, and author of What, Exactly, Is Business Development: A Primer on How Deals Get Done.

Since 2011, Scott has taught classes and workshops on Business Development and partnerships at top business schools like Wharton, UC Berkeley, and NYU Stern.  He also sold out every class as a Skillshare Master Teacher and designed the first courses on Business Development at General Assembly.

The Core BD & Partnerships program will also feature guest speakers and mentors from the Firneo BD community, which includes senior BD leaders from companies like Lyft, American Express, Quora, Facebook, and more.

Frequently Asked Questions

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How much does it cost?

Individual enrollment: $1399/person ($1295 for current Firneo members)

Team enrollment (3+ people): $1199/person ($1095 for current Firneo members)

When and where are classes held?

Weekly in-person classes are held from 6pm to 9pm ET in NYC. 

Can I take the class remotely?

At this time, Firneo Academy classes are only offered as live sessions in NYC.  

We may offer remote classes in the future.  If you are interested in Firneo Academy programs outside of NYC, please contact

Who should join the Firneo BD Academy?

Firneo BD Academy programs are designed for experienced professionals, startup founders, and others who seek to build partnerships & growth opportunities for their companies.

Do you provide job placement?

We don't provide job placement but we'll make you into someone people want to hire.

I'm interested - how do I join?

Firneo Academy programs are highly selective and limited to 15 participants.   Pleaee complete this application in order to be considered. 

Apply Now for the Fall 2018 program

Course Dates: Sept. 25th to Oct. 21st 2018

Application Deadline: September 12th, 2018

Location: NYC