We draw upon cognitive psychology and social cognition theories to develop a model of practical intelligence, its antecedents, and its role in the early growth phase of entrepreneurship. The model was tested through interviews with 22 printing industry CEOs and responses from 283 founders of early-stage printing and graphics businesses. Related venture and industry experience and 2 learning orientations interacted to predict practical intelligence. In turn, practical intelligence interacted with growth goals to predict higher venture growth across 4 years.