Fresh off blowing up Mitt Romney’s tax scheme spot on the opening track of Cruel Summer, Kanye West must have decided it was safe to take his eye off the throne for a minute. We hear the rapper dropped by General Assembly’s East campus at 902 Broadway today to meet with a startup. “He was just there. He was in the classroom,” an entrepreneur stationed in the coworking space told Betabeat. “He didn’t have many people with him and was just in the front. I think he was in the classroom most of the morning.”
We first noticed the sighting via a tweet from Matthew Witheiler, principal at Flybridge Capital Partners. Alex Taub, head of biz dev at Dwolla, also tweeted about the surprise guest–and his stylish wardrobe choice. Another venture capitalist, Nikhil Kalghatgi at Softbank Ventures, used the social network to express his disbelief. Meanwhile, student developer Chevon Christie was bummed to have missed the whole thing.
Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
Between General Assembly setting up shop in London and poaching New York tech loyalist Courtney Boyd Myers as director of audience development, we might as well rename Shoreditch “Silicon Alley East.”
All of your old friends with be across the pond this Friday, as well as a très chic new one: Valentine Uhovski, Tumblr’s head of fashion, who replaced controversial fashion director Richard Tong. (Technically, Mr. Uhovski’s title is “Fashion Evangelist,” because of course.)
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Entrepreneur’s Roundtable (which spawned the Read More
Teach Me How to Startup
Back in February, Betabeat introduced you to The Yard, a freshly-opened coworking space in Williamsburg that we minted the “General Assembly of Brooklyn.” Turns out we’re psychic, because today The Yard announced that–just like its Manhattan competitor, GA–it will be offering continuing education courses in subjects like programming and biz dev, beginning this fall. All at “Brooklyn prices,” no less!
“We really want to cultivate a culture here that is cutting edge and innovative and collaborative,” Andy Smith, The Yard’s PR and curriculum coordinator, told Betabeat by phone. “It seems like now that we’re at a point where we are full, we can sort of branch out and extend our efforts to other aspects to cultivate that culture. Educational initiatives seemed like the next natural step.”
General Assembly, the 19-month-old tech entrepreneurship hub just north of Union Square, has been hosting classes at pubs in London as far back as February. (Startup Burger night, anyone?) But today the school has announced the “official” opening of its first campus outside New York in the central neighborhood of Clerkenwell.
Shipping Up To Boston
General Assembly, the New York-based startup school for technology and design that announced its expansion to Boston just last week, is planning to open a second international campus, this time in the burgeoning tech belly of Berlin. G.A. is teaming up with Deutsche Telekom, a German telecommunications company, to create a co-working office and host classes, according to Business Insider. The campus will launch this summer.
Berlin has drummed up attention in recent months for its “punk rock” startup scene, and has birthed some pretty big-name startups, like audio-sharing service Soundcloud. So it makes sense that Berlin would be G.A.’s next target–though the city did rank pretty low on Startup Genome’s list of top 25 startup hubs. Perhaps G.A. can help Berlin claw its way past that #17 ranking.
Goooood Morning Silicon Alley!
Looks like the scuttlebutt is fact and General Assembly is expanding to the frigid north. The Boston Globe reports that in June, the tech-campus-cum-coworking-space will launch classes based in the Cambridge Innovation Center, in Kendall Square. Conveniently, the area is also home to a massive talent pool in the form of MIT. We wonder if those Tetris kids are cooking up some kind of startup.
General Assembly hasn’t announced the classes to be offered, but cofounder Adam Pritzker told the Globe that the initial schedule will be arranged by a New York producer and that they’ll likely soon hire a local. In his comments to the paper, Mr. Pritzker was already evangelizing GA to the locals:
the startup rundown
This is a guest post from Gary Sharma (aka “The Guy with the Red Tie”), founder and CEO of GarysGuide and proud owner of a whole bunch of black suits, white shirts and, at last count, over 40 red ties. You can follow him at @garysguide and reach him at gary [at] garysguide.com.
Want to hang out with former President Bill Clinton? Well of course you do! He will be in town this week to talk about his Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) at the Sustainable Operations Summit.
Funders & Founders are organizing an event called “Love, Sex, and Tech,” an 800-person dating startup show on Apr 19 in San Francisco. Now, whenever one encounters the words love, sex and tech in the same sentence in an event title the obvious next step is to go check them out, right?
Internet Week NY, that annual week-long geek fest celebrating NYC’s thriving internet industry & community, is coming up soon (May 14-21). So hurry up and go grab your Insider / HQ Pass and get ready to party!
Okay, and now let’s see what glorious tech events are happening in the Alley this week…
The Education of NY Tech
2×2^2. April 16 is officially 4sqDay in New York and over a dozen other cities around the country. The fan-created social media holiday’s official celebration will begin at 7 p.m. at The Caulfield. Check out the community blog and RSVP here.
CAPITAL IDEA. General Assembly is bringing back “Assembled Capital,” an all day event dedicated to getting startups funded. The $200 (plus a $4.97 fee) to get in is a bit steep, but breakfast, lunch and booze are totally included! The event will include talks, panels and plenty of elbow-rubbing time with the like of Squarespace’s Anthony Casalena, TechStars NYC’s David Tisch, Charlie O’Donnell of Brooklyn Bridge Ventures, Shane Snow of Contently and many others.
AIRbnFREE. Airbnb is teaming up with Thrillist and sponsoring Tour de Thrillist, a bicoastal race to discover all that LA, Vegas, Austin, Philly and of course NYC have to offer. Up for grabs is a five-destination trip and free Airbnb accommodations. Cross your fingers and enter the sweepstakes here.
Back in December, Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine announced he would be teaching a six-week class geared toward developers, assisted by Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche, on the popular, powerful and lightweight scripting language and framework known as Ruby on Rails. The price, $2,800 a student, was on solid middle ground in the range of Ruby class pricing, but some local Rubyists sneered at the high price tag for a language that many learn on their own.
The class, held at General Assembly, filled up immediately anyway. Now that it’s over, Mr. Doubrovkine took some time to reflect. Between lesson planning and grading, he estimated he worked on the class for 117 hours in total. He decided to use the experience to make a case for learning Ruby in the classroom and last week hosted one of the most well-attended NYC.rb meetups to date, called “Crafting a Ruby on Rails Course for Developers,” in which he outlined his methods for creating the curriculum.