General Assembly is opening a second campus across the street from its current glass-and-wood-panel startup kingdom at 902 Broadway in the Flatiron, Business Insider reports, in a 10,000 square foot space divided into six classrooms and a common area. The new space on the third floor at 915 Broadway—zipline not included, @GA says—will be dedicated to the ever-expanding catalog of business, design, marketing classes and general internet interest classes offered at the Silicon Alley hub. The GA office will also set up a home there.
the startup rundown
GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Besides that $2,800 Ruby class, General Assembly is ramping up its curriculae big time with classes on everything from how to use Twitter to starting up in China. The campus is also hunting for teachers. “Want to teach at General Assembly? Get in touch by completing the form here.”
HIRING. As activity marketplace SideTour prepares to leave the TechStars offices for greener pastures this Friday, the startup has officially started hiring for a lead engineer and “host development manager.” Business Insider is looking for a biz dev intern.
The Education of NY Tech
Last week, Art.sy tech lead Daniel Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise a new six-week Ruby course he’s co-teaching at General Assembly. “Forgive me for shameless advertising. I am teaching a RoR for Developers class @ GeneralAssemb.ly in January,” he wrote. Innocuous enough, but some members of the Ruby community took umbrage at the pricetag: $2,800. “Any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”
$2,800 sounds high when compared to instructional Ruby Meetups and Skillshare classes in the $0-$50 range. Ruby Nuby is a free collaborative meetup / support group for aspiring Rubyists; local Rubyist and DesignerPages chief product office Avi Flombaum is making a neat little side gig out of teaching a $35 class on Ruby basics on Skillshare; he charges $800 for the five-week version. Free resources like Learn Ruby the Hard Way abound.
Still, the $2,800 General Assembly class, “Rails for Developers,” is already sold out.
Art.sy’s Daniel Doubrovkine and Pivotal Labs’s Dimitri Roche are teaching a six-week class on Ruby on Rails at General Assembly for $2,800. When Mr. Doubrovkine took to the NYC-rb mailing list to advertise, he was surprised by the pushback. “I don’t want to put you down or sound like a jerk but any programmer should be able to learn Rails without paying $2,800,” wrote Rubyist Kfir Shay. “Documentation is excellent, free online resources are plenty, community is strong etc.”
Considering a move to the West Coast, but not sure if you should do it due to all the Alley-boosting blog posts in Betabeat and your Tumblr feed? Here’s an Alley-to-Valley success story for you. TopGuest, a New York startup that launched in the beginning of 2010 to add social and mobile features to consumer loyalty programs, just had its big exit: an acquisition by San Francisco-based global customer service software company ezRez for an undisclosed sum.
CEO Geoff Lewis moved out to California with his two co-founders about a year ago to work on TopGuest, which raised $2 million and sported Peter Thiel as an advisor and Silicon Valley all-stars Keith Rabois and Ron Conway as angel investors, according to AllThingsD.
The small talk sounded heavy as Betabeat stopped by the beer counter last night at General Assembly’s Demo Night. “We just A/B test, A/B test” one young gentleman explained to his companion. “Meetings and meetings,” a young lady said to hers. Thankfully the younguns had a few hours of respite from the pressures of Read More
the startup rundown
STYLECASTER RAISES FUNDS. “Announced today, we’ve raised $1 million in a small bridge round, in order to bring in Facebook, MySpace and Zynga veterans as investors… we’re going to completely revamp our flagship site StyleCaster.com, and offer new, even more social products and features.”
GENERAL ASSEMBLY DEMO NIGHT. Is tonight (and $10, why?)
NEW WORK CITY. Hit 100 members.
WEWORK LABS. Has an important announcement to make tonight about the future of the coworking space. (We hear it’s good news.)
New School Learning
If you click over to the General Assembly website these days you will find a new section for video classes under the heading Hybrid Education. It’s the most robust online learning efforts GA has introduced so far, and gives a taste of the way they will be deploying the $4 million they raised earlier this year from folks like Yuri Milner and Jeff Bezos.
So far there are two courses online, Introduction to Web APIs and Forming Your Startup. They are on the short side, 45 minutes and a little under half and hour. The lesson on Web APIs is the sort of tutorial you might image finding on a Khan Academy. The course on forming your own startup, with Adam Dinow, an attorney at Wilson Sonsini, is a uniquely GA product, covering the legal intricacies and tax advantages of forming an LLC versus a C Corp. with the upbeat zeal of web tutorial.
INSIDE VOICES. Someone has complained about General Assembly members making noise in the elevator! An email went out to coworking residents this afternoon, subject: “Courtesy to our neighbors in 902,” from cofounder Matthew Brimer, which a resident forwarded to Betabeat:
We’ve been getting a number of complaints from other tenants in the building regarding inappropriate language and behavior of some members of our community. We were sad to hear it.
Keep in mind that we share 902 Broadway with hundreds of other working professionals, so please be mindful of this and make an extra effort to be polite and courteous when in the elevators and lobby.
On a related note — we have access to the building’s freight elevator (accessible on 21st between Broadway and Park), which is oftentimes a faster and less crowded means of getting to and from the 4th floor. Feel free to use it during daytime hours.
The GA Team
Bummerzone! But Betabeat reached out to three GA residents, none of whom had any idea what the email was in reference to. “I’m surprised by it,” said one resident. “I’ve never noticed untoward behavior in common building areas or even in GA really.” He added, referring to the Canadian record label that has an office in the building: “I bet it was actually Nickelback and they’re just trying to pin it on GA.” Another resident was just as stumped. “I was confused too,” he said. “Have no idea.” And three makes a trend: “I’m sure just some old lady complained,” said a former resident.
the startup rundown
FITOCRACY GOES FREEMIUM. Fitocracy, now a year old, just announced a subscription plan for $4.99 a month. Subscribers get unlockable titles, the ability to copy workouts, greater visibility in the stream and early access to new features.
YOUNG NYTM. Tonight’s New York Tech Meetup will feature the annual spotlight on demos from college students and faculty. Here’s the lineup: BodyJam, Commons, Grafighters, Codecademy, Lewis Dots, PlayPower, Hacker League, LoCreep, AdRunner, MidiPHON, Bluefin Labs, Upod, Imaginary Marching Band. At the 92nd Street Y. But if you go you will miss Ben Lerer talking about the story of Thrillist at General Assembly.