Teach Me How to Startup
If Mayor Bloomberg’s billions of initiatives to help boost S.T.E.M. activity in our city didn’t tip you off, New York suffers from a dearth of talented engineers. The Flatiron School, launched last year, has established itself as a coding mecca for professionals with no development experience hoping to break into the tech world and fill some of those empty coding gigs.
With a 10 percent acceptance rate, Flatiron has been pretty successful in placing applicants in jobs: Last September, 100 percent of graduates scored fulltime developer gigs at places like Conde Nast, Universal and Contently, according to Adam Enbar, the school’s cofounder.
“It’s a similar approach to Ron Conway and Yuri Milner’s deal with Y Combinator,” Collaborative Fund founder Craig Shapiro told Betabeat this afternoon, on his way to a board meeting. Mr. Shapiro, whose firm has invested in Kickstarter, Simple, TaskRabbit, and Codecademy, was referring to the blanket investment Collaborative Fund just announced–offering $50,000 a piece in all five of the startups to come out of Brooklyn Beta‘s “Summer Camp,” an incubator of sorts.
(Last January, Mr. Milner and Mr. Conway launched the Start Fund to plunk $150,000 into every new Y Combinator startup.)
Crowded into NYU’s Skirball center, the New York tech world got one step closer to developing Skynet Tuesday night at the monthly New York Tech Meetup, just one day after NYTM reached the 25,000 member mark.
“What I fell in love with was the community. I had not really had any tech in my background at all, and yet felt totally at home here,” gushed Jessica Lawrence, the managing director of NYTM, as she announced their membership accomplishments to cheers from the boisterous crowd.
Perhaps of more relevance to the future of our society—Jonathan Gottfried, a developer evangelist at Twilio, did a live demonstration of the TwilioBot 3000, a possible predecessor of assassin cyborgs. Mr. Gottfried was able to control the TwilioBot with his phone, sending it commands by typing numbers on his keypad … until he accidentally hung up on the TwilioBot.
Much to the chagrin of Ladybeat, brogramming is again in the news today, but this time with an insightful piece from Mother Jones on the sexist slip ups fledgling startups are wont to make. Buried at the bottom is an anecdote about 27-year-old Adda Birnir, who decided to start a service called Skillcrush as “an online resource for women looking to learn code and feel comfortable doing it.”
Skillcrush, which is still in its pre-launch phase, offers a set of online tutorials primarily focused on digital literacy–stuff like how to “beautify your blog,” implement ads, and create an online store–aimed at helping everyone, not just women, beef up on their tech skills.