Startup Institute Raised $3M Series A. Here Are the Lessons Learned



Startup Institute is a career accelerator helping individuals gain the network, mindset, and skills they need to join a startup. The full-time immersive eight-week program will help catapult students into careers in Web Development, Product and Design, Technical Marketing, or Sales and Account Management – and help them to find jobs, too.

They first opened their doors in New York a little under two years ago and have been opening doors for their students ever since. Since they’ve raised their Series A, they’re expanding. Shaun Johnson, the Institute’s cofounder and director of the New York office brings us up to date on the funding, and what’s next in the Big Plan. 

Who were your investors?

The round was led by Silicon Valley Bank.

Tell us about your service.

Startup Institute is the #1 Career Accelerator, equipping individuals with the network, skills, and mindset to make an immediate impact on the startup they join.

How is it different?

We focus on the hard AND soft skills it takes to be effective at a startup. We teach across four tracks: not only Web Development, but also Technical Marketing, Sales & Account Management, and Product Design. 

What market you are targeting and how big is it?

Growth minded individuals and companies. In many cases these are high-impact career changers and tech-enabled startups experiencing high-growth.

What’s your business model?

We have a tuition model for students and partnership models for the startups we work with.

What was the funding process like?

It was like getting new customers for the first time, all over again. 

Shaun Johnson

Shaun Johnson

What are the biggest challenges that you faced while raising capital?

Focusing on raising the capital and running the company

What factors about your business led your investors to write the check?

The team, our growth curve, and our impact (looking back and looking forward)

What are the milestones you plan to achieve in the next six months?

Graduating our first-ever Startup Institute London cohort and crossing 1,000 alumni making an impact at startups.

What advice can you offer companies in New York that do not have a fresh injection of capital in the bank?

Build a company that’s more attractive and additive with outside capital, rather than designing to be a Cinderella story…where VCs are the fairy godmothers.

What’s the most popular skill that people come to the SI to learn?

The emotional intelligence and inside knowhow that’s necessary and unique to thrive in a startup.

Where do you plan on expanding to next?

Markets that we feel we can add the most value.

Where do you see the company going now over the near term?

We’ll continue to serve the New York tech community deeply. There is a ton of potential right here. The best thing we can do is be all in wherever we can help. 

Speaking of courses, what’s your favorite lunch spot in NYC?

Mighty Quinn’s…especially their location at Hudson Eats; our team loves the Brontosaurus Rib there.

About the author: AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch is the destination for startup news; opinions and reviews; investment and product information; events reported, experienced, seen, heard and overheard here in New York. But it’s who we are that makes us different: we’re the writers and the entrepreneurs; the investors and the mentors; the lawyers and the marketers; the realtors and the recruiters – the people who work in the industry.

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