February 14, 2013
General Assembly cofounder Matt Brimer is not just building a company; he and his team are building a grassroots community around startups and entrepreneurship. General Assembly is a network of campuses for technology, business, and design instruction – teaching the more practical and user-ready skills needed to launch a company.
As Matt puts it, the recession reduced the opportunity cost for people who were considering starting a company of their own. The resulting increase in people who need to learn how to run a successful business led Matt and his team to offer an environment where students could learn directly from practitioners, for an applicable skillset they could apply immediately to their work.
According to Matt, there is “a gap between where a traditional, liberal arts, college education leaves off, and where the 21st century begins.”
General Assembly looks to fill this gap by providing a “trade school for the new economy,” where skills like UX design, web development, and negotiation tactics are taught.
Originally launched as a co-working space, General Assembly has evolved into a global learning ecosystem. The organization has campuses in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Berlin, Hong Kong, London, and Sydney, with plans to expand to Las Vegas later this year.
General Assembly recently raised a Series B round of funding, to the tune of $9.8 million, from Tony Hsieh of Vegas TechFund, John Fisher, Mousse Partners, and previous investors Maveron, Bezos Expeditions, and Tom Vander Ark.
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