Startup Institute Launches a Startup School in Chicago

July 9, 2013

10:00 am

Today, Startup Institute announced its expansion to Chicago, where an eight-week startup course will begin on October 21.

Startup Institute already runs programs in Boston and New York. Almost 300 students have graduated, and over 90 percent accepted jobs at startups. Cofounded by TechStars Boston managing director Katie Rae, the school teaches students in four tracks: web development, product and design, technical marketing, or sales and business development.

According to cofounder Shaun Johnson, the Chicago scene has boomed in the past few years and collected many of the ingredients for success. Most important to him, there is an influx of talent from local industries like finance, management, and consumer packed goods – talent that needs training.

“What the team at Startup Institute is doing fits incredibly well into the Chicago community at large,” says Troy Henikoff, managing director of TechStars Chicago. “They pull together a ton of moving pieces to make it easy for people who want to work for a startup, and solve a huge recruiting challenge for those companies as well.”

The mentors for the Chicago program will include Rick Desai, cofounder of Dashfire; Matt Younkle, cofounder and CEO of Murfie; and Brent Payne, CEO of Loud Interactive.

Although the curriculum in each city is largely the same, each Startup Institute does do some customizing. Many students in New York City are bankers with good analytical and communication skills, and Startup Institute can hone those skills toward startup analytics and marketing. To help startups in Boston, the program there puts an emphasis on customer acquisition and “technical marketing” – where marketers are taught HTML and CSS so they can carry out their marketing plans.

For $5,250, the program includes networking, lectures, group projects, individual work, and social activities. Apply here.

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact

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