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Startups 101: New program provides 8-week institute for wannabe tech employees

Want to work for a startup but find yourself striking out at every turn? Before you send your next resume to Tumblr, Etsy or one of the other growing tech companies in New York City, you might want to take a look at the city’s new Startup Institute.

On Monday, the program formerly known as the Boston Startup School announced that it is changing its name and expanding to New York City.

“Our instructors are the entrepreneurs and professionals across the startup landscape. They teach with real world examples, and let students under the hood to learn how the startup engine really works,” co-founder Shaun Johnson told me in an email. “At the same time, they gain in-depth access to a well-vetted pool of candidates that are eager to join their company, all while evaluating the best fit potential hires throughout the program.”

Admitted students choose from one of four tracks — web development, product and design, marketing, or sales and business development — and then, over eight weeks, they learn the basics from industry professionals.

It’s not cheap – the program costs $3,750 – but Johnson said they have a 94 percent placement rate so far, with students landing jobs at startups in roles including associate business developer, senior rails developer and junior product manager.

Given the rise of Skillshare, as well as other online education sites like, Codecademy and Coursera, aspiring startup worker bees have plenty of free and low-cost options when it comes to getting help building new skills. But Johnson said that despite their value those kinds of programs don’t necessarily lead to a new job. The Startup Institute, he said, helps students build a peer network, connect with the employer community and learn new skills.

The program’s summer track tends to attract recent college grads, Johnson said, although other more advanced employees have taken the program as well. But considering the full-time commitment needed for the eight weeks, it’s not really a feasible option for a professional who wants to keep his current job while he looks for a new one.

Co-founded by the managing director of TechStars Boston, Katie Rae, the program has graduated nearly 200 students. The program declined to name New York instructors but said New York City-based Lot18 and CrowdTap had already hired some of the program’s graduates.