(Sponsored) Better than Bootcamp: Building Skills and Community



Marvin Mathew is a technologist on a mission, working on Digital Engagement and Community for R/GA. Marvin is a Product & Design alumnus from Startup Institute NYC’s Fall 2014 cohort.

With a carefully curated group of students in each program, Startup Institute is a unique experience in the startup world.  The only time you’ll join a group and be apart of a similar mission from start to finish is when you come on board with the founding team and build something from scratch. Startup Institute allows you a crash course in founding something—and your product is the experiences of yourself and your cohort. You will work together with one mission, building a product against hard deadlines and knowledge gaps.

True, you’ll earn some stripes in hard skills. The web design track had learned and built in JavaScript and front-end languages. We dabbled briefly in frameworks and dove deep into wireframing, UX, and UI. These are skills you can obtain through a college or university program. You can go to GA, and you can check out any of the online academies for it. I buy into SI because they wrap these experiences around community.

Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone via Flickr cc
Open Data Institute Knowledge for Everyone via Flickr cc

At Startup Institute, you have the unique opportunity to build fast and iterate like hell. You’ll understand people and personalities better. You’ll gain some emotional intelligence and recognize how much more valuable that can be, but also how much more difficult it can be to acquire.

The people around you want to thrive, just like you. A proven drive to learn, advance, and achieve qualifies you for your seat in the room. The search for something more is what brings you together. The struggle of achieving and producing better results through SI’s curriculum is what glues you together. And all of the alcohol and time you share– well, that helps too. More important than all of this is the content of your character and the way in which you see the world.

Shaun Johnson has a knack for building incredibly cohesive environments. Startup Institute New York helped me remember that it’s not always about having the right answers. Often, it’s just about having the right people and fostering the right environment. Problems can all be solved—focus on getting the best people into the room to work on them. No, not just the brightest people, but the most empathetic, community-focused, and ethically-minded.

An investment in Startup Institute is an investment into your future. In everything SI does, the students win, the partner companies win, and SI wins. Go to Startup Institute for all the things you won’t get in just any company. Go there to move the world forward, and move your life forward. Go there for the experience of building something, together.


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