Deals

Flatiron School pulls in $5.5M to train the next generation of coders

New York City's Flatiron building, from which the Flatiron School derives its name.

Above: New York City's Flatiron building, from which the Flatiron School derives its name.

Hacker bootcamps are hot.

The unaccredited institutions may have raised the ire of California’s regulators, but it’s been smooth sailing for learn-to-code programs here on the East Coast. That group includes New York City’s Flatiron School, which today announced $5.5 million in new funding to propel coding newbies into programming jobs.

Flatiron intends to use the funds to create “the best vocational school in New York,” investing heavily in teacher training and experimenting with different course models. The school focuses on the fundamentals — the language, not the frameworks — said Flatiron Dean Avi Flombaum.

“We believe that the best way to learn how to use something is to learn how that thing is built, so rather then teach Ruby on Rails right away, we focus on Ruby and move up levels of abstraction until our students have built all the components of Rails,” Flombaum told VentureBeat.

Applicants don’t need any prior experience to apply to Flatiron’s 12-week iOS or Ruby development courses, but the school demands an intense desire to learn — and that begins before day one of class with 150 hours of pre-work. Once class starts, it’s full-time: 9 AM to 6 PM, Monday through Friday.

Flatiron costs $12,000 in tuition (though you get a $4,000 refund if you accept a position from one of Flatiron’s employer partners). Flatiron also offers grants and scholarships for women and minorities.

Asked what separates Flatiron School from hacker bootcamps like General Assembly and App Academy, Flatiron president Adam Enbar deflected, saying the most important thing is finding top-notch, inspiring teachers.

“In this industry, nobody cares whether you went to one school over the other,” Enbar told VentureBeat. “All that matters is whether you can do the work. And the best way to learn that is to have a great teacher.” 

More than 98 percent of Flatiron alumni found a job after graduation, according to the company, with no one receiving a starting salary lower than $70,000. Flatiron’s employer partners include The New York Times, Boeing, Shutterstock, and Constant Contact.

CRV and Matrix Partners co-led the $5.5 million funding in Flatiron, which featured additional participation from Box Group and angel investors.

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