Startup Institute Closes $3 Million in Series A Financing, Expanding Operations in the U.S. and Internationally

Company news  |  September 15, 2014

Partnership with Silicon Valley Bank Helps Innovation Companies Scale with Startup-Savvy Talent

BOSTON and SANTA CLARA, CA, September 16, 2014 –Startup Institute, an immersive career accelerator geared toward cultivating startup-savvy talent, today announced a partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and an investment by SVB* of $3 million in the company to support worldwide expansion of offices and programs. The partnership will help high-growth companies in the innovation sector find qualified candidates to scale their businesses.

Startup Institute launched its first program in 2012 to help startups find employees who could help their companies grow. The founders, including Katie Rae, founder of Startup Institute and Chairman of Techstars Boston, observed startup candidates had the "hard" skills, but failed to contribute when hired by startups because they were disoriented and failed to understand how high growth innovative companies work.  The founding team thought this was a fixable problem and sought to create a talent pipeline for high-growth startups.

"In any Startup Community there are a series of interconnected engines that are crucial for success—talent is perhaps the least well-understood, and the hardest to scale…There is magic in the [Startup Institute] program: the graduates arrive on the job with a mindset and pace that gives them an immediate positive impact," said David Cohen, Founder and CEO of Techstars.

According to an annual study by Silicon Valley Bank, while 77% of innovation companies globally reported plans to hire in 2014, 91% said it is extremely or somewhat challenging to find workers with the skills they need. About 60% said their biggest challenges in hiring are related to experience, skills and education. The Technology Council of North America con-ducted a survey finding 69% of the 1,700 tech executives surveyed cite talent as a top barrier to their company's future growth.

For workers, developing new skills is also significant. Reports in the New York Times, Gallup Workplace Report and Businessweek, have cited 70% of people are disengaged, or actually "hate" their jobs and 50% of college students were un- or underemployed upon graduation.  Together the needs of the innovation sector and the potential workforce demand a solution.

"Through our experience and research, we know first-hand that one of the biggest challenges facing the global innovation economy is developing the talent to support growth," said Claire Lee, Managing Director for Silicon Valley Bank. "Since we are continuously looking for ways to help increase innovation companies' probability of success, working with Startup Institute to address this problem is a natural fit. It gives students an on-ramp into the startup world, as well as the skills to succeed, while providing startups with access to an expanding workforce to help them scale. Perfect."

Today, Startup Institute has schools in Boston, Chicago, New York, London and Berlin, and recently launched a part-time, hard-skills-focused, RampUp program.

"The response to our institutes across the startup communities has been humbling," said Katie Rae, Co-Founder and Chairman of Startup Institute. "The demand for this style of education has been incredible from both students and startup teams. Growth into new markets was inevitable, and our strategic partnership with Silicon Valley Bank means we can accelerate our development of new programs and our expansion into multiple new locations in both the US and internationally."

Startup Institute is also announcing the establishment of a scholarship program for 2015 designed to assist women, minorities who are under-represented in tech and innovation fields, and military veterans who want to participate in the Startup Institute curriculum. Scholarships will be applied for new applicants enrolled in the full-time programs starting in October.

Joan Parsons, Executive Vice President for Silicon Valley Bank, also joined the Startup Insti-tute board of directors, beginning in August 2014.

Notes to editors:
*The $3 million Series A investment was made by SVB Financial Group, the holding compa-ny of Silicon Valley Bank.
1. The Technology Council of North America surveyed 1,700 tech executives and found 69% cited talent as a major barrier to future growth. Summary was published by Dennis McCaffety on CIO Insights
2. The Associated Press reported one in two college graduates were jobless; this stat was later published and summarized by many, including Lily Altavena on The Choice, a column in the New York Times
3. Gallup's 2013 Workplace Report cities 70% of American workers surveyed are disen-gaged with their job. This report was later summarized and reported on by many sources.

About Startup Institute

Startup Institute is the #1 immersive career accelerator, offering transformative educational experiences for career changers and recent grads that combine hard skills with cultural acu-men to drastically increase the velocity and impact of startup employees throughout their career. Startup Institute cultivates the human capital high-growth companies need to succeed.

About Silicon Valley Bank

Banking the world's most innovative companies and exclusive wineries, SVB offers diverse financial services, knowledge, global networks, and world class service to increase our cli-ents' probability of success. With more than $33 billion in assets and more than 1,700 em-ployees, we provide commercial, international and private banking through our locations around the world. Forbes Magazine ranks us among America's Best Banks and Fortune named SVB one of the best places to work. (Nasdaq: SIVB)

Silicon Valley Bank is the California bank subsidiary and the commercial banking operation of SVB Financial Group. Banking services are provided by Silicon Valley Bank, a member of the FDIC and the Federal Reserve System.