Neal Sales-Griffin decided in 2010 to leave one of the best jobs he said he’s ever had – a founder-in-residence at a venture capital firm – to fulfill a desire to pursue three things: solve problems, make things and have fun while doing it.
One year later, his pursuit led to the founding of The Starter League, a Chicago web development and design school.
On Oct. 11 at Thinc Iowa 2012, Sales-Griffin shared the story of how his personal goal to build a web application led to the creation of an educational institution that when launched attracted interest around the world.
“When we put up the site, something amazing happened … not only did people apply from all over the country, they applied from all over the world,” Sales-Griffin said.
Within a month’s time, 88 people applied ready to pay The Starter League’s $6,000 tuition. Instead of accepting just 12 – the intended enrollment – The Starter League took 35.
“When you have 88 people that want to pay you $6,000 for a program, what do you do?” Sales-Griffin asked the audience. “You take more people!”
For its next class, it took 56. Its next: 80. And this past summer: 93.
“We’ve been growing and growing and growing,” Sales-Griffin said, “and that’s not by our choice, but almost by demand because we had so many people that wanted to go through this program.”
To hear Sales-Griffin’s Thinc Iowa talk in its entirety, see the video above. For more from Sales-Griffin at the conference, see our story: “Neal Sales-Griffin: Solving problems, making things and having fun“.
Neal Sales-Griffin is currently the founder and CEO of The Starter League, a beginner web design and development school in Chicago. Neal has worked and consulted with numerous startups and not-for-profits across Chicago. He has had the privilege of working with OCA Ventures and Sandbox Industries, two prominent venture firms in Chicago. Neal also serves as a board member of the Chicago chapter of International Game Developers Association.
About Thinc Iowa
Thinc Iowa is now Big Des Moines, part of The Big Series, a trio of events produced by Silicon Prairie News. The Big Series in 2013 will include the inaugural Big Kansas City in March, Big Omaha in May and Big Des Moines in October. Stay tuned for announcements regarding all three.
Credits: Video by Event1 Video.
Thinc Iowa 2012 Video Series presented by Iowa Economic Development
Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) is dedicated to supporting innovation by connecting entrepreneurs with resources and development opportunities in Iowa. It salutes the founders of today and tomorrow; encouraging ideas that will invigorate a new economy. Please visit iowaeconomicdevelopment.com for more information on how IEDA can help your business ideas come to life.