Learn from successful entrepreneurs, designers, programmers, and investors.


Learn from experts who practice what they preach every day. You'll be learning theory distilled through years of experience as your teachers help you build the product you know needs to exist.

Thumb Troy Henikoff

Troy is the Managing Director of TechStars Chicago. His last 25 years have been spent starting, running and advising early stage technology companies including SurePayroll, OneWed, Amacai and Jellyvision. See more

Thumb Daniel Lopes

Developer and designer for Lantern, The Starter League's homegrown classroom management tool. He has 13 years of experience in User Interface, User Experience, Visual Design and Backend development. See more

Thumb Carolyn Chandler

User Experience director at Manifest Digital, Carolyn co-wrote the book A Project Guide to UX Design, speaks at design conferences year-round, and is an active member of the Chicago design community. See more

Thumb Mig Reyes

Mig spends his days as a designer at Basecamp, where he focuses on crafting clear, beautiful websites. By night, he writes, teaches, mentors, and organizes events for the Chicago design community. See more

Thumb Scott Robbin

Scott is the principal at Robbin & Co. and a member of Weightshift. He is a JavaScript plugin developer, open government enthusiast, and teaches HTML and CSS at The Starter League. See more

Thumb Arjun Venkataswamy

Arjun is a former high school teacher who brings research experience in human-computer interaction together with practical experience from the classroom. He teaches Web Development at The Starter League. See more

Thumb Neal Sales-Griffin

Neal is the co-founder and CEO of The Starter League. He facilitates the Starter School curriculum and leads product development for Lantern. See more

Adjunct Teachers

Your adjunct teachers will deliver sessions on specific topics they have deep knowledge of and give practical, hands-on advice to you throughout the program.

Thumb Jeff Cohen

Jeff is the Chief Instructor of The Starter League and teaches the beginner-focused Web Development program. He co-wrote the book Ruby on Rails for .NET Developers, speaks at technical conferences, and is a Ruby on Rails contributor. See more

Thumb Sandor Weisz

Sandy was most recently the lead designer at EveryBlock, the neighborhood news site. He's created sites for small and large businesses and non-profits. When he's not designing, he's writing puzzles. See more

Thumb Ryan Singer

Ryan designs user interfaces, writes code and manages products at Basecamp. In his daily work he combines low-level attention to detail with a high-level overview of what matters to customers. See more

Thumb Jason Fried

Jason is the co-founder and CEO of Basecamp. He co-wrote Rework and Getting Real, is invited to speak around the world on design, business, and software. Jason believes there’s real value and beauty in the basics. See more

Thumb Brian Eng

PragProg co-author with Jeff, Brian has 16 years of experience building software businesses and working as a developer, designer, and consultant for some of the world's largest progressive companies. See more

Thumb Will Barrett

Will is the president of Tall Green Tree Inc., a boutique technical consulting firm specializing in building web products. His primary focus as a developer is on Ruby on Rails and related technologies. His past work experience includes time at Chicago advertising agency Schafer Condon Carter and Weber Shandwick's Baltimore office. When he's not slinging code, he's often found playing the cello in his piano trio. See more

Thumb Melissa Pierce

Melissa Pierce is a Chicago filmmaker and serial entrepreneur. She is the founder of the 600 member local women’s computer programming group, Chicago Women Developers (CWDevs), and the COO of Everpurse. See more

Thumb Adrian Holovaty

Adrian cocreated the Django Web framework, used by tens of thousands of developers worldwide. He built ChicagoCrime.org, which influenced Google to create its Google Maps API, founded EveryBlock, and is now building Soundslice which syncs guitar tabs with YouTube videos. See more

Thumb Amanda Lannert

Amanda likes cheese, dangerous sports and the color blue. She named her cat Dog. Amanda climbed Mts. Rainier, Salcantay, and Kilimanjaro and now is the C.E.O. of The Jellyvision Lab, also without benefit of oxygen. See more

Thumb Chuck Templeton

Chuck founded OpenTable in 1998. He has worked with over two-dozen startups as an investor, board member, or advisor, but spends the majority of his time helping impact companies as the Managing Director of Impact Engine. See more

Thumb Gabrielle Lyon

Gabe is an education activist and nonprofit leader. She works to synthesize data-driven social-justice work with education, championing the belief that high-quality education opportunity should be accessible to everyone - especially those to whom it has traditionally been closed. See more

Thumb Harper Reed

Harper builds paradigm-shifting technology and leads others to do the same. He loves using the enormity of the Internet to bring people together, whether as CTO of Obama for America, CTO at Threadless.com, or on his own projects. See more

Thumb Dylan Richard

Dylan quietly led the 40 engineers of Obama for America’s Technology team to victory in 2012. Previously, he helmed technical teams as VP of Engineering at Threadless and was a Senior Developer at Crate & Barrel. See more

Thumb Jill Salzman

Jill is growing her third entrepreneurial venture, The Founding Moms, the first kid-friendly collective of meetups for mom entrepreneurs. She enjoys kloofing, and erasing her daughters’ crayon artwork from the kitchen walls. See more

Thumb Kevin Willer

Kevin is a Co-founder and Partner of Chicago Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital fund where he is overseeing all aspects of Chicago Ventures including fund management, deal sourcing and investments, and working directly with portfolio companies. See more

Thumb Howard Tullman

Howard Tullman serves as Chairman of TRIBECA Flashpoint MEDIA ARTS Academy. He has designed and developed interactive interfaces, computer games, training products, and other information-based services. Over the last 40 years, he has founded more than a dozen high-tech companies. See more

Thumb Maria Katris

Maria is the CEO of Built In, a platform which enables cities to connect, educate and promote their growing digital communities. The company currently operates three sites in Chicago, LA, and Denver. See more

Thumb John Tolva

John Tolva is the City of Chicago’s first Chief Technology Officer, working for Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He recently launched ServiceTracker, an online 311 system that increases City accountability. He is currently managing a project to expand high-speed connectivity throughout Chicago. See more

Thumb Sharon Schneider

Sharon Schneider is the co-founder and CEO of Moxie Jean, the “Upscale Resale” destination for high quality, like-new baby and kids’ clothes. Moxie Jean was a 2012 portfolio company of Techstars Chicago (formerly Excelerate Labs). See more

Thumb Lon Chow

Lon Chow is a general partner at Apex Ventures with investment focus in software applications and technology-enabled services. Prior to joining Apex, Lon was a partner with Mercer Management Consulting, where he developed and implemented growth strategies for clients in computing, media, and telecommunications industries. See more

Thumb Craig Bryant

Craig co-founded We Are Mammoth in Chicago and is the founder and product manager of Kin. After 14 years in the software world, he still wakes up each day feeling like the internet is something new. He enjoys the perpetual stream of technology, people, curiosity, and design. See more

Thumb Jason Kunesh

Jason Kunesh is the CEO of Public Good Software. He most recently performed as Director of User Experience & Product at Obama for America. He's at his best when helping people work together using sketches on whiteboards and real-life prototypes to communicate ideas. See more



Tuition for Starter School is $12,000 per quarter, excluding housing, materials, and personal expenses. A refundable deposit of $3,000 will be required in order to confirm your acceptance. One week before the start of each quarter a payment of $12,000 must be made. For example, the Winter quarter begins on January 6, so a payment of $12,000 would be due no later than December 30.

Cost Breakdown
Fall quarter -$12,000
Winter quarter $12,000
Spring quarter $12,000
Total $24,000

Do you offer loans and scholarships?

Currenty we don't offer loans or financial aid. However, we are actively working with loan providers and the government to make Starter School more affordable. In the meantime, please reach out to us at support@starterschool.com so we can learn more about your situation.

How have other students financed their tuition?

Our students have creatively raised funds for Starter School in numberous ways. They've sourced online donations, secured company sponsorship, created friends and family loans, and even sold their cars. The students who have given up the most tend to get the most out of the program. They treat it like a serious, life-changing investment— which is exactly what it is.

A New Way to Pay For Starter School

We are excited to announce a partnership with Upstart, a platform that allows individuals to get financial investment to pursue their dream careers. This partnership allows current students and future Starter School students to raise funding for Starter School tuition.

Here are the requirements to qualify for Upstart:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen, or permanent resident currently living in the US
  2. Be at least 18 years old;
  3. Have a valid e-mail account;
  4. Have a verifiable name, date of birth, and social security number
  5. Have graduated from a 4-year (bachelor's degree) accredited college in 1995 or later or be accepted by and soon to enroll in a 4-year accredited (bachelor's degree) college;
  6. Have an account at a U.S. financial institution with a routing transit number; and
  7. Meet our minimum credit requirements.