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

It's not only what you know, it's who you know. At Starter School, you'll gain the community, support, and network of people who don't just talk about doing it. They are doing it. They've been starting companies and building products for decades.


You'll be learning theory distilled through years of experience as your teachers help you build the product you know needs to exist.

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

Thumb Raghu Betina

Raghu is an experienced serial entrepreneur and was an inaugural student in the first Starter League web development class. Now his mission is to share the skills he gained with other aspiring builders. 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 Josh Braun

Had a promising career at CompassLearning, where he served as VP of Product Development. He had his own parking spot, corporate housing, keys to the company bidet, and an Aeron chair (highly adjustable model with graphite frame AND lumbar support). After working with Amanda and Harry on a Reading Comprehension product, however, he had one sip of the complimentary Kool-Aid, handed in his resignation, and left to work for Jellyvision. 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 over the program.

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 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 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 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 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 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



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.