Abdulla Mian

"At Starter School you don't receive grades and have exams. Instead, you are expected to take what you learn and build a web application that solves a problem."

  • What Problem He's Solving: A way for third-world farmers to produce better crop yields.
  • Most proud moment: Marrying his wife
  • Things he can't live without: His wife and son
  • Abdulla in three words: Resilient, resourceful, idiosyncratic.

Learn about what Abdulla is doing to impact the world.

Why are you at Starter School?

I'm here for so many reasons!

  • First, my attempts to turn ideas into reality by outsourcing to web developers in India via Elance never worked out.
  • Second, I wanted to accelerate my learning rather than spend several years learning technology, design, and entrepreneurship.
  • Third, I wanted to learn and collaborate with students and teachers from diverse backgrounds as well as interacting with Chicago’s tech community.
  • Lastly, I wanted my work to have a greater purpose than merely “putting food on the table”.

Is there one experience that stands out for you at Starter School?

I enjoyed Troy Henikoff's class on entrepreneurship. He opened my eyes to the challenges and opportunities a founder faces.

How do you explain Starter School to your friends, family, and/or significant others?

I tell them that Starter School teaches you the fundamental skills required to a build web-based company.

Were you intimidated to learn anything that ended up coming easy to you?

I don't think anything has come easy at Starter School, but I have learned that the best way to work through the discomfort of learning a new subject is by practicing.

What makes Starter School different than other classes/schools you've been to?

Starter School is unique because it's a self-motivated learning environment. Unlike a traditional school, you don't receive grades or have exams. Instead, you are expected to take what you learn and build a web application that solves a problem.

What are you building right now?

I'm working on creating an application that enables third world farmers to make better decisions that increase their crop yield and profit. Currently, farmers rely on intuition and experience to make farming decisions, but don't have easy access to weather and soil data. This application will send farmers weather, rainfall, and soil moisture data along with actionable steps through text messages.

What's one thing that you have been surprised by at Starter School?

While every student came here to Starter School individually, I have been surprised by all my fellow students' willingness to help each other achieve their goals. Truly amazing.



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.