Alan Salganik

"Being a non-technical founder of a startup was the catalyst for me to join Starter School. We were at the mercy of our development team, and every time we tried explaining what we wanted, our features didn't get done in a timely manner or the way we wanted."

  • What Problem He's Solving: Making it easier for people to find healthier fast-food options.
  • First job: UBS Financial Services
  • One thing he can't live without: Sushi. Definitely sushi.
  • Next bucket list item: Traveling through Asia and South America

See how Alan is making life easier for HR practitioners.

Why are you at Starter School?

Being a non-technical founder of a startup was the catalyst for me to join Starter School. We were at the mercy of our development team, and every time we tried explaining what we wanted, our features didn't get done in a timely manner or the way we wanted. I was just cursing at the fact I couldn't do it myself.

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

In college, we spent a lot of time on theory and lots of pointless memorization just for the sake of spitting it back on a test. At Starter School, I learn things that I can directly apply to the app I'm building.

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

Deploying my web app successfully to the Internet for the first time and being able to send someone a link to an app that I built from the ground up.

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

It's a program that gets right to the nitty-gritty, without wasting time on irrelevant subjects. We are learning how to build web apps from day one. It's a very practical program.

What was the first day of Starter School like?

Nervousness mixed with excitement.

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

I wouldn't say it's easy now, but Ruby was intimidating at first since I had absolutely no idea how all the pieces meshed together. Ruby is still intimidating but not as much as it was.

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

Starter School is about getting real work done that has a purpose and need in today's market.

What are you building right now?

Finding healthy food choices is a huge hassle, and the only option today is to browse by the food places. Instead of searching every food place, one by one, there should be a way to enter your criteria and see which items near you meet your needs. I'm building an app to help health-conscious eaters make healthy food choices based on their current location.

Who or what inspires you and why?

People that are able to overcome enormous obstacles and become successful.

What's something you've done in your life that you're most proud of?

Quitting my steady-paying job to launch a startup. Regardless of how the startup goes, I was still able to leave a position I wasn't happy in.



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 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.