Pete Albertson

"I was worried I would be overwhelmed but the instructors did a great job of encouraging us while pushing us at the same time."

  • What Problem He's Solving: Making it easier to share season tickets with friends.
  • One thing he can't live without: Soul music
  • Next bucket list item: Start a business
  • Pete in three words: Living the dream

Learn how Pete is changing the season ticket market.

Why are you at Starter School?

I like to create things. Previously that was music but I realized at one point that technology and business were also good avenues for creative expression. Starter School seemed like the best place to get the skills to build and launch not only web apps but technology businesses.

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

Since I'm not from Chicago, arriving downtown for the first time and taking in the scenery and the Merchandise Mart in particular was memorable.

What was the first day of Starter School like?

I was worried I would be overwhelmed but the instructors did a great job of encouraging us while pushing us at the same time.

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

I'm learning software/web development, design, and entrepreneurship at a small program that is a startup of its own. I'm not getting a degree, there are no grades, but the immersive experience is what counts in this industry and the program is surrounded by some of the biggest players in the Chicago startup scene.

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

Thus far, programming has been the focus of the curriculum. It's too soon to feel like a pro but I definitely built web pages and simple apps faster than I thought I would.

Who or what inspires you and why?

The world. There's a lot to see/know/experience on this planet. Knowing I'm such a small and temporary part of it makes me want to take advantage of every opportunity to see/know/experience something new and maybe, if I'm lucky, leave a lasting impression on it.

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

I built a bicycle out of mostly used parts I acquired from a bike co-op in Los Angeles. I had the help of volunteers who know their way around much better than I did but the vision I had for my bike pretty much came true and I used it often for transportation to and from work. It's not high quality but because I saw it come together, I'm damn proud of it.

What would you say to someone interested in joining Starter School?

Don't think about it like grad school as easy as it may be to compare. It's not academia and it's not about boosting a résumé. It's about building skills to do what you want to do. You have to think about it like a job and it should be a job you love.



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.