We’re excited to kick off 2018 with a couple of big announcements.
First, we’re announcing the close of a $4 million seed round (led by Y Combinator and Tandem Capital) that will help us fully realize our mission of finding and training untapped talent for the most in-demand careers today.
Second, we’re announcing Lambda School’s first graduating class! This initial class includes 20 students that have worked incredibly hard over the past six months to become talented and capable software engineers. We’re grateful to have had the opportunity to learn alongside these individuals, and we thank them for helping us continually improve the Lambda School experience for future learners.
This round of funding allows us to cover the cost of a world-class education for thousands of individuals who are looking for new opportunities. Our students come from all over looking for a chance to upgrade their careers, paying nothing until we help them achieve the American dream — that is, earning a better life through hard work and perseverance. It’s a model we’re already seeing work, and one that, at scale, can systematically reduce long-term unemployment and underemployment.
Our goal from the beginning has been simple: remove all barriers for anyone looking to increase their earning potential. The hard truth is that traditional education hasn’t adapted fast enough to keep up with rapid advancements in technology and the careers being created as a result. Likewise, many cost-prohibitive, fast-tracked bootcamps only scratch the surface and don’t give students the knowledge base necessary to compete for top jobs. In both cases, the result is often ineffective, expensive programs that fail to prepare students to meet the requirements for today’s technology jobs, while locking out many that can’t afford the high upfront cost.
“The world we live in now looks drastically different than the one we lived in just a decade ago. Even over the last year, we’ve seen huge leaps in automation, data science and software generally. As technology continues to reshape industries and alter our lives in profound ways, it’s imperative that we open up opportunities for people from all backgrounds to help positively impact our future,” said Tyler Willis, founder of Customer Science and one of our investors.
At Lambda School, we’ve reverse engineered our coursework to teach the skills employers are looking for in today’s engineering and development environments. We implement a thorough curriculum that helps people move from unskilled, unproductive, and undervalued jobs to extremely valuable jobs — and it’s not a zero-sum game. Our students leave with applicable skills, an education they needn’t pay for upfront, and upward mobility. Our employer partners have access to motivated and talented individuals who are uniquely prepared to fill the most in-demand positions.
We built this program because we believe in helping people realize their untapped potential. Jake Chapman with GELT Venture Capital and another Lambda School investor, said, “The Lambda School team has set out to build a program that focuses explicitly on training people from all corners of the world for the jobs of today and tomorrow.” Our students come from a diverse range of backgrounds, and it’s their journeys that excite us and motivate us each day.
We’re seeing students apply from across the world, each from different circumstances. Ron Goodwin is a part of an early graduating class and has accepted a job offer that increased his income by 366 percent, after spending a lifetime working minimum wage jobs. Joram Clervius is another student that has already accepted a “life-changing” job offer as a senior developer. In Joram’s own words, “At its core, Lambda School’s curriculum teaches students to be independent problem solvers. The teachers are world class, but also down to earth. As far as I’m concerned, it was by far the best decision I could have made for myself.”
These are only a select few stories we’ve received from students, and for every story like this that we are a part of, it’s validation that we’re serving our purpose. We’re grateful to our investors for the funding they’ve provided so that we can open our doors to more than 1,000 students in 2018, and we’re excited for what’s to come.