By the time it was acquired by WeWork last October, the Flatiron School was already established as a leader in tech education. The program launched as an intensive coding boot camp in New York City in 2012 and prides itself that 97 percent of its graduates have gone on to get jobs within six months of completing the program.
“We tell our students that if they follow our guidelines on how to conduct a job search, and they complete our program, if they don’t find a job within six months, we’ll give them a full refund,” says Flatiron’s Director of Marketing Nicole Kroese.
Flatiron is taking over the fourth floor of 708 Main, something Kroese says the organization is excited about. The Houston campus is the latest in a string of new locations for Flatiron since its blending with WeWork. Prior to the acquisition, Flatiron had a physical space in New York City and hosted online learning modules. Now, Flatiron maintains its online presence, but has campuses in Washington D.C., Brooklyn and London.
“We are so excited to come to Houston,” says Kroese. “There is so much momentum in the city’s tech, entrepreneurship and innovation sectors. We know that we can provide the tech talent [Houston] companies need to spur their innovation and growth.”
Flatiron offers full-time, part-time and online classes that teach coding and web development. The first full-time cohort launches on July 16, and Kroese says every single student in the cohort will receive a full scholarship, thanks to a partnership between Flatiron, Facebook and the Houston Urban League. Facebook provided $250, 000, allowing Flatiron to offer 25 full scholarships. Applications for the awards open June 1. The inaugural 15-week session is intense, with classes offered Monday through Friday, and Kroese says they are designed to turn students into developers, offering them highly marketable skills in today’s professional landscape. Cohorts will continue in the weeks after that launch, as will part-time and online classes.
The organization’s space will offer traditional classrooms as well as common spaces where students can work in groups or have meetings. The idea is to parlay that same sense of community WeWork espouses to allow students to strengthen their own tech skills, learn from each other and network.
In addition to disrupting the education landscape with its intensive boot camp approach to tech learning, Flatiron has also made it a mission to help underrepresented groups excel in tech.
“We want to create a diverse pipeline that provides an avenue for women and minorities to see how technology and tech positions can be a career,” says Kroese. “As a company, you cannot build a solution for the whole world if your company doesn’t look like the whole world.”