This Week In Startups–Neal Sales-Griffin of Code Academy

Awesome guest on This Week in Startups from codeacademy

———- Forwarded message ———-

On This Week in Startups, we were joined by Neal Sales-Griffin ( of Code Academy (, the Chicago startup that teaches people how to build web apps in just 11 weeks. Neal and Jason are both deeply interested and invested in the education space, so the discussion included the future of education, why it's never too late to start coding and how startups will save our economy.

If you missed the live show, get your fix here:

Or, you can jump straight to some of the best moments:
       • 17 minutes in: A Code Academy success story. Watch:
       • 28 minutes in: What are some possible monetization strategies for CA? Watch:
       • 38 minutes in: Adriana Herrera pitches Fashioning Change. Watch:

To spread the word about this insightful episode, just tweet this: "Neal Sales-Griffin of @CodeAcademy came to TWiST to talk about the future of ed & how startups are ultimate job creators"

Coming up this Friday, Feb. 10, we'll be back with an interview with Greg Tseng ( of Tagged (, the third largest social network in the US. Check it out at 1pm PT to watch and discuss in the chat:

We couldn't bring you episodes like today's without our incredible sponsors GoToMeeting ( and Walker Corporate Law ( Show them you appreciate their support by thanking them @GoToMeeting and @ScottEdWalker.

Thanks for your viewership and support!
Carolyn, TWiST Producer

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TWiST #230 Neal Sales-Griffin of Code Academy

0:00-1:30 We’re here today with Neal Sales-Griffin of Code Academy.
1:30-2:30 Welcome back Tyler. How’s it been going?
2:30-3:00 If you still haven’t joined the TWiST Backchannel, go to to sign up.
3:00-4:30 Thank you to GoToMeeting for sponsoring the show. Everyone thank them @gotomeeting.
4:30-7:30 If you haven’t heard about the LAUNCH Festival, check it out here: It’s not too late to get your tickets!
7:30-10:00 Insight from Tyler: Launch is like an Asian girl with double Ds.
10:00-11:00 Neal, what’s the mission at Code Academy?
11:00-11:45 What’s the difference between you and Codeacademy?
11:45-13:30 How much do people pay to join and what do they get?
13:30-14:00 How do you make a profit?
14:00-15:30 What kinds of people are joining the program?
15:30-17:00 What do I need to know before I come in to Code Academy?
17:00-19:30 What can a student accomplish in an eleven week course?
19:30-21:00 Are there jobs in the US for average coders, or do you have to be elite?
21:00-22:45 Do you think what you’re doing could help menial workers acquire a new skill and get a better job?
22:45-26:00 In minority communities, how is becoming a developer looked at?
26:00-28:00 Thank you to Walker Corporate Law for supporting the show. If you need at lawyer, call Scott at 310-288-6667.
28:00-31:30 What if you put people on a payment plan or charged a placement fee for the companies that hire students afterwards?
31:30-33:00 Do you ask your students to build real-world tools uning APIs?
33:00-34:45 Do you think that internships are a screwed up concept legally?
34:45-36:00 Out of your contemporaries coming out of Northwestern, how many do you think have a job?
36:00-37:30 Have you raised money for this yet? Are you planning to?
37:30-38:15 Let’s take a Shark Tank call.
38:15-39:30 Adriana Herrara of Fashioning Change makes her pitch.
40:30-42:00 You had good energy and that came through in the pitch.
42:00-42:30 Jason gives the presentation an 8 and the business model a 7.
42:30-44:00 Neal, what did you think of the pitch?
44:00-45:00 This “search everything” is a little too much. I would rather have a daily email or offering.
45:00-46:00 Tyler, bias aside, what did you think?
46:00-48:00 How many of you would buy an American-made bag that you knew was cruelty free?
48:00-48:30 Jason: I’m lowering your presentation to a 6 because you have tons of great features that you didn’t bring up.
48:30-50:00 Tyler gives the pitch a 7, but says it could easily be a 9.
50:00-51:30 What’s the youngest age someone should be allowed to work?
51:30-53:00 Tyler gives Adriana’s business model an 8.5.
53:00-55:00 Adriana explains her competitive advantages.
55:00-55:15 Thank you for pitching us today, Adriana. You’ve won a free table at the Launch Festival!
55:15-56:00 Neal, when are you launching in a second city?
56:00-59:00 Jason proposes a business deal to Neal.
59:00-1:01:00 You’re in a race right now with all of these other schools, Neal.
1:01:00-1:04:45 Neal, you’re invited to come be my guest and have a table at the conference and all of the Code Academy alumni get a free ticket.
1:04:45-1:05:45 Jason demos a video about quadrotors (

1:05:45-1:06:00 Everyone check at Code Academy, follow Neal on Twitter @nealsales and apply for the next class!


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