|[February 26, 2013]
Thinkful Raises $1M from Peter Thiel, RRE Ventures
NEW YORK --(Business Wire)--
the online education company focused on providing one-on-one training,
has announced that it has raised a total of $1 million in seed funding
from RRE Ventures, Quotidian Ventures, Peter Thiel's FF Angel, and
"The demand for professional education is surging as jobs become more
specialized. Over 56% of recent college grads are unemployed or
underemployed, yet 300,000 positions in highly skilled job sectors
remain unfilled. No longer must education be seen as a distinct period
in a young person's life. We must constantly be retraining ourselves,"
said Stuart Ellman of RRE Ventures. "Thinkful addresses this critical
Thinkful was founded in 2012 by Darrell Silver and Dan Friedman to
rethink career training for a workforce under-prepared for today's jobs.
Thinkful focuses students' learning on exactly the skills necessary to
advance their careers. Courses are personalized for each student based
on his or her existing skills, goals, and schedule.
The company has spent the last four months developing curricula in
collaboration with employers, training its first 25 students, connecting
those students with technology ompanies for interviews and successful
placements, and growing its team of coaches.
"The simple fact of education is that we learn best from experts," said
Darrell Silver, CEO and co-founder of Thinkful. "Nine out of ten
students enrolling in massively open online courses (MOOCs) aren't
completing them. We believe personal interaction and collaboration with
students is required, and we're building Thinkful to make this possible
In 2011 Thinkful's co-founder and President, Daniel Friedman, was one
the first recipients of the prestigious 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship,
created by entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist Peter Thiel. "We're
excited to have the opportunity to innovate in education alongside Peter
Thiel. He's a powerful voice for change where it's sorely needed, and we
look forward to advancing this mission," said Friedman. "We've seen
great traction among Thinkful's first group of students, and we're
excited that more than 70 leading tech companies have expressed interest
in hiring Thinkful grads."
Thinkful is an online school that uses one-on-one tutoring and
personalized curricula to help students rapidly learn employable skills.
Thinkful uses each student's current skill-set, goals and schedule to
build a custom curriculum of learning materials and projects. Student
progress is helped and evaluated by their coach on a weekly basis, and
through a virtual classroom made up of their peers. The company builds
curricula in collaboration with the employers looking to hire its
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