Thinkful, an online education company, has raised $1 million in seed funding from RRE Ventures, Quotidian Ventures, and Peter Thiel‘s FF Angel. The company, formed in 2012, provides one-on-one training aimed at helping students advance their careers.
Thinkful (www.thinkful.com), 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 others.
“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 need.”
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 companies 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 for everyone.”
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 students.