In 2009, the tech scene in New York City was just emerging. People were looking for alternatives to a traditional career, for work they found meaningful and many were landing in entrepreneurship — but the growing community lacked a physical space.
Having launched some ventures of his own in high school and college, Matt Brimer fit right in. He started General Assembly as a community for entrepreneurs, and with a grant from the City of New York in 2011, began offering educational classes related to entrepreneurship. General Assembly now has campuses in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, New York, London, Berlin, Hong Kong, Sydney and just launched in Washington, D.C.
Success at General Assembly means something different for each person — it could be to start a company, build a product, get a promotion or change careers, Brimer says. GA has placed its students in jobs at the Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, Hulu, Google and Bloomberg, to name a few.
For Brimer, growing GA is still his dream gig. He enjoys exploring new cities and going to festivals such as Burning Man, so spearheading GA’s global community makes perfect sense. Next up, GA wants to offer more educational content online, in addition to its physical locations around the world.
“I love bringing people together and creating experiences,”
“I love bringing people together and creating experiences,”Brimer says. Outside of work, he enjoys throwing late-night dance parties, or hosting social events where you’re not allowed to talk about your job, he says.
Both of Brimer’s parents are entrepreneurs, which gave him a creative and hands-on childhood. An early venture was freelance video production, which came out of a hobby of film-making and editing. Now at GA, Brimer enables others to turn their passion into skills as well.
Have you taken classes at General Assembly? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
We asked Matt to curate a Spotify playlist, which is embedded below. About the playlist, he says:
These are some tracks I put together for subterranean travel in NYC. Mostly a mix of deep house and tech house, with cool vocals and instrumentals that I enjoy listening to on the subway and walking around town. Good music can add so much to the texture and life of experiencing New York — or any city, for that matter. Especially check out “Restless Dreams” by Samu.l (sampling Simon & Garfunkel), Klangkarussell’s saxophone-laden “Sonnentanz”, the gorgeous minimal techno of Gui Boratto and Oliver Schories, Nora En Pure’s piano-rich “Come With Me”, and literally everything by Monkey Safari.