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.
Starting a business is always risky, and success is never guaranteed. Yet, entrepreneurs thrive every day. Although there is no one-size-fits-all approach, successful entrepreneurs seem to share several traits that the rest of the pack lacks.
SCORE, a nonprofit organization aimed at helping small businesses, recently released theirinfographic on what makes today’s entrepreneurs successful. To thrive, entrepreneurs need professional experience, a business plan, the right personality and mentors, SCORE found.
Professional experience gives entrepreneurs the edge they need to make wise business decisions. Entrepreneurs with a track record of success are two-and-a-half times more likely to raise more money, 3.6 times more likely to see better user growth, and 52% less likely to scale prematurely, the infographic revealed.
A Business Plan
Taking the time to write a business plan not only gives your business direction, it also improves your odds. Companies with a business plan see nearly twice the success as those without one, SCORE found. Those companies that create business plans also see higher business growth and are more likely to secure capital and loans.
VISIT ALSO: Startup that are Related With Establishing
Think you can succeed as an entrepreneur just by being you? If you’re overly aggressive and unapproachable, think again. The most successful entrepreneurs are beaming with positive traits, such as openness and agreeableness. The least desirable traits include narcissism, making excuses and emotional instability. Also, while being aggressive can often work to your advantage, entrepreneurs need to kick the bad habit of predatory aggressiveness if they want to be successful, SCORE found.
New businesses shouldn’t have to go at it alone. The most successful business owners have relied on some form of mentorship to provide guidance and keep them on the right track. Entrepreneurs who work with mentors are three times more likely to start a business, seven times more likely to raise investment money, and three and a half times more likely to grow demand for their product, the infographic shows. They are also more likely to thrive; although many businesses fail within their first year, 84% of ventures that work with mentors are still in business after one to two years.
Heartstring-tugger Upworthy, which describes itself as “social media with a mission,” has roots in MoveOn.org, a non-profit, political action committee and public policy advocacy group, through one of it’s founders, Eli Pariser. That’s not too surprising.
However, you might be surprised to find out that the other founder is Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of a little news satire organization called The Onion.
From confusing settings to NSA scandals, Facebook doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to user privacy. Maybe that’s the reason one early member of the Facebook team, David Morin, left in 2010 to found Path, the social networking site that emphasizes small, intimate networks.
Another pair of former Facebookers, Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever, left the company in 2010 to create yet another startup, Q&A service Quora.
Skype was once owned by eBay and then by Microsoft. It was built by the same team as the now defunct file sharing site Kazaa, which got into legal hot water over copyright-related issues for the last several years.
The video-sharing site Vimeo was launched in 2004 by founders Jake Lodwick and Zach Klein. Another entry on Klein’s resume? Assisting in the development of CollegeHumor, the comedy website that launched in 1999.
Jeremy Stoppelman was V.P. of Engineering at PayPal (and was even one of the early PayPal employees known as the PayPal Mafia), but left the company when it was acquired by eBay in 2003. A year later, he and another former PayPal colleague pitched an idea to businessman Max Levchin for a Yellow Pages-style Internet product called Yelp.
Beyond Meat has one goal: to create the most chicken-like non-animal food product on the market. The company is backed by the University of Missouri, which has spent 10 years working on the technology that turns plant protein into a high quality meat substitute. Its other backers? Evan Williams and Biz Stone, founders of Twitter.
The on-demand car service Uber is the brainchild of Garret Camp, an entrepreneur based in San Francisco. Camp has his fingers in several startup pies, including the on-demand private jet ridesharing service BlackJet and his latest venture, Expa, a system for building new companies. His best known project, however, is the discovery engine StumbleUpon.