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Coding bootcamp Fullstack Academy will fund alumni-founded startups

TechCrunch TechCrunch 15/06/2016 Lora Kolodny

Coding bootcamps have proliferated in recent years in the U.S. One of them, Fullstack Academy, today announced a commitment to invest in promising startups founded by their alumni.

According to Fullstack Academy CEO David Yang, the New York-based startup will invest from its own balance sheet, and seek to fund up to eight companies a year in pre-seed or seed-stage deals. Terms and capital commitments will be determined ad hoc.

To qualify for funding consideration, startups must include at least one graduate of the coding bootcamp’s 13-week, javascript intensive as a cofounder.

Yang said, “This a great way for us to signal to our students that we believe in you. I hear ‘I want to build a company one day,’ all the time. We’re saying one day should be now, now that you have the technical skills you need.”

Three hundred students graduated from Fullstack Academy last year. The company is on target to see 450 students graduate in 2016. It is also expanding from New York to Chicago next month, following its acquisition of The Starter League there earlier this year.

Yang said Fullstack is already profitable, which is how it was able to create its eponymous Fullstack Fund without raising money from outside limited partners.

With 35 full-time employees, Fullstack Academy prides itself on placing graduates in software developer jobs at major tech firms, especially Google, Amazon and Facebook. The Fullstack Fund should make it equally attractive to entrepreneurial types, not just junior developers looking to get a leg up in large corporations.

Fullstack Academy also claims to have the most rigorous admissions process of all bootcamps, helping to weed out applicants who are not likely to be able to complete the program, or work in the field, successfully Yang said.

On CourseReport, a ratings and reviews site for coding bootcamps, Fullstack Academy currently holds a five-star rating from 37 reviewers. But the company has not disclosed extensive data about its admission, completion rates, job placement and other data that some other bootcamps disclose to third-party auditors.

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