Organization Name: Holberton School

Focus Area: Adult Learners
Region: Global / United States
Sector: For Profit
Investment Year: 2017
Holberton is an alternative to college training full-stack software engineers. Through project-based and peer learning, Holberton students unleash their creativity and learn naturally how to work as a team to solve practical challenges. Holberton School's selection process is based only on talent and motivation. Its automated admissions process is completely "blind" to remove human biases. It was created specifically to identify smart, motivated people and doesn't take into account previous education, work experience, gender, ethnicity, or age. There's also no cost to apply and no upfront tuition or fees.

Why We Invested

Holberton School is addressing a massive talent shortage in software engineering, where demand is outpacing supply of talent across the globe - by innovating at multiple levels. First, at Holberton, there is no upfront cost for students. Repayment is based on future income. Moreover, the Holberton admission process is designed to remove any bias and increase access. Lastly, Holberton's pedagogy is based on a peer learning and project-based approach. As a result, Holberton School teaches students to think and learn like the best programmers in the world, democratizing access to software engineering, so that a more diverse set of learners can develop career skills and competencies, and increase their economic mobility.

What We've Learned

After two years of training by Holberton on both full-stack software engineering and other critical workplace skills and competencies, employers are hiring Holberton students. In the US, companies like Apple, Facebook, and Tesla are employing Holberton students at a median starting salary of $109,000 per year. Separately, Holberton School is seeing strong demand for its model to expand outside of the US. Holberton School is also seeing meaningful diversity in its students and intentionally focuses recruiting efforts on people historically underrepresented in software engineering--women and people of color.

We created Holberton because there are a lot of talented people around the world who don't have access to high quality education. These people have passion and grit and a lot of ambition but they simply are not offered the same chances. Technology and knowledge define our future, so it's important we encourage access to both.
Julien Barbier, CEO, Holberton