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Mike McGee on The Starter League's Story

Mike McGeeCofounder of The Starter League and Northwestern alum Mike McGee checked in to the eDTC seminar series to share his journey in successfully bootstrapping a startup for people who want to learn to code with in-person instruction.

"When you don't have money, you get real, real quick," McGee shared with McCormick freshmen Monday evening in the Ford studio space. After refining their startup idea, soliciting instructors and building a website, Mike and his cofounder. Neal Sales-Griffin. opened course registration. Dozens applied and paid to take their premiere classes.

"The Chicago community was amazing," McGee said. "When we launched we had no money, but we had tons of people who said, 'Hey, this program may be for you.'"

Word of mouth continues to add to the school's success, with hundreds in its alumni pool to vouch for its Web development and design courses.

"I think this is a good supplement to higher education," said Mark Werwath, associate director of the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. "The question is, is it a replacement?"

McGee said that while some students have dropped out of college courses to enroll in those offered by The Starter League, he agrees that his school's training is a great supplement to higher education rather than a threat to traditional four-year institutions.

"Not everyone is going to be a developer," McGee said. "Not everyone should be a developer. But I just didn't want people to not do those things or not attempt to do those things because they don't feel smart enough."

Learn more about The Starter League.

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