Startup Institute Gets a Veteran CEO

This article first appeared on the Boston Globe. Communispace’s longtime chief executive, Diane Hessan, has a new gig: She’s taking over Startup Institute, a for-profit education business spun out of the TechStars Boston entrepreneurship program.

Startup Institute recently raised $3 million from Silicon Valley Bank and now operates an eight-week “boot camp” for people who hope to get jobs with startups in five cities. There’s also an online program called RampUp*.

Hessan handed the CEO reins to another executive in January, but she remains chairman of Communispace, a Boston company that is part of the Omnicom empire.

“The thing they figured out early on,” she said of Startup Institute, “is that education isn’t just about delivering content cheaper and faster, or at home instead of on a campus. It’s about building community — having students bond with each other and having an alumni community that stays connected.”

Startup Institute also helps students connect with future employers. It offers tracks focused on topics like Web development, design, and sales.

Hessan said her focus will be on expanding Startup Institute to other cities and broadening the student base.

Currently, about 30 people work for Startup Institute at the Boston headquarters and in cities like Chicago, New York, and Berlin.

*RampUp refers to our part-time classes, which have never been offered online.

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