GENERAL ASSEMBLY: MATT BRIMER
ABOUT MATT BRIMER:
Matt runs community and partnerships at General Assembly, a campus for technology, design, and entrepreneurship in NYC he co-founded in 2010. Prior to GA, he founded and ran a venture-backed location-based social gaming company, consulted on digital strategy for Open Yale Courses, worked for Apple as a campus rep, started a successful online antique furniture business, freelanced in web design for a handful of high-end brands, and organized startup community events in NYC. He received my BA in Sociology from Yale University and grew up in St. Louis, MO.
Q&A WITH MATT
WHY ARE YOU AN ENTREPRENEUR?
I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family, and both my parents are small business owners in St. Louis, MO. I really admire the companies – and lives — they built together over the years, and they continue to inspire me in my own entrepreneurial career. Beyond that, I love the adventure of it all, I love creating new things, pushing the world forward (even in some small way), and ultimately changing people’s lives for the better.
WHAT CAN A FELLOW LEARN FROM YOU?
“When you grow up you tend to get told the world is the way it is and just to live your life inside the world. Try not to bash into the walls too much. Try to have a nice family life, have fun, save a little money.
That’s a very limited life. Life can be much broader once you discover one simple fact, and that is: everything around you that you call life, was made up by people that were no smarter than you. And you can change it, you can influence it, you can build your own things that other people can use.
The minute that you understand that you can poke life and actually something will, you know, if you push in, something will pop out the other side, that you can change it, you can mold it. That’s maybe the most important thing. It’s to shake off this erroneous notion that life is there and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it, change it, improve it, make your mark upon it.
I think that’s very important and however you learn that, once you learn it, you’ll want to change life and make it better, cause it’s kind of messed up, in a lot of ways. Once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.”
—Steve Jobs, 1994
What Will Your Fellow Be Exposed To?
Will depend on the individual, their skill set and interests, and roles available. GA is a very multifaceted company, and our team includes engineering, design, sales and marketing, analytics, operations, video production, educational program production, instructional design, curriculum development, enterprise education, business development, community development, finance, and HR. Our founders are very involved in the company, both at the strategic/leadership level as well in as the operations and culture of the company as a whole.
WHAT DO YOU EXPECT OUT OF A FELLOW?
Creativity, passion, hard work, intelligence, competence, entrepreneurial spirit, spontaneity, community participation, and a whole-hearted belief in General Assembly’s mission and vision.
WHAT MAKES YOUR STARTUP UNIQUE?
General Assembly is creating a new kind of educational institution — one that’s native to the 21st century and highly relevant in today’s world. In a sentence, General Assembly provides education and opportunity in technology, design, and business for a global community of learners, practitioners, and entrepreneurs.
ANY LINKS TO/ ABOUT YOUR COMPANY?
- General Assembly receives $200k grant from the City of New York to launch educational campus for entrepreneurship, technology, and design: http://techcrunch.com/2011/01/24/nyc-general-assembly-200k-grant/
- Forbes calles General Assembly ”New York Tech’s Nerve Center”: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/02/29/general-assembly/
- Fortune Magazine calls General Assembly ”A hothouse for startups”: http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/09/07/general-assembly-startups/
- City of New York and General Assembly host hackathon to reinvent NYC’s website: http://mashable.com/2011/08/01/nyc-website-hackathon/
- Mayor Bloomberg chooses General Assembly and IFP to launch and run “Made in NY” Media Center: http://www.nyc.gov/html/film/html/news/100112_miny_media_center.shtml
- General Assembly expands to London with Prime Minister David Cameron’s endorsement: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/a923a57e-088d-11e1-9fe8-00144feabdc0.html#axzz2Iqh61yMl
- General Assembly expands to second campus in NYC: http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/19/ga-nyc-expansion/
- UK Prime Minister visits General Assembly to meet with tech founders: http://pandodaily.com/2012/09/25/david-cameron-hits-up-new-yorks-other-general-assembly-to-hang-with-techies-prime-minister-britai/
- General Assembly raises $10 million in venture capital from Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Tony Hsieh (Zappos), Maveron (Howard Schultz), and others: http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/30/technology-education-startup-general-assembly-raises-10-million/
- General Assembly expands to Berlin: http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericaswallow/2012/05/08/general-assembly-berlin/
- Fast Company covers General Assembly’s global educational vision: http://www.fastcompany.com/1793488/general-assembly-provides-entrepreneurial-skills-chosen-few
- General Assembly founders ranked #3 on Business Insider’s ”Silicon Alley 100″: http://www.businessinsider.com/silicon-alley-100-2011#3-adam-pritzker-jake-schwartz-brad-hargreaves-and-matt-brimer-98
- General Assembly founders named to Vanity Fair’s “The Next Establishment”: http://www.vanityfair.com/business/new-establishment/2012/the-next-establishment
- General Assembly founders named to Inc. Magazine’s “30 Under 30″: http://www.inc.com/30under30/donna-fenn/adam-pritzker-matthew-brimer-brad-hargreaves-founders-general-assembly.html