Business

General Assembly | Jobs, Benefits, Business Model, Founding Story

General Assembly provides a range of professional training and educational services to individuals and corporations, with a view to enhancing the career opportunities of its customers and improving the performance of company employees.

General Assembly was founded in 2010 by Jake Schwartz (“Schwartz”), Adam Pritzker, Matthew Brimer, and Brad Hargreaves. The Company operated initially as a co-working space, but developed not an educational platform, building its first campus in New York’s Flatiron District using a grant from the New York City Economic Development Corporation.

General Assembly began attracting attention from investors in 2011, and to date has raised more than $119 million in four rounds of funding, including investments from companies such as Advance Publications, QueensBridge Venture Partners, and Maveron, as well as from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

General Assembly has expanded significant in its short history, and to date offers a broad range of training and learning courses through an international network of campuses, as well as various online channels. This includes a presence across North America, Asia Pacific, and Europe. Recent reports suggest that the Company has a valuation of approximately $450 million.

Business model of General Assembly

Customer Segments

General Assembly provides a range of education and training services – primarily in the areas of technology, business, and design – to a range of customers. The Company’s services principally target two customer segments:

  • Individuals, comprising general consumers, professionals, and students, to which it provides part-time and full-time courses, as well as short-term workshops and classes; and
  • Commercial Enterprises, comprising a range of medium and large businesses, including multinational enterprises, to which it provides employee training, recruitment, and performance evaluation services.

General Assembly includes a number of high-profile multinational businesses among its corporate customers, including Visa, Loreal, Conde Nast, Viacom, and Pearson.

General Assembly serves an international customer base through its online courses. It also provides educational courses through its physical campus locations, primarily in the US, as well as in Australia, Hong Kong, the UK, Singapore, and Australia.

Value Propositions

General Assembly provides value to its customers in the following ways:

  • Its range of educational and training courses, with the Company providing a range of academic courses in relation various subjects relates to the coding, data, digital marketing, design, and product management fields;
  • Its accessibility and international reach, with the Company operating 15 physical campus locations across 5 countries, as well as providing various digital service channels, providing a range of online classes, workshops, and learning resources;
  • Its specialist personnel, with the Company employing specialist personnel across its business, notably expert instructors for its various full and part-time course subjects; and
  • Its value-added services for commercial customers, with the Company providing a range of additional services to businesses, including recruitment, training, and evaluation services.
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Channels

General Assembly operates a website at www.generalassemb.ly, through which it provides information on it various courses, locations, and activities. The Company operates an online channel, which allows existing and prospective customers to browse courses, enrol in classes and workshops, manage accounts, and arrange payments. Customers are then able to access full-time and part-time online courses, with full access to course materials through web and mobile browsers which can be reviewed at the customers’s convenience.

General Assembly also provides services to customers directly, enrolling customers into its programs via email and telephone sales teams. It operates a physical network of campuses, through which customers are able to attend courses in person. This includes 15 campus locations across the US, Australia, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Additionally, General Assembly operates a dedicated corporate sales team, which sells recruitment, training and evaluation services to its corporate customers.

Customer Relationships

General Assembly provides services to consumers and professionals on a largely self-service basis, with customers able to enrol in courses and classes, access learning materials, make payments, and manage their accounts online without interacting directly with members of the Company’s sales and marketing teams.

General Assembly consults more closely with its corporate customers, working with them to identify their individual needs and requirements in relation to employee training and recruitment services. The Company in particular seeks to establish long-term relationships with its corporate customers.

Existing and prospective customers are able to access a range of resources through General Assembly’s website, including FAQs, and can contact the Company’s support team over the phone or via an online contact form, through which they are able to access personalised assistance.

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Additionally, General Assembly interacts with its customers through its blog, as well as directly through its social media accounts, including with Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Google+, and YouTube.

Key Activities

General Assembly is an educational services company, which provides academic and training services in the areas of technology, business, and design, both through its physical campuses in the US and internationally, as well as online. The Company offers a range of full-time and part-time courses, as well as short-term class and workshops. It offers a portfolio of corporate-focused services, providing employee training programs, recruitment services, and evaluation services. General Assembly offers courses in Web Development,

Data Analysis, Digital Marketing, and HTML. The Company has a network of campus locations across the US – including in major cities New York, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington – as well as in Hong Kong, the UK, Australia, and Singapore.

Key Partners

General Assembly collaborates with various companies and organisations in the provision of it services and development of its courses. These partners include:

  • Scholarship Funding Partners, comprising a range of individuals, corporate benefactors and non-profits that provide funding for scholarship programs that enable young people to access educational courses through General Assembly;
  • UX Partners, comprising a range of companies and organisations that are assigned a team of UX design students, who collaborate with the companies to work on research and design projects over short periods;
  • Supplier and Vendor Partners, comprising suppliers of content, technology, and equipment that is utilised by the Company across its network of campuses and its online courses; and
  • Strategic and Alliance Partners, comprising various companies and organisations with which the Company shares resources and collaborates on joint projects.
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General Assembly includes a number of high-profile companies among its sponsor and funding partners, including Microsoft, PayPal, CapitalOne, and McKinsey and Company.

Key Resources

General Assembly’s key resources are its content and intellectual properties, its online platforms, its IT and communications infrastructure, its network of campuses, its partnerships, and its personnel. General Assembly’s owned and leased properties are key to its activities. This includes its corporate offices, as well as its 15 campus locations across the US, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Cost Structure

General Assembly incurs costs in relation to the development of content, the development of its online platforms and digital channels, the maintenance of its IT and communications infrastructure, the management and operation of its campus locations, the management of its partnerships, and the retention of its personnel.

The Company’s most significant cost are accrued in relation to the payment of salaries and benefits to its international workforce of sales, supper, development, and instructor personnel.

Revenue Streams

General Assembly generates revenue primarily through the provision of educational and training courses. The Company’s revenue is derived primarily through the collection of membership and course fees. According to recent reports, General Assembly General Assembly typically charges between $10,000 and $12,000 for its full-time, 12-week classes and between $3,000 and $4,000 for its part-time courses.

Additionally, General Assembly derives revenue through the provision of corporate education and recruitment services, including employee training programs and performance evaluation services. General Assembly continues to be a privately-owned company, and as such is not obliged to publish its financial accounts online. Reports, however, suggest that the Company generated $70 million in revenue in 2015.

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