Ne-Yo Invests In A Coding School That Charges No Up-Front Tuition

It’s clear jobs in the coding and tech industry are growing by the minute, and the best way to be competitive in the job market is to get an early start.

There is a constant push for more diversity in Silicon Valley and R&B singer, Ne-Yo, is doing his part to ensure Black and brown kids get a fair opportunity.

Ne-Yo recently invested in the coding academy, Holberton School, during its $2.3 million funding round. He has also joined their Board of Trustees.

“This is not a realistic career for people who came up like me. It’s more realistic to do what I do, be a singer or an NBA star,” said Ne-Yo to Business Insider at a party on Wednesday night in San Francisco celebrating his new role.

“Thanks to these guys [the founders] it now is. I have a platform, and I’m going to use this platform to spread the word.”

The Holberton School is only 18 months old was founded by Sylvain Kalache, Julien Barber and Trinity Partner Dan Scholnick.

What got Ne-Yo interested in the school is they charge no up-front tuition. They take a different approach by having graduates contribute around 17% of their salaries or internship pay to the school for three years after graduation.

Another way Holberton keeps their costs low is by not hiring formal teachers or giving lectures, but basing their curriculum around students working on specific projects where they help and teach each other. They also have mentors from companies such as Uber and LinkedIn to help them finish the two-year program. Students have gone to be hired or intern at Apple, NASA and Dropbox.

By not charging up-front tuition, Holberton attracts a diverse group of people who are interested in working in the tech industry. 40% of students are women and 53% are people of color.

It’s great to see Silicon Valley come up with innovative ways to attract diverse candidates and for Ne-You to diversify his portfolio with something that is going to impact people’s lives.