Austen Allred is the co-founder and CEO of Lambda School. A native of Springville, Utah, Austen’s start-up journey began in 2017 with him living in his two-door Civic while participating in Y Combinator, a San Francisco-based seed accelerator. This experience became the foundation of Lambda School’s rapid growth.
Before founding Lambda School, Austen was the co-founder of media platform GrassWire. He co-authored the growth hacking textbook Secret Sauce, which became a best-seller and provided him the personal seed money to build Lambda.
Austen’s disruptive ideas on the future of education, the labor market disconnect, and the opportunity of providing opportunity at-scale have been featured in: The Harvard Business Reviews, The Economist, WIRED, Fast Company, The New York Times and others. Austen is fluent in Russian and currently lives in Utah with his wife and three kids.
Austen Allred - Why We Chose Him
Higher education is flawed, according to Austin Allred, who started the Lambda School to “eliminate the risk of higher education,” and to “create a system that doesn’t leave people broke their entire lives,” by creating a trade school graduating qualified software engineers in just 9 months with no upfront cost.
In doing so, he has revolutionized the way that schools should be run by providing an education that is free until participants get a job after graduation. The students who graduate pay a portion of their salary to cover the cost of their education.
Lambda School invests $10,000, the cost of the educational program, into each student, putting the responsibility on the company to produce a graduate that is prepared for the job ahead. This could seem like a risky business plan, but there is a system in place to make sure they are accepting smart and dedicated students with grit. The company determines their students through an intense pre-coursework and interview process.
“The traditional risk equation of education is deeply flawed,” Allred declares. “It places an overwhelming burden on the individual – not the educators. I co-founded Lambda School with the underlying hypothesis that if we eliminate risk and align the incentives of students and schools on a large enough scale, we can democratize access to career and income mobility.”