Galvanize Acquires Data Science Training Company Zipfian Academy

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Expands educational offerings to include data science immersive program

Galvanize, a network of urban campuses aligning education, venture capital, and community, announced today it acquired Zipfian Academy, the leading provider of industry-focused training in data science and engineering.

Zipfian Academy’s 12-week data science immersive program becomes part of gSchool, the branch of Galvanize offering industry-focused technology training. The data science immersive program will be located at Galvanize Inc.’s 72,000 square foot campus in downtown San Francisco, the site of GalvanizeU’s accredited Masters of Big Data through the University of New Haven.

“We’re building a new educational institution,” said Jim Deters, Co-founder and CEO of Galvanize. “We are validating the immersive education model and aligning employers and learners within a vibrant entrepreneurial community. Our students will benefit with unprecedented experience, skills, access and, therefore, outcomes."

Both Galvanize and Zipfian have a very strong list of hiring partners. Zipfian has placed 93% of its alumni into full-time data science roles within 6 months of graduation.

gSchool Expands Offering of Industry-Relevant Education

“Education is changing,” said Zipfian Academy CEO Ryan Orban, who will lead expansion of gSchool. “The success of programs like ours demonstrates the importance of industry-focused education. Our model focuses on three things we see work: immersive education, a collaborative learning environment, and structured placement support.”

Curriculum for the data science immersive program was created with input from the technology companies where modern data science methods were developed. The curriculum consists of a series of case studies designed to provide students with the kind of practical experience that often can only be acquired on the job. Alumni of the program have praised the teaching methodology for its effectiveness in instilling industry-ready skills.

“It’s not only a modern toolkit that matters, but a comprehensive understanding of approaches to common problems faced by industry practitioners,” says alum Alex Mentch, now a Data Scientist at Facebook. “Because the program is focused on hands-on work, you make a lot of mistakes in the beginning, but you figure out how to solve them. It’s a really effective way of learning the material.”

First-of-Its-Kind in Immersive Technology Education

Just two weeks prior, Galvanize launched GalvanizeU, an accredited Master of Engineering in Big Data in collaboration with the University of New Haven and is currently accepting applications for its inaugural class at Galvanize is the first educational institution to offer an 12-week industry-focused immersive program in addition to an accredited Masters program.

"Technology is changing constantly and at an astounding pace. We are building an educational institution designed from the ground up to keep pace with industry. Our goal is to offer an entire continuum of programs making the most in-demand technology skills available to anyone with ambition and aptitude," said Deters.

This acquisition is the first to date by Galvanize, which opened its San Francisco campus in 2014 and launched in Denver, Colorado in 2012. Galvanize in San Francisco offers a 24-week web development program, a 72,000 square foot community space, regular events featuring representatives of top-tier companies, and the San Francisco branch of Galvanize Ventures.

About Zipfian Academy

Zipfian Academy is a training program for data science and engineering in San Francisco. The curriculum is focused on machine learning, statistical analysis, software engineering, and big data. After leaving Zipfian, graduates join data
science teams at companies including Facebook, Twitter, and Tesla Motors. Learn more at

About Galvanize

Galvanize is a network of urban campuses that aligns education, venture capital, and community. Since launching its first campus in Denver in October 2012, Galvanize has expanded to San Francisco, California, and Boulder, Colorado. Each campus offers industry-focused educational programs and a wealth community resources for startups. For more about Galvanize and membership, visit

Mark Saldana

Katie Kent

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Katie Kent
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