Former South Floridian Farza Majeed raised $10M for school backed by Andreessen Horowitz; now helping others' ideas come to life
Buildspace, a school that aims to help people learn how to build businesses in domains they love, raised $10 million from funders such as Andreessen Horowitz, Founders Inc and Y-Combinator.
The school is now offering a six-week, free, online Nights & Weekends program, where creators can pick an idea and build it with the guidance of mentors and peers. Any idea is possible in Nights & Weekends, with projects ranging from software such as AI or blockchain, engineering a bike that powers electricity, or art such as music and films. It’s a place where you can figure out what you’re passionate about, create something you love working on, and then learn how to turn that creation into a financially sustainable path you can pursue full-time.
Nights & Weekends is geared towards those who are working or studying full-time during the week and are excited to devote 6 weeks of their spare time to advance an idea that they have. The program is designed to be flexible and fun, with no lectures or homework. Instead, participants get access to live sessions with mentors and experts. They also get to interact with other builders in a supportive and collaborative community.
During the six-week program, participants decide on a goal for their idea which they work on throughout the entirety of the program. The schedule is pretty simple:
Week 1: Lock Down Your Idea
Week 2: Create Version One of Your MVP
Week 3 - 6: Iterate On Your Idea Alongside Thousands of Others
End of Week 6: Demo Day
During demo day, participants present their projects including their progress and struggles. 32 participants are picked to compete for a cash prize. Last season, Season 3, Buildspace awarded a total of $100,000 to four builders. A musician, a film maker, a game developer, and a farmer each received $25,000 as support in continuing to build their projects.
Elea Vogli, who is writing an album, Esther Joy, who is creating eco chamber DAO to make community gardening easier, Chaos Town, which is a local documentary series based in Portland, and Hussain, who is creating Split Horizons, a game about a girl exploring imaginary environments and finding a way to go beyond them.
Season 3 graduated 450 people from the program. Their demos are available on the Buildspace website.
Nights & Weekends culminates with events held in both San Francisco and Dubai where participants can finally meet in person, network and showcase their projects.
Buildspace claims that its programs are suitable for anyone who wants to learn new skills and build something cool, regardless of their background or experience level. The company says that its mission is to help people be able to work full-time on their dream creations sustainably. Therefore, Buildspace’s programs are free for users and Buildspace is profitable off of their sponsorship and partnership model.
“I started Buildspace because I wanted to build the school that I wish I had,” stated Farza Majeed, Founder of Buildspace. “When I was going to university, it was very strange for someone to be working on their own ideas and pursue the path of not getting a job. I want to make that a path that is more default.”
Founder Farza Majeed was raised in Pembroke Pines, Florida. He founded Buildspace, originally named ZipHomeschool, in December 2019. ZipHomeschool aimed to build software to help parents homeschool their kids. The company then pivoted to a learning platform for users to explore their career options, mainly in web3 and Artificial Intelligence. Now, Buildspace is primarily focusing on their Nights & Weekends program, as well as a new school in San Francisco, with the first three-month cohort starting in July.
Majeed and the team are looking to grow Buildspace with campuses internationally, making it accessible to people around the world regardless of their visa. Buildspace has a hub in San Francisco, is expanding to Dubai and India and is eventually planning to build a very large campus.
Majeed has advice for people who have an idea but are not sure where to start.
“Don’t overcomplicate it, just get something out there that you are kind of embarrassed by," he stated. "It’s ok to be embarrassed by it. Show other people, because there are not many people in the world who go from idea to showing other people their idea. If you’re already doing that, you are in the minority. Just get something out there, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Very few people understand this, you don’t need a thought together business, it doesn’t even need to make sense, it just needs to make you feel some joy.”
Applications are now open for Season 4 of the Buildspace Nights & Weekends program. The program begins August 5th.