Introducing 30 Weeks


30 Weeks is a founders program that transforms designers into founders who are equipped with the entrepreneurial skills, knowledge and tech know-how to create products and start impactful companies. Our learn-by-launching structure gives designers a chance to build their products in an environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible.

We do this by integrating startup principles, practices and experience-based learning methodologies in a highly stimulating and collaborative learning environment.

What happens in 30 Weeks?

From day one, the focus is on what you want to build — be it a product or an entire startup. Either way, you own everything you come up with. And when it’s all done — having learned to ideate, validate and iterate — you’ll leave a changed designer, thinker and creator, fully prepared to bring your vision to the world.

30 Weeks starts with a carefully-crafted series of modules which cover product development, business models, legal structures, branding storytelling and marketing as well as ongoing interaction with some of the smartest minds in design, tech, business and venture capital in New York City. Those designers who have successfully completed the first 15 weeks will be given the opportunity to apply for the subsequent 15 weeks which includes co-working space and mentoring.

How does it work?

30 Weeks embraces the principles of technology startups — eliminating wasted effort and maximizing speed — to help transform designers into founders. This learn-by-launching structure gives designers a chance to build their entrepreneurial skills in an environment that’s as close to the real thing as possible. In short: you get startup mentorship, discussions with industry leaders, real tools, group critiques, hands-on-help, a space to work in and the time to focus on your own product. Designers will be exposed to 5 key areas of learning: design, product, tech, business, and collaboration.

It is structured around workshops, speaker series, pitches and group sessions – all focused on the product that you would like to launch.

Mentors that help along the way

Real-world development cycles


Who’s involved?

The 30 Weeks program is operated by Hyper Island in partnership with SVA, Parsons, Pratt, The Cooper Union and some of the smartest minds in design, tech, business and venture capital.

Key Partners
John Maeda

Design Partner at KPCB

John is acting design partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, as well as chair to EBAY Design Advisory Board. Prior, he was President of Rhode Island School of Design.

David Kelley

Founder at IDEO & Founder at the

David is the founder and managing partner at IDEO. He is also a Stanford professor and founded Stanford University's He is a TED speaker covering topics such as design thinking and creative confidence.

Robert Wong

Executive Creative Director at Google Creative Lab

Robert is a designer and Executive Creative Director at the Google Creative Lab. Prior, he was VP Creative at Starbucks. In 2011, he was named one of the 50 Most Influential Designers in America.

Craig Nevill-Manning

Engineering Director at Google

Craig joined Google as a research scientist and engineer in its infancy back in 2001, founding the New York office. He is still a driving force behind innovation and special community projects in New York.

Andy Berndt

VP at Google Creative Lab

Andy is a Vice President at Google and founder of the Google Creative Lab. He has been involved with most of Google's major efforts, including Android, Chrome, Google Glass, Project Loon, and many others.

William Floyd

Senior Manager of Public Policy & Gov't Relations at Google

William leads Public Policy and Government Relations at Google New York. Previously, he was a senior advisor in government and public affairs at several leading New York law firms.

Alfred Spector

VP, Engineering at Google

Alfred is responsible for all education and research special initiatives across Google. Prior to that, he acted as VP, Services at IBM and was also founder and CEO of Transarc Corporation.

Per Vidar Lundberg

Director of Exec. Education at Hyper Island

Per Vidar is Director of Executive Education at Hyper Island. Prior to this, he acted as Director of Technology & Development at Sveriges Television (SVT), the Swedish public service television company.

Kathleen Creighton

Chair of the Communications Design Dept at Pratt Institute

Kathleen has chaired the Communications Design Department at Pratt Institute for the past 10 years, where she oversees and develops curricula for Advertising, Graphic Design and Illustration students.


Chair of BFA Advertising & Design Dept at SVA

Richard Wilde founded the Advertising and Graphic Design department for SVA, where he has been acting chair for the last 40 years. In 2013, he was named to the prestigious One Club Educator Hall of Fame.

Eric Lima

Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Cooper Union

Eric’s focus is on the intersection of "Making" and entrepreneurship. He is the co-creator of Invention Factory.

Eddie Shiomi

Director of Educational Innovation and Opportunity Office of the Provost, The New School

Eddie is a Director at the New School. Prior he served as Vice President of Programs for Venture for America.

Erik Nordlander

Partner, Engineer at Google Ventures

Eric joined Google Ventures in 2010. Prior he led the team that built Google’s next generation display ad serving system and helped acquisition and technical integration for Doubleclick (DCLK)

Shana Dressler

Executive Director

Shana is the founder of the Social Innovators Collective, the co-creator of the Social Good Guides and an Aspen Institute Scholar. In 2015 she was honored by the World CSR Congress as one of the 50 Most Talented Social Innovators.


Founder in Residence

Michoel is Founding and General Partner at Windforce Ventures, a micro VC firm specializing in marketing and mobile technology.

Jason Bacher

Designer in Residence

Jason is a designer and co-founder at Good Fucking Design Advice, a studio focused on designing and delivering content, experiences, and products for the working creative.

Dean Haddock

Engineer in Residence

Dean is the Managing Director of Digital & Technical Innovation for StoryCorps and a civic technologist.

Ektaa Aggarwal

Creative Director, 30 Weeks Impact

Ektaa has 15 years of expertise in design, branding, and innovation, working at agencies such, Landor Associates and SpikeDDB. She is passionate about empowering under-privileged communities around the world through design-lead solutions. Whether it’s designing for slum communities in Mumbai or working with $16 billion dollar Mahindra Group to designing a reading movement for Syrian refugee’s in Za’atri, she is passionate people and problems.

Simon van Woerden

Director of Communications, 30 Weeks Impact

Simon works for the United Nations Development Programme on Communications - for Fundraising and for Crisis Recovery. He loves telling good stories in playful and surprising ways. He likes to make a mess and then organize it. He sings and plays music.

Marianne Aerni

Advisor and Former Co-Director

Marianne is a strategist, learning designer and facilitator. Marianne has been working with Hyper Island - building up the Sao Paulo, Brazil, hub and producing & co-leading executive development programs in Europe and the Americas.

Vania Arevalo

Advisor and Former Program Manager

Vania is a design and financial services consultant. She is studying Design Management at the Pratt Institute. Prior, she worked as a consultant for Deloitte & Touche.

Sveinung Skaalnes

Advisor and Former Program Director

Sveinung is Global Partnership Director at Hyper Island. He previously developed Hyper Island's Digital Data Strategist and eCommerce Business programs.

Kiely Sweatt

Advisor and Former Program Manager

Kiely is a facilitator, writer, teacher and co-founder of an international performing arts company.

Vivian Rosenthal

Advisor and Former Founder in Residence

Vivian is the founder & CEO of Snaps. Prior, she Co-founded Tronic Studio, was a two-time TEDx speaker and was named one of Creativity Magazine's Top 50 Global Creatives of 2010.

Alex Rainert

Advisor and Former Designer in Residence

Alex Rainert is a product design and strategy consultant. He has previously led Product at Foursquare and co-founded dodgeball. In 2012, Fast Company named him one of the 100 most creative people in business.

sarah gregersen

Program Advisor

Sarah is an experienced and awarded process consultant, trainer and facilitator. She has years of experience within the fields of leadership, culture and innovation.

MAthias Jakobsen

Program Design Advisor

Mathias is a serial entrepreneur from Denmark, currently working as a learning designer at Hyper Island. His handwritten newsletter helps people think clearly.

Matias Corea

Advisor and Former Resident

Matias is Co-founder & Head of Design at Behance. Prior, he worked as a designer for ProAm Design and AR Media.

Steve Rura

Advisor and Former Resident

Steve is a Creative Director at Google Creative Lab. He works on both product design and communications for technologies across the company.

Molly O'shea

Advisor and Former Program Manager Associate

Molly is currently studying Design at New York University, is a freelance graphic designer, and is beginning her pursuit as an entrepreneur. She is passionate about innovation, sustainability, design and travel.

James Cooper

Head of Creative at betaworks

James is Head of Creative at betaworks and Co-founder of Thompson Punke.

Michoel Ogince

Founding Partner at Windforce Ventures

Michoel is Founding and General Partner at Windforce Ventures, a micro VC firm specializing in marketing and mobile technology.

Kevin Rogers

Executive Director of Technology at frog design

Kevin is Director of Technology at frog design, NY, where he leads the engineering team, working at the intersection of next generation design, UX, and product development.

Geoffrey Schwartz

Strategy Director at frog design

Geoffrey is Director of Strategy in frog’s New York office with over 8 years of experience in global innovation. He also co-founded and built an umbrella of e-commerce sites.

Amanda Parkes

Chief of Technology and Research, Manufacture New York

Amanda serves as CTO for Manufacture, NY. She is also a visiting scientist at MIT Media Lab and an adjunct professor at Columbia. Additional past work includes founding Bodega Algae and the Exploratorium in San Francisco, the Science Museum in London and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.

Jen van der meer

Founder and CEO of Reason Street

Jen helps companies find the right business models for impact. A former Wall Street analyst and economist, Jen is a business modeler and data doyen who masters the emerging edge of technological change. Throughout her career, Jen has practiced an approach that is equal parts data-driven and creative to understand and apply the opportunities for technology to transform the economy, society, and culture.

Matthew Waldman

Founder of NOOKA

Matthew is a NYC based designer, entrepreneur, educator who promotes the expression of global language via design. Best known for his innovative accessory brand, NOOKA. Matthew is a pioneer in passive intelligent visual systems. He is also an expert brand architect with experience developing branding systems for global businesses.

Dean Haddock

Managing Director at StoryCorps

Dean is the Managing Director of Digital & Technical Innovation for StoryCorps and a civic technologist.

nima abbasi

Founder of Crest & Co

Yomi Abiola

Founder of Stand Up For Fashion and editor at

Nora Abousteit

Founder at Kollabora

Leif Abraham

Partner at Prehype

Måns Adler

Founder at Bambuser

Ektaa Aggarwal

Three Six Nine Inc

Enrique Allen

Co-Founder at Designer Fund

Andrew Allen

Design Co-founder at FiftyThree

Ana Rosenstein

Investments at Betaworks

Bea Arthur

Founder and CEO of In Your Corner

Kaitlin Atkinson

VP of Business Development at StatSocial

Evan Baehr

President of Able Lending / CoAuthor, Get Backed

Brian Baker

Creative Director at This Also

oren bass

Co-founder and CEO at Pave

Lola bates

Senior Design Researcher at Frog Design

Jeff BAxter

Co-founder & Head of Product at Cord Project

austin beer


Jonathan Berger

Associate Director of Product Design at Pivotal Labs

Brett Bergeron

Design Director at This Also

Evan Bienstock

Partner at Mintz Levin

Francis Bitonti

CEO & Founder at Francis Bitonti Studio

Naama Bloom

Founder and CEO of

John Borthwick

Founder and CEO at Betaworks

Jesse Boyes

Co-founder at

ryan burke

Producer at Google Creative Lab

Christian Calderon

Head of Marketing at Dots

Alexandra Cavoulacos

Founder of The Muse

Mona Chaudhuri

Head of Product at ChartBeat

Nisha Chittal

Manager of Social Media & Community at MSNBC

Allan Chochinov

MFA in Products of Design, SVA Chair

Michael Constantiner

Co-Founder at Cameo

jessica covi

Head of Design at Maderas Collective

Dan Castro

Founder of Castro Photos

Soraya Darabi

Co-Founder at Zady

Rohan Deshpande

Co-Founder & CTO at Fundera Inc

Michael Dezube

Software Engineer at Google

John Dimatos

Lead for Tech and Design Partnerships at Kickstarter

Dean DiPietro

Partner at Tomorrow Lab

Cristina Dolan

Global Head of Marketing, Content & Communications Products at Trading Screen

HAnnah donovan

Product Design Lead at Drip

Benjamin Dyett

Co-Founder of Grind

Samuel Asher Effron

Associate at Mintz Levin

Justin Effron

Co-Founder and CEO at ALICE

Simon Endres

Partner & Creative Lead at Red Antler

Natasha Eng

Project Manager at Crush & Lovely

Chris Farber

Director at Chris Farber Productions Inc.

R.A. Farrokhnia

Professor at Columbia University, Schools of Engineering & Business

Jared Feldman

Founder and CEO at Canvs

Besty Fore

Founder of Wondermento


CEO at Hyper Island

Cindy Gallop

Founder and CEO of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn

Kate Gardiner

Founder at DSTL

Thomas Gayno

Co-Founder & CEO at Cord

Pepin Gelardi

Partner at Tomorrow Lab

Justin Gignac

Co-Founder of Working Not Working

Justin Gignac

Co-Founder of Working Not Working

erin glenn

CEO at Quire

Allison Goldberg

Co-Creator of Blogologues

Lea Goldman

Features & Special Projects Director Marie Claire

Dominick Goodrum

VP, Design at Percolate

Dayna Grayson

Partner at New Enterprise Associates

Phi-Hong Ha

Creative Director at Doberman

Kuan Hang

Founder at Poncho

Tom HArman

Product Design Manager at BuzzFeed

Todd Harple

Experience Engineer / Experience Strategist at Intel

matt hartmann

Investments at Betaworks

Steven Heintz

CTO and Head of Product Engineering at Quirky

Emily Heyward

Partner at Red Antler

Emily Heyward

Owner / Partner at Red Antler

Joe Hollier

Founder of Light

Jen Jamula

Co-Creator of Blogologues

Mikkel Holm Jensen

Partner at Prehype

Janvi Jhaveri

Designer at Machine

Birago Jones

CEO at UBQ Media

adam karnas

User Experience Designer at Oscar

adam katz

Designer at Google Creative Lab

Kelsey Falter

Cofounder of Poptip. PM at Palantir

Josh Knowles

VP of Engineering at Pivotal Labs

Sally Kohn

CNN political commentator and columnist

Braden Kowitz

Design Partner at Google Ventures

Bernard Kravitz

VP of Technology at Everplans

alessandra Lariu

ECD at frog, Co-founder at SheSays and Broadli

Albert Lee

Founder at All Tomorrows

greg leuch

Head of Product at Betaworks

Jake levine

Founder of Electric Objects

Larry Levy

Co-Founder & CEO at Appinions inc.

Josh Liberson

VP of Creative at One Kings Lane

Sarah Lidgus

Designer at Machine

Adam LiebSHON

COO at Giphy

Lisa Lindstrøm

CEO at Doberman

Drew Lipsher

Senior Client Partner at Korn Ferry

josh long

Product Design Lead at Oscar

Doreen Lorenzo

President at Quirky

Gilad Lotan

Chief Data Scientist at Betaworks

Liz Luckett

President at TSEF, The Social Entrepreneurs' Fund

heather luipold

Creative Lead at Google Creative Lab

Ryan MacCarrigan

Founder & Chief Experimenter at LeanStudio

Kate MacKenzie

Director of Policy & Government Relations at CityHarvest

Glynnis MacNicol

Writer and Co-Founder of

Jon Markoff

Developer Advocate at Google

Dave Mathews

Founder of New Aer

Caroline McCarthy

VP of Communications at true[X]

Turi McKinley

Executive Director at frogCamp

Bernhard Mehl

Co-Founder KISI Inc.

Martin Melin

Head of Engineering at Tictail

Christina Mercando

Founder & CEO of Ringly

Scott N. Miller

CEO at Dragon Innovation and Partner at Bolt VC

Josh Miller

Co-Founder at Branch

Patrick Moberg

CCO at Dots

Shaun Modi

UX Design Consultant at Shaun Modi Design

toshi mogi

AVP Innovation Strategy at frog

Sean Montgomery

Director or Hardware at Ringly

garret morin

Creative director at Harry's

Andy Nealen

Computer Scientist & Game Designer at NYU

Paul Nemirovsky

Co-Founder & CEO at dMetrics

Roman Nurik

Design Advocate at Google

Kate Oppenhein

Co-Founder of m ss ng p eces

JB Osborne

Partner at Red Antler

JB Osborne

Partner at Red Antler

Irene Pereyra

Co-Founder and UX Director at Anton & Irene

Lisa Pertoso

Hyper Island

Maya ProhovniK

Head of Community Development at Betaworks

Adam Quinton

Founder and CEO of Lucas Point Ventures

Sarah Rapp

Head of Product Marketing at Behance/Adobe

Joe Rizk

Ventures Lead at IDEO

Matthew Rosenberg

Co-Founder at Cameo

Micah Rosenbloom

Venture Partner at Founder Collective

Shiv Sankar

Corporate Counsel at Google

Marcela Sapone

CEO & Co-Founder at Hello Alfred

Brian Schechter

Founder at How About We

Evan Schneyer

Product Manager at Google

Dan Schultz

Founder at Shape Journalism

geoffrey Schwartz

Associate Strategy Director at frog

Edward Segel

VP of Product at Oscar Health

Mendy Seldowitz

Creative Director at mllnnl

Sheila Sharma

Freelance Strategist and Writer

Jay Silver

Founder of MaKeyMaKey

Peter Sims

Co-Founder at The Silicon Guild and Author of LITTLE BETS

Eric Snowden

Lead Product Designer at Behance

Rebecca Soffer

Co-founder and CEO at Modern Loss

Dana Spiegel

Founder & Chief Code Therapist at FounderTherapy

Matt Stinchcomb

VP of Values & Impact at Etsy

Joy Tao

Software Engineer at Palantir

Halle Tecco

CEO at Rock Health

Andy Thompson

Co-Founder at Cameo

Shelby Thompson

Business Manager at Tomorrow Lab

Theodore Ullrich

Partner at Tomorrow Lab

Lindsay Verola

Engineering Manager at Square

Matthew Waldman

Founder of Nooka Mindstyle

Julian Walker

Co-founder & Head of Software Engineering at Fifty Three

Andrew Wanliss-Orlebar

Head of Product & Co-Founder at Project Florida

Fredrik Wikholm

Co-founder and Creative Director Uniforms for the Dedicated The Rag Bag Dedicated Institute

Paul Woolmington

Advisor, Advocate and Angel

David Yarus

Founder of mllnnl and Jswipe

Rus Yusupov

Co-Founder & Creative Director at Vine

Why a founders program for designers?

Who is the right fit?

Do you have a passion project you’re dying to turn into an impactful company? Are you always making, making, making? Are you a problem solver? Have you ever wanted to leave everything behind to strike out on a new path? Do you believe design can shape the future? If so, then you belong at 30 Weeks.

What you'll get?

  • A community of entrepreneurial design-driven thinkers
  • Workshops and mentorships by startup experts
  • Understanding the principles of lean startup methodology
  • Skills to create a prototype
  • Opportunities to pitch to investors

Who can apply?

We accept passionate, curious designers with at least one year of work experience who want to ignite their full potential by creating their own products. Candidates are carefully curated and have backgrounds in areas like graphic and web design, UX/UI design, industrial and product design, creative technology, architecture, and storytelling.

The facts

Applications close: January 11th, 2016
Start date: March 1, 2016
End date: June 10, 2016

Length: 15 weeks
Format: Full-time
Application fee: 50 USD
Tuition fee: 5,000 USD
Location: New York City