Neal Sales-Griffin

Neal Sales-Griffin is photographed at The Starter League. (Andrew A. Nelles / for the Chicago Tribune / June 10, 2014.)

Neal Sales-Griffin is CEO of CodeNow, a New York-based nonprofit that teaches coding to kids. He also teaches an entrepreneurship course as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. He has announced he will run for Chicago mayor in 2019.

Before CodeNow, Sales-Griffin co-founded The Starter League, a coding and entrepreneurship school that was one of the first tenants in 1871. Since opening in 2011, the school has launched several companies, including one that raised nearly $1 million in venture capital.

He and co-founder Mike McGee, who also works at CodeNow, met while students at Northwestern University.

“The way we work well together is, we share the same belief,” Sales-Griffin told the Tribune. “That belief is that the world will be better if people can solve problems with code.”

The Starter League was a for-profit school that teaches would-be entrepreneurs how to code and design software in a three-month program that offers HTML, JavaScript, web development, visual design and user-design experience. The school also helped students network with investors and successful entrepreneurs.

In 2013, the school began offering intensive nine-month Starter School courses that focus on business-skills, plus start-to-finish product development and back-end functioning via Ruby on Rails.

Sales-Griffin and McGee sold the Starter League to the Fullstack Academy in March 2016 for an undisclosed sum. He still advises Fullstack but isn’t on its payroll.

Sales-Griffin previously worked as an analyst with Chicago venture firm and startup incubator Sandbox Industries. While a student at Northwestern, he researched video games, technology and for-profit education startups for OCA Ventures.

He lives in Chicago.

Find him on social: @nealsales Neal Sales-Griffin
Age: 32 Website:
Connected to: Mike McGee, co-founder, The Starter League