RED Academy Opens Its Doors

Vancouver’s newest technology school officially opened its doors to students interested in honing their front-end design, web development, and digital marketing skills.

Red Academy revealed a new open-learning space on Thursday and invited representatives from Telus, Hootsuite, Live Nation, and other illustrious local institutions in the city to mingle with staff and guests.

The academy, which is located on the corner of Broadway Street and Granville, sports a 5,500-square-foot space with multiple classrooms and a wide range of amenities but its greatest asset is the flexibility its courses offer students.

“The world needs programmers, they need people that know digital marketing, and they need people that can design websites and interfaces – the traditional education system just isn’t doing that,” says RED Academy founder Colin Mansell.

Mansell has incorporated a lean startup approach to his curriculum and the professionals he employs. None of that having to wait a few years for a committee to approve a new program offering like many traditional educational environments. Being newer and smaller in scale than most large educational institutions, RED Academy can much more easily adapt its programs to the quickly changing technological needs that local industry jobs call for.

“We have 60 companies in Vancouver that we are working closely with,” says Mansell.

While the space itself seems reasonably large at first glance, it only has 45 places that are made available at one time for students looking to enter their professional three month course offerings, making it substantially smaller than most educational institutions. And that is what they are really taking advantage of – smaller class sizes, more group work, team learning, and again, the ability to pivot programs quickly to the needs of local industry.

There are plenty of great ideas on RED’s plate at the moment and with any luck, their lean operation will provide Vancouver’s tech sector with the much-needed talent it is striving to find.

“We think it’s about ongoing support – where any alumni can come in and chat with a network of mentors or even bring in something they are working on and be able to talk to people that are experts in that field,” says Mansell.