Cherry Tree Advises Capella Education Company on Acquisition of Hackbright Acasdemy

Hackbright Academy Joins Capella Education Company to Further Goal of Closing the Gender Gap in Software Engineering

Source: Capella Education Company

Capella Education Company (NASDAQ: CPLA) today announced that Hackbright Academy, the leading non-degree software engineering school for women, has become a wholly-owned, subsidiary of the Capella Education Company. The transaction was closed on April 22, 2016 for a purchase price of $18 million paid in cash at closing. Hackbright’s mission to increase female representation in the tech workforce through education, mentorship and community is a strategic fit with Capella’s focus on providing the most direct path between learning and employment, and Capella’s historic base of largely female students. Hackbright Academy will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Capella and maintain its current headquarters and management team based in San Francisco.

“The future of learning and employment will be shaped by institutions that can upskill under-represented populations in high-demand skill areas. This is what makes the combination ofCapella and Hackbright Academy so exciting,” Kevin Gilligan, Capella Education Companychairman and chief executive officer said. “Capella has a heritage as an innovator for those poorly served by traditional education; Hackbright Academy is on the leading edge of innovation and support for women pursuing career advancement in software engineering. Hackbright’s mission alignment, strategic fit, and growth potential make this partnership an important element of Capella’s future.”

“From my first meeting with Capella, it was clear that they share our values and want to ensure Hackbright has what it needs to succeed and grow,” said Sharon Wienbar, Hackbright Academy’s chief executive officer. “There will be over 1 million unfilled software engineering jobs in the U.S. by 2020, and Hackbright is committed to its mission to changing the ratio of women software engineers in these positions. Combining with Capella will give us the resources to grow to serve our students and partners. I’m thrilled to bring our whole team along on this mission, and to be able to grow our influence in the technology community.”

“We founded Hackbright after seeing how few women had the opportunity to advance their careers in the first code schools, which were heavily male,” said David Phillips, co-founder and chairman of Hackbright. “We are excited that with Capella, we can now accelerate the fulfillment of our mission to #changetheratio.”

About Capella Education Company

Founded in 1991, Capella Education Company ( is a leading education provider, primarily through our wholly owned subsidiary Capella University (, a regionally accredited* online university with approximately 37,000 learners as of Dec. 31, 2015. Capella Education Company also owns Sophia (, an innovative learning platform leveraging technology to support self-paced learning and Capella Learning Solutions (CLS) which provides online non-degree, high-demand, job-ready skills, training solutions and services to individuals and corporate partners.

*Capella University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission.

About Hackbright

Hackbright is the leading software engineering school for women with a mission to increase female representation in tech through education, mentorship and community. Its flagship fellowship is a 12-week accelerated software development program where women learn the skills to become full-time software engineers. Alumnae are represented in companies such asFacebook, Intuit, Slack, Eventbrite and New Relic.

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