Skillshare is an online learning community for creators.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Unlike traditional study, online classes at Skillshare are taught by industry experts and focus on learning by doing.[3][8][9][10] The courses, which are not accredited, accept anyone who wants to learn.[11][12][13] The majority of courses focus more on interaction than lecturing, with the primary goal of learning by completing a project.[10][12] The main categories of learning are creative arts, design, entrepreneurship, lifestyle and technology, with subtopics covering a myriad of skills.[14][15][16][17]


Michael Karnjanaprakorn and Malcolm Ong started Skillshare in New York City, New York in November 2010, the site was live in April 2011.[2][14] Prior to starting Skillshare, Karnjanaprakorn led the product team at Hot Potato, a social media product bought by Facebook, and Ong was product manager at OMGPop.[18][19] In August 2011, Skillshare raised $3.1 million in Series A funding led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital.[18][20] As of late 2013, Skillshare has raised $4.65 million in funding.[7] In February 2014, Skillshare raised $6 million, with financing co-led by Union Square Ventures and Spark Capital, bringing its funding total to $10 million.[21]

Skillshare held the Penny Conference in April 2012, a one-day discussion on the current educational system and how to reform it.[14][22] Speakers included Skillshare’s CEO, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Codecademy’s cofounder Zach Sims, and Pencils of Promise founder Adam Braun.[14]

Skillshare launched its online courses in August 2012.[3][11][23][24][25] In these self paced courses, students collaborate with one another to complete a project.[13] Skillshare started with 15 online courses and as of November 2013, it has hosted more than 250 online courses.[7][23] That same month, Skillshare launched its School of Design.[26]

Skillshare and Levi’s collaborated to launch the School of MakeOurMark in October 2013.[27] These classes focus on individual creativity with courses in photography, tattooing, and various forms of illustration.[27][28]

In March 2014, Skillshare moved to a membership model, with hundreds of online courses in design, business and technology available for $9.95 a month.[29] Later that year, the company announced a new open platform, where anyone can learn and anyone can teach. In conjunction, it released a Free Membership option, with the ability to watch a limited amount of class content each month at no cost.[30]


Skillshare breaks down the categories of their classes into advertising, business, design, fashion and style, film and video, food and drink, music, photography, technology, and writing and publishing.[4][32] Within each category is a list of available courses being offered under that heading, which are taught by industry leaders.[32][4] All the online courses are self-paced.[3][4]

Notable instructors

Industry leaders have taught several of Skillshare's courses. Seth Godin has a class on entrepreurship;[4][4] Jessica Hische leads one of lettering;[4] Young Guru's s class, covers audio mixing and recording;[4][4] Marc Ecko covers entrepreneurship and brand creation.[4][5] Gary Vaynerchuk's class teaches social media strategy.[5] Teachers of entrepreneurship Guy Kawasaki and Barbara Corcoran also have classes.