Sterling Partners has acquired a majority stake in Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy (TFA), a digital media arts college. TFA has been led by veteran high-tech entrepreneur Howard Tullman, its president and CEO, since it began operations in 2007. “Sterling Partners’ education expertise, tremendous resources and capital support will enhance and expand TFA’s ability to train tomorrow’s innovators and leaders in digital media. The digital revolution impacts businesses across the globe – whether it’s consumer goods, media, education, medicine, gaming, music, animation, film and broadcast, visual effects or visual communications,” said Mr. Tullman.
Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, a digital media arts college, offers a two-year, career-focused program leading to an associate degree in disciplines including Film & Broadcast, Game & Interactive Media, Recording Arts, Animation & Visual Effects and Graphic Design & Visual Communication. TFA is accredited by the American Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. TFA has achieved strong placement rates across each of its core disciplines. Graduates have taken jobs with such companies as Disney, NBC Universal, Nickelodeon and a variety of other leading media and advertising companies. The school has a downtown Chicago campus and two other learning sites (www.tfa.edu).
“We are very excited to partner with Sterling Partners to continue to build out the vision for TFA,” said Craig Hatkoff, co-founder of Tribeca Enterprises, the parent company of Tribeca Educational Ventures LLC and the Tribeca Film Festival. Tribeca Enterprises became an investor in TFA in 2010.
“This important partnership between Tribeca Flashpoint Academy and Sterling Partners will arm our young people with the tools to find quality jobs and launch careers in a rapidly evolving digital world, and is the kind of initiative that will help cement Chicago’s position as a hub for exceptional educational institutions for higher learning,” said Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago. “Investments like this one — where Chicago-based private equity firms are investing in Chicago institutions — are important to the city’s future economic success.”
Sterling Partners invests growth capital in industries with positive, long-term trends and provides ongoing support to management through a dedicated team of industry veterans, operators, strategy experts and human capital professionals. Sectors of interest include education, healthcare and business services. The firm has offices in Chicago, IL; Baltimore, MD; and Miami, FL (www.sterlingpartners.com).
“Educational institutions today must provide their students with the technical and critical-thinking skills required to succeed in a workplace that’s increasingly changing, and Tribeca Flashpoint Academy does just that,” said Jason Rosenberg, a Sterling principal. “We are thrilled to partner with the management team led by Howard Tullman as well as with the existing investors, to continue building a world-class program at one of the nation’s leading digital media arts schools.”