Smart Factory opens at Harriet & Lake

New tech school teaches mobile app development courses

The Smart Factory features murals by artist Adam Turman Credit: Submitted image

Tech classes are underway at a new school formed by the founders of two mobile app companies.

“It’s a competitive market globally, and we believe Minneapolis has some of the best talent in the country,” said Jeff Lin, a leader at Smart Factory and founder of Bust Out Solutions. While other regions like Los Angeles and Silicon Valley are known for their tech expertise, Lin said he and co-founder Mike Bollinger (co-founder of TECHdotMN and Livefront) wanted to embrace Minneapolis’ tech scene.

“We want to help the general skills get better, so we can compete head-to-head,” he said.Jeff Lin

New classroom space stands next to Livefront and Shelter Architecture at 2913 Harriet Ave. S. Artist Adam Turman designed murals inside and outside the building that play off the local cityscape and the Smart Factory brand name.

Lin said he and Bollinger have been friends for many years. Although their companies are competitors, they often collaborate to work on large accounts. One of Lin’s favorite projects involved creating a virtual Bonsai tree for a Como Zoo iPad app. Livefront clients include Dunn Bros and Public Radio International.

At Smart Factory, students bring in a laptop and build software throughout each six-week class. Classes include Mobile UI Design, Ruby on Rails, Web Production, iOS Development and Android Development. The website is