Civic News

The city is funding a dev bootcamp for low-income adults

It's one of four StartUp PHL grants the mayor will announce Thursday. Each grant focuses on making technology more accessible to all Philadelphians.

Billy Shakespeare.

(Photo by Flickr user Marilyn Roxie, used under a Creative Commons license)

Full disclosure: cofounder Christopher Wink recently joined the board of Coded by Kids.

Sylvester Mobley thinks all Philadelphians should be able to learn how to code — not just the ones who can afford developer bootcamps that cost thousands of dollars.
That’s why he’s launching a 12-week dev bootcamp for low-to-middle income adults, with the help of the City of Philadelphia. The city’s StartUp PHL grant program is awarding Mobley nearly $20,000 to run the camp. Mayor Michael Nutter will announce Mobley’s grant and three others later today at the Marian Anderson Recreation Center, during Mobley’s bi-weekly youth coding education program, Coded by Kids.
“This is exactly the kind of thing we want to see grow in Philadelphia,” said Luke Butler, chief of staff to deputy mayor for economic development.
The city wants to support tech and entrepreneurship programs that can reach more people across the city, he said. It also wants to support programs that encourage youth to get involved in technology. (Graduates of Mobley’s dev bootcamps, which are priced on a sliding scale but cost around $300, will commit to teaching at Coded by Kids.) Mobley plans to launch a website for the program soon but for now, if you’re interested, reach out to Mobley.
The three other StartUp PHL “Call for Ideas” grants that will be announced today also focus on greater equity in Philly’s tech scene. They are:

  • $25,000 to the University City Science Center to build out the FirstHand Lab, which will be a lab space that students and teachers can use and builds off the Science Center’s STEAM programs.
  • $10,000 to TechGirlz to develop its “Entrepreneur Bootcamp in a Box” open source curriculum, which aims to scale the nonprofit’s entrepreneurship program for middle school girls across the city.
  • $23,500 to Drexel University. Drexel entrepreneurship head Chuck Sacco will lead a program that will tie together all the entrepreneurship programs at regional schools. They’ll develop a regional business plan competition. We reported on the early efforts of this crew in February.

The last round of “Call for Ideas” grants focused on fighting brain drain. One of those grants was to Zivtech and Neomind Labs to run a five-week dev bootcamp that was free for attendees.


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