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Resource Roundup: Catch this Coded by Kids + Eagles partnership for youth looking to gain tech skills

Plus, new federal financial assistance for small biz, capital and training for Bucks County startups and the Science Center's upcoming programing.

A Coded by Kids class; founder Sylvester Mobley stands at back. (Courtesy photo)

This is Resource Roundup, a look at open applications for business and career-building programs, funding and other opportunities around the region. Want to share a new resource for entrepreneurs and technologists? Email us at philly@technical.ly.

Coded by Kids’ OnE Philadelphia initiative — its inclusive talent pipeline project for kids and adults in the city — is launching a youth partnership this summer with the Philadelphia Eagles and Comcast in the form of an “Innovation League” for all things tech.

The org describes the league as a “competitive activity for entrepreneurial and creative youth looking to build their technology and leadership skills.” Starting later this summer on August 28, 100 students across the city between the ages of 12-18 will attend weekly practices and events to learn and apply principles of design thinking, project management and creative problem solving to proposed weekly projects and challenges.

The kids will work in teams to build prototypes, design solutions and present ideas at monthly competitions. The official league kickoff will happen with Eagles players at either Lincoln Financial Field or a LIFT Zone practice center in late summer, a spokesperson said. Participation is free.

Coded by Kids CEO Sylvester Mobley.

“We want people in Philadelphia to look at technology and innovation in the same way they look at sports,” said Sylvester Mobley, Coded by Kids’ CEO, in a statement. “We want them to see it as competitive and exciting, and most importantly, accessible. Finally, we want youth — especially youth from underrepresented communities — to see that they can ‘make it big’ through a career in tech, not just sports.”

The initiative is also looking for innovation coaches and mentors from local tech companies, which will be assigned to students. At the end of the season in early 2022, the teams with the highest rankings from weekly competitions will compete in its Innovation Bowl for a cash prize.

“The Innovation League is designed to help young people obtain the digital skills needed to participate in the future of work,” said Dalila Wilson-Scott, EVP and chief diversity officer at Comcast Corporation, in a statement.

To sign up for the program or to learn about being a mentor or coach, head here. 

Bucks Built Startup Fund

Applications for the Bucks Built Startup Fund, which offers up to $25,000 each for five early-stage startups, are open through Wednesday, June 30. The year-long program offers mentorship, pitch coaching, on-call advising, participation in the weekly 1 Million Cups forums and connections with investors.

Startps will also get a tech stack audit from “CIO-to-go” service Coherent Ways, access to the Stacks Co. workspace in Doylestown and connections to business pros and the Startup Bucks community.

Startups that are eligible for the accelerator should have no more than five employees, currently be an incorporated entity, and have at least one of these within a year of funding: an owner living or planning to live in the county, operating or planning to operate there or a commitment to hiring in Bucks County. But, companies do not need to be incorporated in Pennsylvania or based in the county to apply.

Apply here

SBA’s Community Navigator Pilot Program

The U.S. Small Business Association’s Community Navigator Pilot Program is launching to bring funding to the country’s smallest businesses. Established by the American Rescue Plan Act, the program will leverage a community navigator approach to reach small businesses, with a priority focus on those owned by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals, women and veterans.

Competitive grant awards will range from $1 million to $5 million for a two-year performance period. SBA will accept applications through July 12, and anticipates it will make award decisions by August 2021. SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman said that the administration will be using a  “hub and spoke model” in local regions across the nation to bridge the gap between local entrepreneurs and SBA’s resources and programs. It will also provide counseling, networking and the assistance needed during this time of economic recovery.

“If we’re going to build back better, we need to ensure that all entrepreneurs have the support they need to recover,” she said in a statement.

Apply by July 12

Science Center awards + BULB applications

The University City Science Center is again hosting its Nucleus Awards, recognizing “ecosystem builders that fuel discovery, demolish barriers and foster an innovative future.” This year’s awards will recognize honorees across three categories: commercialization, convener and cultivator.

Nominations for the three award categories are being accepted through June 30, and chosen nominees will be announced in August. The Science Center plans to celebrate the honorees at its annual Nucleus Awards in-person event on September 21.

Nominate a leader by June 30

Plus, applications for the Science Center’s Building an Understanding of Lab Basics (BULB) workforce program are being accepted through June 25. The program will take place virtually for participants, from Monday, July 19, to Friday, July 30. Participants will receive basic laboratory environment skills that can be applied to multiple roles in the STEM industry. Graduates of the program will receive:

  • A laptop
  • Provided lab materials and supplies
  • A STEM mentor
  • Access to online learning modules beyond program completion


And check out these programs from previous Resource Roundups that are still open:

Companies: Coded by Kids / Comcast / Philadelphia Eagles / U.S. Small Business Administration / University City Science Center

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