Boston coding bootcamp Launch Academy just opened up shop in Philly - Philly


Dec. 21, 2016 11:03 am

Boston coding bootcamp Launch Academy just opened up shop in Philly

The company has three full-time instructors at Benjamin's Desk's new spot.

At a Launch Academy class in Boston.

(Courtesy photo)

There’s a tinge of nostalgia behind Launch Academy’s decision to plant its flag in Philadelphia.

“Philly is very reminiscent of Boston when we started Launch Academy in 2012,” cofounder Dan Pickett told “There’s a growing tech scene, and with that, an emerging talent gap.”

The bootstrapped Boston-based coding bootcamp is one of the new tenants of Benjamin’s Desk’s 1608 Walnut St. location, which soft-opened last week. (Emphasis on soft. It’s functional but much of the space is unfinished.) The firm just got licensed by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and recently kicked off an eight-week prelearning program at Ben’s Desk called Ignition with a cohort of 12 students and three on-site educators.

One of those three is a familiar face: former P’unk Ave dev Kylee Acker, a Launch Academy grad herself.

Director of Business Development Corinne Babel will also be on the ground here in Philly as of January.

(You can apply here for the upcoming Summer 2017 program, which kicks off March 6).

Launch Academy considered five markets for its next site. So besides the 2012-era Boston nostalgia, what made the case for Philadelphia? “For us, it was all about the potential market: a competitive landscape and open jobs for our developers,” Pickett said.

Launch Academy’s 10-week program promises to take someone with no previous coding background and get them ready for an entry-level job in the field. At a $15,000 tuition (pricier than New York Code & Design Academy’s $10,000 full-time program here in Philly), the company pledges post-graduation support and guidance as part of the package.


“We look at the relationship between our school, hiring companies, and aspiring developers as a three way partnership that ultimately helps to make metropolitan economies stronger,” Pickett said.

(If you’re on the search for a job, don’t miss our tech jobs fair NET/WORK on Feb. 7 at The Fillmore.)

Given the thirst for tech talent in town, you might think Launch Academy would be joining a crowded field of full-length bootcamps. Options are actually not that varied. You have Horizons Academy, the coding bootcamp for studentsNew York Code & Design Academy, which expanded to Philly back in 2014 and now Launch Academy. There have been some brief experiences like that bootcamp Zivtech and Neomind Labs put together thanks to a StartUpPHL grant. Or that time when the Flatiron School posted up in Philly for a remote course (which is no longer active).

(There’s also Sylvester Mobley’s Coded by U, the for-profit arm of Coded by Kids, but that organization focuses more on delivering workshops for private schools, companies and government agencies.)

In a way, Philly will be a test-balloon for Launch Academy’s model: Pickett said 2017 will likely see the company popping up at another city, though he did not disclose which one. Let’s see how Philly greets the out-of-towners.

Already a member? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the community
New call-to-action


The Mount Airy-based author of ‘The Daring Book for Girls’ is back to inspire a love of coding

Want to learn to code? Check out these 12 (mostly) local bootcamps and resources

This financial services firm offers global opportunity in the heart of Philly



Why Linode sent this manager to Mumbai for 7 months

Philadelphia, Pa


Event Sales Ambassador

Apply Now
Ambler, PA


Data Engineer

Apply Now

ISTE 2019: How technology will change careers and industries over the next 10 years

This apprenticeship program is opening the door for candidates with nontraditional backgrounds

Take a peek at the opportunities popping up at PromptWorks



This financial services firm offers global opportunity in the heart of Philly

Center City


Member Experience Specialist

Apply Now
Philadelphia, PA


Frontend Engineer

Apply Now


UX Designer

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!