Hopeworks hosted its fifth annual Camden Code Day and accompanying pitch competition this past Saturday. The event served as an example of the tech training nonprofit’s commitment to supporting its city’s economic growth and tech literacy.
The event meshed education with “Shark Tank“-style startup showcases. Technologist attendees participated in workshops focusing on topics such as front-end web development, HTML and data visualization. The accompanying pitch competition was designed to bring new entrepreneurs needed support as they grow and, hopefully, generate jobs in their city.
Hopeworks Executive Director Dan Rhoton sees the event as a way to educate the next generation of tech professionals in finding jobs while giving others the tools to succeed right now in creating them.
“In one day, we are able to support two ends of the workforce — those looking to enter it and those looking to build it,” he said in a statement. “We are able to help workers prepare for the jobs we are also helping to create.”
In order to qualify for the pitch competition, the entrepreneurs’ businesses must have been revenue-generating and focused on consumer products, services or technologies. The winners received cash prizes plus donations that were accrued during the day’s event:
- First-place winner and web developer Fran Dixon won $5,000.
- Second-place winner and artist Leea Kelly won $4,000.
- Dixon tied with entrepreneur Luna Tucker for the Audience’s Choice award, which won Dixon an additional $3,000 and Tucker $3,000.
- Mid-competition donations of $2,000 each went to media creator Dre Jordan, Sierra Patterson and mental health worker Jase Elam.
Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen also stopped by to take in the day’s activities. Check out some pics from the day, provided by Hopeworks:
Michael Butler is a 2020-2022 corps member for Report for America, an initiative of The Groundtruth Project that pairs young journalists with local newsrooms. This position is supported by the Lenfest Institute for Journalism.