May 7, 2015
Since it seems that 1776 can’t go a week without making news, they just announced an Innovation Opportunity Program that they are launching with General Assembly. DC’s Mayor Muriel Bowser along with representatives from TDF Foundation, THEARC, Capital One, MedStar Health, and Microsoft were also on hand for the announcement.
The goal of the program is to connect talented, low-income students from underserved neighborhoods with resources, skills, and support to prepare them for careers in technology and innovation.
“Established players in DC’s digital economy owe it to the larger community to expand educational opportunities, especially in areas of this city that are traditionally underserved,” said Evan Burfield, cofounder of 1776, the global incubator and seed fund. “By bringing together startups, government, and major tech companies to provide promising, low-income students with a valuable onramp to careers in the innovation economy, the DC Innovation Opportunity Program will build a much-needed network to support local students and nurture future tech talent.”
Both 1776 and General Assembly are major players in DC’s startup community. 1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that funds and promotes startups in the fields of education, energy & sustainability, health, and smart cities. General Assembly is an educational institution based in DC where they offer online and in-person classes in areas such as web development, digital marketing, and product management.
The program’s pilot will be open to individuals specifically in DC’s Wards 7 and 8, the poorest and most underserved wards in the district. To be eligible, applicants must have graduated high school and have at least two years college or work experience. They must also demonstrate a strong aptitude for coding and design.
Thirty chosen students will attend workshops at THEARC to get an introduction to tech and design career opportunities that are available in DC. Every student who successfully completes the workshops will receive twelve months of free access to the General Assembly Front Row digital curriculum. Five other students will be given scholarships provided by the TDF Foundation to be used for the completion of programs in web development or user experience design. They will also be offered six month paid internships through either Capital One, MedStar or Microsoft.
Image Credit: Flickr/AFGE
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