Local nonprofit Start Fort Wayne approved at last night’s board meeting to formally partner with South Bend Code School to bring coding and computer programming education for kids aged 7-18 to Fort Wayne.
Founded in 2015, South Bend Code School helps students learn the fundamentals of web development and design, software craftsmanship and entrepreneurship. The curriculum grants students experience in conceptualizing, designing and building applications that work towards solving real-world problems.
“We are delighted to expand the reach of South Bend Code School to the Fort Wayne community,” says Alex Liggins, co-founder of South Bend Code School. “Through our curriculum, career mentorship and trips to major tech companies, the program gives students skills to help them in the job market and prepare them for higher education. It is very exciting for us to partner with the Start Fort Wayne team to bring a program we believe in to other parts of the state. We know that tech skills are in high demand in most regions. We are excited to grow and bring more opportunity to youth in other cities as well as South Bend.”
Since its inception, over 100 students in northern Indiana have completed the school’s formal program and over 600 students have been reached through its expanded outreach efforts. Over 120 websites have been built by students in South Bend Code School programs and students receiving education have been 47% female and 56% under-represented, minority students.
"No industry in our region is untouched by advances in technology. If northeast Indiana wants to compete over the next 50 years, we have to ensure that we are growing the talent to design, develop, and manage new technology. Software developers are in short supply, not just in Fort Wayne, but across the entire United States, and it will be difficult to attract all of the talent we will need. We look forward to this partnership with South Bend Code School to help us grow these future programmers and engineers right here at home. We are very excited about this new program, and can’t wait to see what these kids will create next!" says Start Fort Wayne board president and founder Dave Sanders.
Start Fort Wayne began in 2015 with a vision is to be a hub for entrepreneurship by building programs and creating connections for entrepreneurs that drive startup culture and prepare leaders with skills required in the new economy. In doing this, Start Fort Wayne helps entrepreneurs realize their dreams.
In addition to Code School, other programs and projects brought to northeast Indiana by Start Fort Wayne include:
- 1 Million Cups: A weekly Kauffman Foundation event for local entrepreneurs to meet and present their startups to the thriving peer networking of founders in northeast Indiana
- Atrium: A thriving downtown co-working space at 111 W. Berry St. that, since opening in October 2016, has waitlists for its dedicated desks and office spaces, and just 40 general memberships still available
- LevelUp Entrepreneurial Coaching: Over 80 entrepreneurs from all stages of the business life-cycle have received coaching. LevelUp will include programming for the entrepreneurially-curious, to established ventures needing to power up, and to new innovations and tech startups looking for venture capital
Start Up Week 2018: Start Fort Wayne will collaborate with other entrepreneur and small business supporting organizations for a week-long event that brings renowned speakers and conversations on topics surrounding startup culture to Fort Wayne and the region