Pilot program will bring together entrepreneurs, government, and corporate partners to connect underserved communities with job opportunities in DC’s growing digital economy
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 6, 2015
Washington, D.C. – 1776, General Assembly, and Mayor Muriel Bowser joined TDF Foundation, THEARC, Capital One, MedStar Health, and Microsoft today to announce the DC Innovation Opportunity Program, a new initiative to connect talented, low-income students with the resources, skills, and support they need to succeed in the careers of tomorrow.
“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.”
Starting this summer, the program will provide workshops at THEARC to introduce up to 30 high-potential students from Wards 7 and 8 to in-demand career opportunities in DC’s burgeoning digital and tech economies. At the end of those workshops, every student who has successfully completed the program will receive twelve months of free access to the General Assembly Front Row digital curriculum, while five students will be selected for scholarships provided by the TDF Foundation that will enable them to complete full immersive programs in web development or user experience design with General Assembly at 1776. After that, they will participate in six-month, paid internships in their discipline at Capital One, MedStar, and Microsoft.
“This program serves as an innovative way to support our underserved communities and prepare our next generation in fields that are rapidly expanding,” said Mayor Bowser. “Together we will build a world-class startup ecosystem that draws on homegrown talent and creates and preserves pathways to the middle class for all District residents.”
As an initial pilot, the DC Innovation Opportunity program will be open to individuals who reside in Wards 7 and 8, have successfully graduated from high school with at least two years of college or work experience, and demonstrate a strong aptitude for coding and design. Applications are available from today through June 12, 2015.
“In under two years we’ve seen hundreds of students successfully graduate our full-time design and tech programs here in DC,” said Paul Gleger, General Assembly Regional Director. “We’re excited to partner on this important initiative to help even more students, from all parts of the community, access General Assembly’s educational programs and transform their careers.”
1776 is a global incubator and seed fund that finds promising startups focused on solving the world’s most fundamental challenges and helps engineer their success. 1776 focuses on startups in the most broken, entrenched industries and sectors that impact millions of lives every day—specifically education, energy & sustainability, health, transportation, and cities.
Because solving big challenges in entrenched industries requires a different approach, 1776 is revolutionizing the startup landscape. From its hub in Washington, D.C., it is sparking a global movement of “problem-solving’ startups through the Challenge Cup and Startup Federation, the premiere network of incubators throughout the world.
1776 was founded in February 2013 by Donna Harris, a serial entrepreneur and the former Managing Director of the Startup America Partnership, and Evan Burfield, founder of netDecide, a provider of enterprise wealth management solutions, and the consulting firm Synteractive.
About General Assembly
General Assembly is a global educational institution that is building a community of individuals empowered to pursue work they love through instruction and opportunity in technology, business and design. General Assembly offers full-time immersive programs, classes, workshops and online educational programming on the most relevant skills of the 21st century economy, including web development, user experience design, product management, digital marketing and data science. Headquartered in New York, General Assembly was established in early 2011 and has 14 campuses worldwide.