Applications for CODE2040 fellowships are due October 31, 2012. By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
People of color will become the majority in the United States by the year 2040. Some have noted that the minority achievement gap will not be closed that same year, and started a technology program to actually do something about it.
CODE2040 aims to close the gap by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in technology startups, providing startup internships for "high performing black and latino undergraduate and graduate coders and software engineering students". These students receive not only internships but a speaker series, networking events and mentorship from entrepreneurs, investors, and executives in Silicon Valley, thanks to program partners like Andresseen Horowitz and the Kauffman Foundation.
"CODE2040 helped me reach a summer goal that I had given up on - getting to know Silicon Valley," wrote Amy Quispe, a CODE2040 fellow from the inaugural summer 2012 class.
"I gained a lot of insight into what it takes to be a founder and even got clarity on which role in a startup I would like to fill," wrote Alexandria Cattron, another CODE2040 fellow. "Now I’m super excited to cultivate my own ideas for products and link up with others who are just as passionate as I am about fixing a problem in society using technology."
"At CODE2040, we aim for gender parity in our fellowship class. Our 2012 pilot was 40% female and we're looking to be as close to 50-50 as possible each year. We know that will be challenging in terms of recruitment but we feel it is absolutely worth the extra effort in our outreach. Women developers can benefit tremendously from participation in the CODE2040 fellowship - a lot of the skills that we teach are particularly applicable for female engineers. One of our speakers, CODE2040 board member Marc Hedlund, who has done a lot for women in technology, gave a talk on how to negotiate an employment offer. While this is useful for everyone, women in particular tend to under-negotiate in professional situations," Laura Weidman Powers, Founding Executive Director at CODE2040.
"CODE2040 is a program I wished I had when I was a computer science student!" said Jennifer Arguello, co-founder of Latino Startup Alliance. "I didn't know about startups until I was about to graduate and I've been enamored with them ever since. If the coming generation of minorities can be exposed sooner I want to help that happen and that's why I am such a huge supporter of the program."
Early applications for CODE2040 fellowships are due October 31, 2012 for the summer 2013 program. High-achieving black and latino college students who are currently studying engineering or coding on their own are encouraged to apply. The final deadline to apply is February 28, 2013 and the program will be accepting applicants on a rolling basis after October 31, 2012.
Women 2.0 readers: How can we increase the representation of minorities in startups and technology companies? Let us know in the comments.
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.