Being part of a movement in our community not only inspires us to spread positive energy that can uplift our environment, but it also equips us with the skill set to make a mark on this world. By being positive influencers in our own communities, we can become the change that we wish to see in the world. Community building is one of the most rewarding things we can do.
Here at Band of Coders we view community building as a personal duty to better the neighborhoods that we live in and our industry as a whole. We believe a company’s growth isn’t always determined by annual sales, figures or quarterly targets. No matter how small your business is, the opportunity to help others is limitless – and this is what matters most to us.
Our Start-Up Train (which just boarded this morning!) and Girls Academy are two examples of initiatives we’ve created to invest in our local communities. The Start-Up Train is a one-way train from Toronto to Start-Up Fest in Montreal. During the train ride, startup junkies get to meet and connect with some of Canada’s best-known investors and advisors. Within five hours, passengers get to indulge in mentorships, food, and mimosas – the perfect combination for networking and learning from the best investors and advisors the community has to offer.
Girls Academy is an initiative we started in 2014 to give middle school girls the confidence to embrace careers in technology. ”We understood the power of having a diverse workforce, and made a commitment to create one,” explains our CEO and founder Bobby John. “As we strived to accomplish that, the gender inequality in tech became very evident.” We decided to start coding camps for girls to bridge the gap. Now, two years later, we have helped over 475 middle school girls discover how to combine their passions with technology through numerous summer camps, one day camps, and even partnerships with schools and corporations across Atlanta.
During the Girls Academy program, we get the girls to identify and focus on a social problem that they’d like to solve in the world. Within the program’s duration, they learn how to take an idea, create wireframes, build a prototype through coding and web apps, and finally pitch in front of family and friends on graduation day. The girls get to experience the essence of being an entrepreneur! And best of all, these girls become pro public speakers, team players, and techies way before joining the workforce. This week we have thirteen girls who have already coded a few apps and are collaborating in groups to take an idea and create an app to pitch to their parents and friends tomorrow!
This Friday, July 15, we get to partner with Cox Automotive – the 2nd-largest technology company in metro Atlanta – to kick off our Girls Academy program for almost 50 middle school girls! We’re thrilled to partner with Cox and hope it will be the first of several Atlanta-founded businesses that help us grow the diversity in the technology industry. “Our goal is to make Atlanta have the most diversified technology workforce in the nation,” says Bobby. “I think no matter what size company you are, you can make a difference. That’s really why the technology field is so amazing; it levels the playing field for anyone to get involved.”
So no matter how small or big your business is, we feel it’s essential to make a positive impact and give back to your community. How are you giving back to your community? If you’d like to get involved with what we are doing, feel free to leave comments or contact us directly.