Tech education startup Galvanize is bolstering its efforts to get people into tech with the launch of the Galvanize Foundation, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that will fund scholarships to code schools and other programs that promote diversity in the tech industry.
While Galvanize proper offers boot camps and a Master’s program in San Francisco and locations in Colorado, Galvanize co-founder Lawrence Mandes says the new nonprofit arm will not just be about getting more people into its for-profit classes.
“This is about funding the pipelines that can get people into tech after or instead of traditional education programs,” Mandes told me on the phone today. He sees the foundation and the things that it plans to support as near-term compliments to programs that get computer science education into K-12 schools. “We’ll see the effects of those efforts in seven to eight years, but you can measure our effectiveness in months.”
That’s because it’ll be funding months-long programs that claim to have job-placement rates above 95 percent, as well as programs from organizations like Women Who Code, which bring women and other under-represented minorities to coding events in order to bring some much-needed diversity to the field.
In the past, Galvanize has offered scholarships in the range of $5,000 to those interested in going through its programs, with a few rare cases where amounts went as high as $25,000 thanks to support from other organizations. With the Galvanize Foundation, Mandes says that early commitments from companies and startup founders in the tech community in the six-figure range should allow more scholarships in the $20,000 to 25,000 range.
At that amount, the foundation can start looking beyond covering (or partially covering) tuition and start addressing the cost of living for those who would like to participate in code schools. That’s key to opening up such programs to those with lower incomes: their current addressable market only allows for people who can not only afford the classes, but also take several months off from work. Helping to cover things like food and rent with scholarships opens the door for thousands of more people to be able to even consider picking up coding via one of the many code boot camps now available.