(From IdeaHack Spring 2014. Image via Facebook)
The Startup Institute welcomed fresh faces into three of its locations on Monday: Boston, Chicago and New York. Locally, the newest cohort of students is enthusiastic, energized and ready for the eight weeks ahead, yet what’s in store is still unknown to the aspiring entrepreneurs.
Per tradition, the Startup Institute isn’t wasting time in acclimating students to the realities of entrepreneurship. The class will be locked inside a room on Thursday afternoon for a 24-hour “IdeaHack.”
Students will be split into cross-functional teams, and be given the chance to work with students from one of the program’s four tracks: product and design, Web development, technical marketing and sales and account management.
In the past, the organization has partnered with The Possible Project, Sharitive and TUGG to help each solve problems they face daily. This time, the Startup Institute will be working with Resilient Coders, a free, volunteer-based program focused on making Web technology more available to children who might not otherwise be exposed to it.
Resilient Coders just launched, and is currently running a summer pilot program with the state’s Department of Youth Services. For eight weeks, students will be building their own websites and exploring Web development as a means of improving their future and community.
The organization’s mission aligns perfectly with that of IdeaHack. “We want to showcase area startups that are leveraging technology for a social impact to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Startup Institute Program Manager Anthony Cole in an email to BostInno. “Resilient Coders is teaching hard skills to underprivileged and incarcerated youth, and [there’s] the potential to scale to other cities.”
As with every IdeaHack, the goal has been to provide students with a chance to pay it forward and give back. Each organization the Startup Institute partners with is focused on helping make Boston better, and that’s what the career accelerator wants to do, as well: Train students for the New Economy, and provide them with the skills and network they need to succeed in a job at an area startup.
“We also use the IdeaHack as an immersive, intense experience that will help students get a taste for working at a startup,” said Startup Institute Vice President Allan Telio, director of the Boston branch. “This is a chance for them to learn how they respond to pressure and deadlines.”
And, by simultaneously helping Resilient Coders reach actionable solutions to problems they’re facing, students will have the opportunity to make a significant impact on the next generation of entrepreneurs. In just 24 hours, the Startup Institute’s newest class will realize the influence they can have on the very community they’re trying to break into.