Charles and Pickett say that the program will be self-funding, since students will pay tuition of about $11,000. The program will run 14-plus hours a day, according to Charles, with a mix of classroom instruction and hands-on "challenges" that will require students to work collaboratively. Launch Academy will culminate with a "hiring day," when companies will be invited in to meet the graduates — and ideally, make offers.
"When graduates get a job at a hiring company that we present at hiring day, we receive a recruiting fee from the hiring company," Charles says. "And we'll pass that along to the students, up to $5000, which helps reduce the cost of their tuition."
They hope to run the initial Launch Academy program in Kendall Square starting in May, perhaps at Cambridge Innovation Center. The class will consist of 25 students, and Charles says they've been conducting interviews for the last month or so. "The class is about 35 percent filled, and our acceptance rate is about 30 percent," he says.
Charles says that he and Pickett "got together because we both recognized the technical talent gap everyone is suffering from in Boston and abroad. We believe our non-traditional model for training web developers can help to heal that pain." The pair are considering New York as a second location for Launch Academy.
About Scott Kirsner
Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.
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December 9: Web Innovators Group
Demos of new mobile apps and web ventures at the Royal Sonesta Hotel in Cambridge. Free admission; cash bar.
December 10: Fintech Demo Day
Short demos from startups in the financial technology realm.
December 11: Unpitch
Entrepreneurs and investors sit down for lunch, advice, and feedback. Entrepreneurs must apply to participate.