From Our Executive Director

Thanks to the support of our partners, 2015 was a year of dramatic growth for LaunchCode. We opened our first hub office in Miami, laid the groundwork for expansions to Kansas City and Rhode Island, opened our first tech education center in St. Louis, and were recognized as a national example by President Obama.

Two years ago, LaunchCode was created to solve a problem — skilled, motivated people without traditional credentials were being passed over by employers desperately in need of tech talent. This gave rise to our mission: to connect talented people from all backgrounds to careers in technology. In 2015 we doubled our impact, placing twice as many people into apprenticeships and jobs and providing thousands of people with world-class education and pathways to better lives through careers in tech.

LaunchCode could not have had a year of such incredible growth without our community’s support. I’m extremely grateful for everyone who has touched LaunchCode. Creating equity, diversity, and opportunity in tech is a critical mission — your involvement brought us one step closer, and I promise we won’t stop here.

Brendan Lind, Executive Director

LaunchCode apprentice and MasterCard developer LaShana Lewis, President Barack Obama, LaunchCode co-founder Jim McKelvey, and executive director Brendan Lind at the National League of Cities annual Congressional City Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 9, 2015.

What We Do

LaunchCode is closing the tech talent gap by focusing on talent, not credentials. We expand the pool of tech talent and create new technology hiring pathways by helping construct an ecosystem that rapidly prepares job candidates and moves them into jobs that provide true upward mobility.

The problem

Millions of Americans are unemployed or stuck in low-wage jobs. Companies face a giant tech talent gap. One million jobs in programming alone will go unfilled by 2020.

The challenge

Good technology jobs typically require a college degree and three to five years of work experience in the field just to get an interview.

Our opportunity

We seek to support the American workforce by connecting talented, non-traditional candidates to companies who depend on tech talent for their businesses to grow and survive.

How We Do It

We’re revolutionizing the tech talent ecosystem by matching new talent to innovative employers. Businesses do not have a reliable means of evaluating and hiring job seekers who lack traditional credentials. This places a barrier between employers and candidates with the skills to help them.

LaunchCode solves this problem, creating new pathways to technology jobs by providing learning resources and guidance to job seekers while managing a process through which companies assess and onboard new talent.

2015 By the Numbers: Apprentices



placed into apprenticeships and jobs in first two years


previous salary

for LaunchCode placements



were previously unemployed

Terrence's Story

After a three-month LaunchCode Apprenticeship, Terrence Bowen is now a software developer at Clearent. Terrence taught himself computer programming while working a full-time job. He knew he had the skills to be a programmer, but didn’t have a college degree or a typical resume. He found LaunchCode, and in his own words, "it completely changed my life. I have my career; I can’t even put it into words."

2015 By the Numbers: Employment



were converted to permanent employment



remain in their job after six months



were promoted within 18 months



partnering with LaunchCode nationally

Kara's Story

Before Kara Wolter found LaunchCode, she was working the same job she had in high school, stocking grocery shelves. She was placed as an apprentice at Monsanto, where she flourished. In Kara’s words, "Working at Monsanto, I’m constantly challenged to grow and learn and do new things. LaunchCode is a great bridge for people who are passionate about programming computers, but don't necessarily have the experience companies are looking for."

Who We Train

We're training our communities through free, world-class education. LaunchCode collaborates with local educators and workforce agencies to create innovative, accelerated education programs that help students and job seekers acquire the skills they need for a job in tech.

St. Louis Mentor Center

This year LaunchCode created the Mentor Center, a community education hub in St. Louis dedicated to equity, access, and diversity in technology through education and job skills training. Kicking off operations in October with a grand opening event that attracted over 800 community members, the LaunchCode Mentor Center is equipped to increase opportunity in the technology community with free programs and resources. The center is expected to serve over 2,000 people in 2016.


LaunchCode's live, in-person version of Harvard's and edX's CS50x, conducted in partnership with the Idea Center at Miami Dade College, provided over 350 people with free or low-cost world-class introductory computer science education. Now in its fourth iteration in Miami, CS50x gives students the tools they need to become future LaunchCode apprentices and professional developers.

Hello, World

In 2015, LaunchCode also kicked off its first “Hello, World!" class: a free, two-week introduction to the world of programming. With sponsorship from Wells Fargo Advisors, over 100 people came together at LaunchCode’s Mentor Center to learn foundational programming skills.


In January 2015, LaunchCode began ReBootU, a 20-week bootcamp designed to teach job seekers the fundamentals of computer programming. Created in partnership with the St. Louis Agency on Training and Employment and St. Louis Community College, the course supports curriculum development that aligns with employer demand so that students are prepared for careers in technology through LaunchCode’s paid apprenticeship program. Over 80% of ReBootU participants have been placed into apprenticeships.


This year, over 260 women participated in CoderGirl, LaunchCode’s weekly meetup for women interested in programming and technology. Open to women of all backgrounds and skill levels, CoderGirl provides women in technology with a supportive community and mentorship from some of St. Louis’ best professional developers.

What we Transform

LaunchCode’s nationally scalable model creates rapid outcomes for candidates, companies, and partner organizations. LaunchCode helps local economies by developing homegrown talent and expanding the workforce with net new talent. It is estimated that one new job in tech creates $200,000 in a local economy, which means that our model has generated over $62 million for St. Louis and Miami since late 2013. Additionally, LaunchCode apprentices will make 3.1X their previous median wage after placement. Our work is empowering candidates and communities to build sustainable pathways to prosperity.

2015 By the Numbers: Outcomes



moved to St. Louis or Miami for a LaunchCode apprenticeship



in computer programing created in first two years


million dollars

returned to the St. Louis and Miami economies

Christina's Story

While working at a hotel, Christina Douzmanian decided to pursue coding as a new career path. One programming course later, she reached out to LaunchCode and was placed at Atlys. "I never assumed that after a decade of working in the foodservice industry, I’d have so many doors open for me. Yet, here I am, beginning my new journey. A journey that includes a generous salary, health care, benefits, paid time off, and most importantly, the flexibility to do the things I love. The amazing staff at LaunchCode Miami made this dream a reality!" Learn more about Christina’s Story

Who Inspires Us

Dynamic donors and partners increase our ability to serve more candidates, companies, and communities. Financial support to LaunchCode allows us to reach more candidates, provide crucial educational resources, and enable every driven, aspiring developer to pursue their dream job. There is much more work to be done, and we are grateful to our community for enabling us to increase our impact.

2015 By the Numbers: Financials

Funding Partners

Accenture Foundation

Albrecht Family Foundation


Bank of America

The Boeing Company

Cass Information Systems

Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri



Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation

Gateway to Innovation

Hall Family Foundation

Interco Charitable Trust

JPMorgan Chase & Co.

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation



Missouri Department of Economic Development

Missouri Technology Corporation


Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training

Trio Foundation

Wells Fargo Advisors

World Wide Technology

In-Kind Supporters







The Idea Center at Miami Dade College

St. Louis Economic Development Partnership

St. Louis Regional Chamber



Programming Partners




Harvard University

MET Center

Miami Dade College

[email protected]

Roy Clay Sr. Tech Institute

St. Louis Community College

Washington University in St. Louis

Individual Donors

William Burdette

Robin Carnahan

Karan Chopra

Matteo S Cirami

Barrett Coats

Russell Cole

Robert Duffy

Tom Eaton

Steven & Mary Frank

Nancy & Michael Georgen

Mary Hastings

Thomas Hastings

Bridget Hillyer

Nicholas Hinsch

Catherine Hormats

Andrew Hoyne

Antony & Audrey John

Franklin Joyce

Katherine Kellenberger

Erin Kennon

LaShana Lewis

Brendan Lind

Douglas Lind

Rex Loftin

Zach Lou

Tyler Mathews

James McCarter

Martin McGreal

Jim McKelvey

Mike Menne

Kimberly Mirkes

Dave Mitchell

Ryan Moore

Amanda Myers

Dan Nelson

Ryan Parish

Monica Pless

Mark Poepsel

Kyle Pointer

Amy Razeghi

Tom Rein

Lane Seals

Joey Smith

Roseann Weiss

Amber Withycombe

Elias Wood

Haoshu Xu


Jim McKelvey, President

Cynthia Brinkley

Robin Carnahan

Karan Chopra

Andrew Hoyne

Brendan Lind


Brendan Lind, Executive Director

Mark Bauer, Vice President of Operations

Jeff Mazur, Director of Public Partnerships

Rosa Mayer, Vice President of Company Relations

Alex Miller, Vice President of Strategy

Emre Sarbak, Vice President of Finance and Technology

Amber Withycombe, Director of Development

How We Scale

Our focus on homegrown talent is generating national impact that we will continue to expand in the years to come. LaunchCode is more than a program; it is a vision for the future of our economy and culture. We are reaching people across the country who have the skills and determination to change their lives. In 2015 we doubled our impact through expanded infrastructure and new partnerships, allowing us to change lives through careers in technology nationally. Through our expansions to Kansas City, Missouri; Providence, Rhode Island; and other cities in 2016, LaunchCode is poised to link thousands of people across the county to new opportunities.

LaunchCode Across the Country