Last week, GFT and Code to Work celebrated the non-profit’s acceptance into the prestigious Grand Central Tech (GCT) program in New York City. Code to Work is a brand new organization focused on closing the nation-wide ‘tech shortage’ by sourcing and prequalifying diverse talent from non-traditional sources. Just two months ago, GFT and Code to Work announced a partnership aimed at addressing the growing demand for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) talent and the need to diversify the tech talent pool.
The GCT program is comprised of a community of startups, working together in one space, aimed at accelerating the pace of change and innovation. 2015 marks the second year of the GCT program, with the previous year’s 18 startup participants graduating with an overall job growth rate of roughly 30%, and an estimated $33 million in funding.
Grand Central Tech reports that nearly 1000 companies entered for a chance to be accepted into this year’s program and working space. All applicants were judged based on the relationships and quality of engineering talent of their team, the importance, scope, and traction of their firm’s idea, and their fit into the GCT community, which focuses on diversity and inclusivity in tech. Following this rigorous selection process, only 19 companies made the cut, with Code to Work being the sole non-profit accepted into the program.
In celebration of the new 2015-2016 class, GCT hosted a launch party and networking function, which was attended by members of Code to Work and the GFT User Experience team, who have just finished a pro bono project to help Code to Work optimize their online platform.
Innovation platforms are key for tech startups in fast-paced industries like financial services
Supporting innovation is a priority for GFT, with our own Germany-based CODE_n program acting as an accelerator for tech start-ups. Sonia Whang, Head of Business Development, GFT US, stated, “After a few years of limiting investments in newer capabilities and even with the endless compliance and regulatory initiatives still in effect, financial firms are making innovation programs a priority to transform businesses and to stay relevant. Innovation platforms like GFT’s CODE_n and Grand Central Tech are key for tech start-ups to test business ideas and work towards a successful model, especially in fast-paced and competitive industries like financial services.”
Barbara Chang, Founder and CEO of Code to Work, added, “Our acceptance to Grand Central Tech is critical to the next stage of growth for Code to Work. In addition to access to their various corporate partners and expertise, we enjoy the space immensely. The energy of the many entrepreneurs who sit around us is inspiring and we’re beginning to develop a community of support and idea exchange that will be invaluable to our organization. And the founders, Charles Bonello, Matt Harrigan and Michael Millstein, are tons of fun and very encouraging.”
GFT congratulates Code to Work on their entry into this esteemed program and we look forward to further growing our partnership with the non-profit.