A St. Louis non-profit organization LaunchCode has been named one of the grand prize winners in the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge.
In August, it was announced that LaunchCode was one of the finalists in the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge, earning them an immediate $35,000 and a chance to win the grand prize of $150,000.
At Thursday’s award ceremony in Boston, LaunchCode won the grand prize and the money that went along with it.
LaunchCode, which is based in St. Louis, offers free, accelerated job training using a low-cost, scalable model to replicate in-person coding courses.
In order to achieve their students’ success, LaunchCode helps students learn the basics of coding and additional specialized software career training.
The MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge awards tech-driven organizations that are using technology in an innovative fashion that tackles the way people think about work.
In an interview in August, LaunchCode’s Vice President of Partnerships, Jeff Mazur, said they applied for the MIT Inclusive Innovation Challenge because they believe innovation is at the heart of what they do at LaunchCode.
“LaunchCode applied for this because we really think that inclusive innovation is really a tremendous part of what we do and certainly we’re focused on using tech as a way to do that,” Mazur said. “Obviously LaunchCode is a non-profit organization that provides free and open access training to people and once they develop those skills we help get them into apprenticeships and jobs that will lead them into a career path.”
LaunchCode applied for the challenge last year, but was not chosen as a finalist. After the company applied in the Spring of this year, they were notified that they were selected as a 2017 finalist.
Mazur said even being a finalist in the challenge was a huge honor, and brings awareness to the work of the organization.