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A New Way to Fill the State’s Tech Talent Gap

SeedPaths turns disadvantaged youth into highly trained developers.

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In 2013, Jeff Macco, co-founder of Denver app development company AppIt Ventures, lost his top two software developers within two weeks of each other. “Everything blew up in my face because I couldn’t find the talent to replace them,” Macco says. So in May of that year, he started SeedPaths, which trains disadvantaged young people to be developers via a two-month boot camp, then places them with companies. The goal is to improve the prospects of low-income young adults while addressing the state’s tech talent gap (and make a profit, too). SeedPaths uses proceeds from its placement division (and federal grants) to cover the training—80 percent of students don’t pay a dime. Of the 30 who graduated from the first three classes, 24 found jobs within 90 days, at an average salary of $30,000—more than triple what they made before. And this time around, Macco, who hopes to expand to 10 cities over the next decade, is thrilled to see the developers leave.

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