Computer Coding Academy Started by African-Americans Finds Success

Mike McGee and Neal Sales-Griffin are co-founders of the Starter League, which is thriving in Chicago.

Posted: 03/01/2013 11:30 AM EST

There has been a tech start-up boom over the past decade, but it seems African-Americans have missed out. Fewer than 1 percent of tech start-ups are founded by African-Americans, according to a "Venture Capitol Activity" report by CB Insights. 

But two African-Americans in Chicago are trying to change those numbers. Neal Sales-Griffin and Mike McGee, both 24, founded the Starter League computer coding academy in 2011. Since then, the school has taught 500 people from 30 states and 15 countries. Their revenue last year was at least $1 million.

CBS Chicago reports:

McGee was asked whether he realizes how significant it is for an African-American to play such a key role in the tech start-up world.

“Honestly, no, because I’m just too busy focusing on going forward,” he said.

Next summer, Starter League will introduce coding to 16 Chicago Public School teachers, who will then offer classes to their students.

For the last year, they’ve been mentoring students at Chicago Tech Academy, a charter school.

“They’re not making music videos, they’re not playing sports,” said Matt Hancock, executive director of Chicago Tech Academy. “We’ve got many African-American role models in those fields.

Read the full story here

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(Photo: The Starter League)

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