Coded by Kids is bringing an inclusive lens to the Mentor Connect founders program

The five-year-old program from Ben Franklin Technology Partners and PACT helps entrepreneurs through the startup phase.

Mentorship is widely noted as one way to boost underrepresented entrepreneurs.

So as part of the Department of Commerce’s PHL: Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative, Philly nonprofit Coded by Kids is partnering with two orgs on their longstanding program to get young business talent connected to mentors.

Ben Franklin Technology Partners and the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) teamed up back in 2016 to pilot a mentorship program called Mentor Connect, which seeks to connect founders and leaders with more seasoned entrepreneurs who coach them through the pitfalls of starting and growing a business. Now, Coded by Kids is joining in, aiming to pair young, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) business talent with industry mentors to help them work through their startup ideas.

The collab is part of Coded by Kids’ OnE Philadelphia initiative, its inclusive talent pipeline project for kids and adults in the city, which received $115,000 from the commerce department in fall 2020 as part of the Most Diverse Tech Hub initiative.

Mentor Connect will pair entrepreneurs with teams of three to five volunteer mentors who have expertise across a range of industries for support with leadership, sales and business development, marketing, operations, and investment and fundraising.


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