In the latest development, TechGrounds officially opens its doors at Osdorpplein in Amsterdam Nieuw-West, becoming the first tech hub to be established at the heart of a vulnerable neighborhood. Branches throughout the rest of the Netherlands will soon follow. It’s worth mentioning that, TechGrounds is a franchise of MolenGeek, the successful coding school, and incubator in Molenbeek, Brussels.
Furthermore, the initiative is supported by Booking.com, Rabobank, TomTom, JPMorgan, the CA-ICT education fund, and the European Union, and it cooperates directly with the UWV (Dutch Employee Insurance Agency), the City of Amsterdam and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
However, the tech hub has been active in Amsterdam Nieuw-West as ‘TechGroundWest’ since October 2019. It was officially opened today by Touria Meliani. Notably, the TechGrounds is set to expand further in March 2020 with the opening of a second location at Poelenburg in Zaanstad.
What are TechGrounds?
TechGrounds opens up tech entrepreneurship and digital skills to vulnerable communities and neighborhoods so that tech can be for everyone.
Unemployed (or underemployed) people from the area can train here to become a coder, develop tech skills, be trained to become a Junior AWS Cloud Operator, and establish their own (tech) business idea.
It is a free tech training program with hubs, including a coding school, IT training courses, an incubator, and a co-working space. As they near completion of their training, participants are matched to partner businesses.
Gillian Tans, Chairwoman of Booking.com, said:
Diversity and inclusivity are the basis of creativity and productivity at Booking.com and have a positive impact on our business. With our participation in TechGrounds, we hope to encourage people from many different backgrounds to aspire to a career in tech, and to create opportunities for everyone who’s interested in tech.
To develop its training program, TechGrounds is cooperating with businesses such as AWS. The ‘AWS re/Start program‘ was launched in October 2019, quickly picking up speed with its first batch of 24 students. After completing the training program, the candidates are being matched to participating companies, including Booking.com, Rabobank, Randstad, PostNL, HEMA, Mobiquity, and Dept.
Ruben Nieuwenhuis, the TechConnect founder, and managing partner at TechGrounds says:
“We are thrilled that so many parties are taking part in this initiative, and we are proudly watching our first generation of TechGrounds candidates as they rapidly forge a path towards new roles as Full Stack Web Developers or AWS Cloud Operators with our committed partners. TechGrounds promotes equal opportunities by making tech training and tech jobs accessible to everyone. We are removing the obstacles that may prevent certain groups from getting into tech education or choosing a tech career path.”
Main image: TechGrounds
Stay tuned to Silicon Canals for more European technology news.