JPMorgan Chase Recognizes Wilmington as an Emerging Tech Hub


Zip Code Wilmington, a nonprofit coding bootcamp launched by venture capitalist Ben DuPont with the help of JPMorgan Chase, has played a crucial role in training and re-training the city’s workforce to fill the increasing number of tech jobs.

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The school started over four years ago when then Delaware Gov. Jack Markell sought partners to create a tech training program that aligned with the TechHire initiative. As a known tech-leader in Wilmington, JPMorgan Chase was selected to help create the program’s first coding curriculum.

Since its launch, 96 percent of Zip Code’s graduates found jobs in local companies, including at JPMorgan Chase, which has employed 50 Zip Code-trained software developers. “The hiring needs of companies like JPMorgan Chase are the key factor in the evolution of our curriculum and the topics and technologies we teach on a day to day basis,” says Tariq Hook, Director of Education at Zip Code.

Other elements of Wilmington’s burgeoning startup community are 1313 Innovation, Start It Up Delaware and The Mill, co-working spaces that provide solo entrepreneurs and startups with office space. By hosting local talent and regular networking events, the incubators encourage a sense of community and culture across Wilmington’s downtown area.

The city’s evolving tech scene is also an opportunity for its 1,700 displaced chemical industry workers. “These people have years of experience working in highly analytical jobs, and with a slight pivot in their skill set could prove to be highly effective programmers,” Hook says. “With JPMorgan Chase committing in 2015 to adding 1,800 Delaware jobs, by the year 2019, these displaced people could be re-skilled and utilized.”

But other factors can make Wilmington a magnet for entrepreneurs from other parts of the country. A few hours from Washington, D.C. and New York, Wilmington is favorably positioned for anyone who wants to set up their business within easy reach of well-established tech hubs and metropolitan areas while benefiting from considerably lower costs.

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