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Beyond the Pitch

i.c.stars | *Columbus Launches First Expansion City

i.c.stars

Inspiration and emotions were running high when i.c.stars | *Columbus officially launched here at Rev1.

i.c.stars gives these bright, committed young adults, who likely faced bleak, boxed-in, low income futures, the opportunity to develop advanced technical and leadership skills while earning an associate’s degree.

i.c.stars has been operating in Chicago for more than 15 years; Rev1 could not be more enthusiastic about working with AWH, JPMorgan Chase, the Columbus Foundation, and others to bring this venture to Columbus, i.c.stars’ first expansion city. We are especially happy that i.c.stars | *Columbus will be located right here at 1275 Kinnear Road in Rev1 Labs.

“I have such a feeling of gratitude and appreciation,” said Ryan Frederick, advocate,  i.c.stars | *Columbus. “At the launch, I was almost overcome by the number of people who have helped. It takes everyone grabbing on the rope and pulling.”

The Columbus interns will be in Rev1 classrooms every day. They’ll be connecting with venture advisors and entrepreneurs, with corporate sponsors and mentors, and with the Columbus business community.

It is impossible to hear the stories of i.c.stars alum and not feel profoundly hopeful. “i.c.stars brings freedom to people by helping change their minds,” said Sandee Kastrul, i.c.stars co-founder and president.

It’s not just the minds and lives of the resilient young adult i.c.stars graduates that change, but the minds and lives of each of the rest of us who come in contact with i.c.stars.

i.c.stars Builds Diverse IT Talent Right Here in Our Own Backyard

Companies with more diverse leaders and teams are more successful.

That’s why here at Rev1 we champion inclusive entrepreneurship in the startups we serve every day. Last year, nearly 30 percent of the companies we invested in were minority or female led—and we want more.

Although we have a great pipeline for technical talent here in Columbus, across the nation, there’s still a gap when it comes to information technology jobs and the people to fill them. i.c. stars helps really talented individuals become proficient in exactly the skills that Columbus’ innovation economy needs.

Job growth here in Columbus is projected to be 9.3 percent through 2019. There are about 35 open positions from our startup companies on the Rev1 Jobs Board. More jobs get posted every month.

i.c.stars is so much more than training or jobs. It’s an opportunity for a technology career. i.c.stars is another example of CBUS leveraging the assets in our own backyard to connect Central Ohio’s entrepreneurs, corporate base, and broader business community with much needed IT talent from underserved areas and backgrounds.

Contact i.c.stars | *Columbus

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About i.c.stars
Formed in 1998, i.c.stars is a Chicago-based non-profit organization and social enterprise that prepares young adults for technology careers and community leadership. Using project-based learning and full-immersion teaching, i.c.stars has trained more than 330 individuals in Chicago, and places 95 percent of qualified graduates in jobs. Alumni see their annual earnings increase by an average of 400 percent as a result of the program. In 2016, i.c.stars created Enterprise Next, a lean startup incubator and social investment fund to jumpstart alumni businesses. Learn more at www.icstars.org
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