This week saw the closing ceremony for our first group of Code First: Girls graduates. The event was a symbol of how far the coders, and the project, have come. Aside from the amazing views across London from Level 39 at Canary Wharf, the tech demo’s from Entrepreneur First’s latest cohort businesses Weave and Code A Thing, and the (all too) bottomless bar of social lubricants, it was a pretty awesome evening. Here’s what happened:
We had a fantastic guest speaker in Sherry Coutu, an incredible female entrepreneur who has built and sold two large businesses. She is now an angel investor, board member for multiple organisations, and regular speaker for top business schools. Sherry spoke on her early experiences of coding, highlighting the advantage it gives female entrepreneurs, and the important role Code First: Girls has empowering women in tech.
Another highlight was Chloe Donegan’s speech: having graduated from Code First: Girls she has gone on to found her own start-up, Weave, through the Entrepreneur First accelerator. Chloe made a big impact on all the investors, journalists, and potential future Code First girls and explained how she went from thinking coding was ‘a mystery’ to ‘actually fun and essential'.
As part of Code First: Girls, the coders had to create a grand finale product which was put to the vote by the class. Sally Poundall was elected winner with her creative Language Love Letters, a result of her new coding skills, passion for languages, and confidence that ‘men will love it’.
Alice and Matt, Co-Founders of Code First: Girls’s umbrella organisation Entrepreneur First, gave a rousing explanation for their motivations and ambitions for the project. Course instructor and tech genius Tom Close later stole the show, however, as he tried to slip away early only to blocked with a thank you from the Code First: Girls class.
After this point memories fade as the guests, investors, journalists and coders became better acquainted with each other, and also with the bar.
Code First: Girls