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Oliver E. Thornton || Closed || 527 views ||

Coding Autism: USC Open Innovation Application

Mission Statement

Coding Autism is a full-service professional coaching and training company that trains adults on the autism spectrum in professional skills such as software engineering, quality assurance, and web development. We also assist our graduates in finding employment within the software and technology industries. We do so by providing services such as immersive programs and bootcamps, resume workshops, career counseling, interview preparation, and coaching/mentorship, all of which is designed around providing an environment where people on the spectrum can thrive.

2016 In Review
  • Participated in 4 venture competitions (listed below) 
    • CLU New Venture Competition (1st place for $2500 cash prize)
         805 Start-Ups Expo (1st place for $15,000 credit to services from KiwiTech and 1 month Accelerator package from CrowdFunder)
    • 5th Annual USC Angel & Venture Summit (Participant)
    • Los Angeles TechWeek LAUNCH Competition (Semi-finalist)
  • Secured a location in Los Angeles to host our first program, a 15-week full-stack web development immersive.
  • Partnered with Microsoft for their Autism hiring program (More details to come soon)
Near Future (2017)
  • Launching our crowdfunding campaign in January/February of 2017.
    • Our goal for our crowdfunding is to not only finance the development of our pilot program, but to also 100% subsidize the tuition cost of our first cohort of students on the autism spectrum.
    • Crowdfunding campaign will be ran on Kickstarter.
  • Pilot program is set to take place in either May or June of 2017.
    • We are currently interviewing instructors and getting ready to put together the curriculum for our first pilot program.
    • Our first cohort will consist of 15 students on the autism spectrum.
    • Pilot program is taking place in Los Angeles, CA
  • Coding Autism is currently developing corporate partnerships with various software and technology companies.
    • In communication withs with LinkedIn, Google, Microsoft, Event Farm, toot, Arrow, and others.
  • Coding Autism is open to facilitating company exclusive programs for training autistic adults in a skill that companies are looking to hire for.
  • Coding Autism is planning on filing for Series A funding in September or October of 2017Additional details attached in executive summary document
By 2021, Coding Autism is projecting that we will have educated/trained and found employment for 2500 adults on the autism spectrum.
Coding Autism sees themselves having operations in the following cities/states within the United States besides Los Angeles, CA
1.) San Francisco, CA (by 2018)
2.) Austen/Dallas, TX (by 2021)
3.) Seattle, WA (by 2021)
4.) Chicago, IL (by 2021)
5.) New York, NY (by 2021)
6.) Denver, CO (by 2021)
7.) Boston, MA (by 2021)
8.) Raleigh, NC (by 2021)
9.) Orange County, CA (by 2018)

By 2019, Coding Autism will incorporate children on the autism spectrum and non-verbal/Type-to-Speak individuals on the autism spectrum into our business model.
Why Us

On a consistent basis, my co-founder and I are asked "why us" in terms of carrying out the endeavor and objectives of Coding Autism. Here is why.

Oliver Thornton: CEO and Co-Founder of Coding Autism

Education: Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration: Emphasis in Management from California Lutheran University, May 2016

When Oliver was two years old, he was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, shortly after his older brother was diagnosed with autism. When Oliver was diagnosed, Autism was still perceived as a negative disorder in which employers and individuals perceived individuals on the spectrum as severely disadvantaged.

Growing up as an autistic individual, Oliver developed an extreme interest in what made individuals on the autism spectrum special and if there were any skill-sets, professions, hobbies, etc. that catered to the unique characteristics of autistic individuals. While in college, Oliver came across numerous articles and research reports that stated that individuals on the autism spectrum were striving in the STEM industries, particularly in software and technology as well as the current and soaring un/underemployment rates of autistic adults due to the lack of resources available to them after high school. These reports galvanized Oliver to want to pursue an endeavor of creating a company that would specialize in the development and education of individuals on the autism spectrum so that they can learn the skill sets required to obtain positions in the software and technology industries.

With Oliver's previous work experience, education, and unparalleled passion to improve the autistic community, he is beyond confident that he can create a platform that can make this happen.

Austen Weinhart: COO/Head of Program Development, and Co-Founder of Coding Autism

Education: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Media Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, May 2011

Not only does Austen comes from a family with an autistic background, but Austen was a product of a coding academy (General Assembly) that helped him develop the coding and software skills to successfully transition from a career in Public Relations to a career in Technology/Software.

By going through the coding academy process, Austen learned the necessary components of what it takes to develop a successful coding program. Austen plans to utilize this knowledge and develop a coding/software development program that is specifically geared towards individuals on the autism spectrum.


Posted on Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

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