Re:Coded was started by Marcello Bonatto ’15 to provide computer-based training to youth in conflict affected areas and prepare them become technology leaders.
Location: Iraq and Turkey
Why We Love Re:Coded
Re:Coded operates in Iraq and Turkey and has just completed its 7th coding bootcamp. To date, 350 children and youth have graduated from the program which serves young people between 17 and 30 years old. Re:Coded ootcamps are 5 months long which includes 3 months of training followed by a 2 month apprenticeship. 86% of students receive employment after the program.
Marcello's Entrepreneurial Journey
The idea of starting Re:Coded began when Marcello’s co-founder, Alexandra Clare, visited Iraq while working on her Masters Thesis in 2014. As a student at NYU, she was doing her research on educational and employment opportunities in Iraq. This was around the time when the displacement crisis was at its peak and there were not enough employment opportunities to absorb the displaced population. Marcello and Alexandra decided to start Re:Coded to provide training in coding to displaced youth in conflict affected areas which would enable the young individuals to find lucrative employment opportunities.
Running a High Impact Business
Re:Coded measures its impact in both tangible and less quantifiable metrics. The organization measures its own success based on the number of students who finish the program. Student progress is measured through quizzes and tests and ultimately by the amount of time it takes for graduates to find employment. They also look at how the organization supports students in honing their skills by looking at boosts in confidence, leadership skills, and drive.
Marcello says that starting up was extremely challenging and required a “whole lot of hustling.” It was hard to support two co-founders on start up funding so it was financially a huge struggle at the beginning. However, after looking back and reflecting, he doesn’t see himself doing anything else. The experience of being an entrepreneur has provided him unparalleled professional satisfaction.
Advice to Aspiring Entrepreneurs
I would simply advise SIPA students to go for it! No idea is a bad idea. Therefore, students shouldn’t shy away from taking risks and making mistakes. Being an entrepreneur is about learning how to work with imperfection. You need to embrace the imperfection!
Favorite PLACE on Campus
I was a Program Assistant in the Office of Academic Affairs on the 13th Floor in the International Affairs Building. I loved the office and would often drift into study mode at my desk.