Hacker Fund plans to build the first innovation center in Compton for the following purposes: (1) provide thousands of students from Compton Unified School District (CUSD) with career pathways in S.T.E.A.M. education, (2) promote expansion of the CUSD Career Technical Education Program, and (3) create a homebase for entrepreneurship and professional development for Compton stakeholders. This center will feature classes/workshops, access to mentors, prototyping equipment, and coworking space.
The Compton Unified School District (CUSD) serves 25,000+ students at 36 sites and is in the midst of a dramatic turnaround, marked by increases in student achievement rates, a graduation rate nearing 90%, dramatic facilities improvements, and a focus on S.T.E.A.M. throughout all schools. CUSD cannot achieve this type of turnaround without professionals who can provide the industry mentorship and access to state-of-the-art equipment. Our project provides this capacity-building support.
The Compton Innovation Center will provide project-based learning opportunities for students of CUSD which will be curated by Hacker Fund staff. Students and local entrepreneurs who desire to apply their education to creating a prototype will receive capacity-building services including access to the coworking and maker labs, office hours with expert mentors, and fund development support. Entrepreneurs building nonprofit technologies will have access to fiscal sponsorship services and demo days.
The new center will serve the 25,000+ students who attend CUSD and will provide them with a homebase from which they can develop their professional skills and their startup ideas. This center will empower Compton stakeholders to prototype technology projects, hire locally, and serve their city for years to come. By creating this center, Hacker Fund will help develop the local Compton economy and will ensure positive multi-generational change.