Mailchimp, Clayton State University create Launchpad Academy

Mailchimp, a leading marketing platform for small business, has partnered with Clayton State University to train the next technology leaders, according to a press release. The company has invested $300,000 — over the course of three years — to establish Launchpad Academy, a leadership academy designed to prepare students and faculty to adapt to a rapidly growing digital economy.

A total of $25,000 in scholarships will be available for students in the program, while the other $275,000 will be designated for the development of the leadership academy.

The program, housed in the University’s College of Information and Mathematical Sciences, combines curriculum in cloud computing, information security, data infrastructure operations, and software quality assurance, matched with experiential opportunities featuring Mailchimp’s team of experts.

The Academy’s first cohort of computer science and information technology major students were recruited in the spring and will continue the program into the fall 2018 semester. Students will receive a mix of classroom instruction from Clayton State faculty trained by Mailchimp and hands-on learning from MailChimp employees.

As part of the coursework, students will conduct a project in which they will build software to address a problem that the Clayton State community faces. They have also done several site visits to Mailchimp’s Ponce City Market office in downtown Atlanta and have toured one of the agency’s data centers.

In spring 2019, the cohort will have the opportunity to apply for at least two annual, paid Mailchimp internship positions.

Mailchimp officials also plan to use Launchpad Academy to engage with students attending South Fulton and Clayton County public schools.

The idea for Launchpad Academy was developed out the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Leadership Institute, a flagship program that brings over 50 leaders from various sectors within Atlanta’s 10-county region to address issues critical to the community.

Representatives from Clayton State and MailChimp partnered in the Institute’s 2017 class to develop Launchpad Academy to bridge knowledge gaps within the IT sector and foster next-generation leaders in the digital technology space.