From Career Inertia to Momentum in Tech
In the beginning, Jessica Mitsch Homes knew nothing about the tech industry, but she knew she wanted to transform education.
“I think entrepreneurs find an area in life that they feel can be improved,” Jessica said. “I’m dyslexic, and I had to figure out a different path through school, always running up against walls and having to break those through to get the education that I wanted.”
To break through those walls, she needed Momentum. Jessica is co-founder and CEO of Momentum Learning, an online coding school that helps students create meaningful technology careers.
In 2015, she helped run the first code education program in Durham with The Iron Yard, and she immediately saw the benefit of hyper-focused education.
“We're all distracted,” Jessica said. “We're living in an unfocused world, so bringing in focused education and dedicated training is, really, an interesting thing to do in this time. In addition to that, we saw a multi-generational classroom. There’s no other aspect of education where you really see that.”
She said there were teenagers, tech natives and students preparing to start their third career learning as a group. Watching them coming together, working together, was a magic that was hard for her to walk away from.
The program was successful, which she said was because of Durham’s strong tech and educational ecosystems. But, after four years, The Iron Yard closed.
Jessica wasn’t ready for it to end, so she started having conversations with those who had supported the program over the years, thanking them for helping her change lives. She said one simply looked at her, smiled and asked her: what are you going to do next?
She knew that meant she had to carry the torch, and Momentum was founded.
“We wanted to continue moving forward with this code education,” Jessica said. “But in addition to that, we saw a lot of other opportunities. We were like, ‘How are we going to make this work, in another iteration, when the business model before didn't make it?’”
Despite the way the previous venture ended, she was optimistic.
“This local ecosystem in supporting code education had a good foundation,” Jessica said. “We saw the opportunity to do more and more work with companies and organizations. I saw that growth opportunity here and well beyond.”
Coming from a talent acquisition background, she knew what companies needed to stay competitive, and she was ready to create competitive talent in the Bull City.
Jessica has done just that. To hear how she’s doing it, listen to her full episode of the Founder Shares podcast below or wherever you like to listen.
The blog content should not be construed as legal advice.