Cliff McKinney and Brad Montgomery, the Memphis based startup team behind WorkForPie have been working on a new product called Kufikia for the past few months. McKinney explained to nibletz that Kufikia loosely means “to achieve” with that they have come up with a learning platform for advanced software developers.
With a new innovative approach, combining cohort based learning, typically found in an accelerator program, with mentoring, and early stage job placement, they were able to get selected as one of the first 20 startups in the Startup Village at the Southland conference in Nashville Tennessee next month. We revealed the entire list of 20 startups earlier today.
Kufikia participants will get the “3 S’s” out of the program according to McKinney. Those three S’s are; structure (a 9 week long curriculum), study buddies (cohorts of 10 students going through the program together), and support coming from the platforms sponsors. Each cohort will have three company sponsors that will alternate in three week intervals throughout the course of the program.
McKinney and Montgomery plan on starting the first cohort in late June. For the first program they are targeting participants in Silicon Valley, the Pacific Northwest, New York and Nashville. Actually four cohorts will run simultaneously. Although this is an online program they want the students and company resources to be in close proximity to each other.
Kufikia has already attracted some heavyweight sponsors for their platform, which they aren’t identifying just yet.
The sponsors will benefit by working closely with the students in the program and hopefully converting them to new employees. McKinney says that most companies spend upwards of $15,000 providing internships to potential employees that may not work out. By working with the students over the nine week period the company sponsors will develop relationships with them and hopefully hire them on.
The sponsors participating will have jobs to fill, and hopefully with those students. McKinney and Montgomery are making a bold bet on the success of the program. Sponsors are under an agreement to provide mentoring and coaching to the cohort but don’t make a financial commitment to Kufikia until they actually hire someone.
Both Montgomery and McKinney are looking forward to showing off this new product to the attendees at Southland including over 41 venture capital and angel firms that have committed to attend.
Find out more about Kufikia here.