The Bourbon Friday Show with Ola Ayeni from Claim Academy

Estimated reading time: 2 minute(s)

On this episode of the Bourbon Friday Show, we had the opportunity to talk with Ola Ayeni, Founder and Chief Idea Officer of Claim Academy.

Bourbon Friday – Ola Ayeni // Claim Academy

Today, the Bourbon Friday Show features Ola Ayeni, Founder of Claim Academy. Claim Academy is a St. Louis-based developer bootcamp that teaches participants to code in just 3 months, turning novices into industry ready software developers!Tune in to the Bourbon Friday Show every week at 4:30pm to hear about a unique startup or business resource in the STL community.

Posted by EQ – Entrepreneur Quarterly STL on Friday, July 26, 2019

Claim Academy—From Credentials to Competency

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, there are nearly 10,000 unfilled software development positions open in the Missouri (primarily in St. Louis and Kansas City), which may not sound all that bad—but when compared to the fact that fewer than 850 people in Missouri graduate with a degree in computer science each year, things start to look a little bleak.

While statistics like that may cast a dark cloud over the future of tech in St. Louis, companies like Claim Academy are working diligently to close that skills gap.

“Claim Academy is a software programming boot camp that takes someone who has little or no background as a software developer, and in 12 weeks we turn them into a developer,” explains Ayeni.

During those 12 weeks, the students enrolled will participate in rigorous coursework, and by the end, they will receive their transcript and certificate—the same as if they went to a university since Claim Academy is accredited by the Missouri Department of Higher Education.

Though the difference between Claim Academy and a traditional higher ed computer science degree varies greatly in its applicability.

“There’s a difference between, you know, a credential and competency, and what we focus on is competency,” says Ayeni.

Due to the focused nature of the program, students are able to learn much more quickly since they aren’t bogged down with less relevant coursework, allowing them to enter the workforce with their newfound skills fresh in mind.

Though there isn’t a software or technology background requirement to join, Ayeni recommends that people who apply have an interest in the tech space and an eagerness to solve problems. And with a job placement rate of 93% and over 150 local business partnerships, Claim Academy is a great place to look when starting a career in software development.

If you are interested in learning more about or applying to Claim Academy’s program, you can go to https://claimacademystl.com/.

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Bourbon Innovation

As always, the Bourbon Friday team does their best to choose a fitting drink for the occasion.

The drink of choice was FEW Bourbon Whiskey. Like our guest this week, FEW Bourbon hails from Chicago—though to be more precise, the FEW distillery is located in Evanston, IL.

While Evanston may not necessarily be known for its bourbon background, it did, in fact, play a big role in American drinking laws, specifically the Prohibition Era. One of the prominent members of the Temperance Movement, Frances Elizabeth Willard (from which FEW Spirits is gets its name) headed the operation from her residence in Evanston. Due to the Temperance Movement’s stronghold on the city, Evanston remained a dry city until 1972. About four decades later, FEW Spirits became the first distillery to open in the city limits.

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Megan McDonnell is the Marketing and Communications Manager for Tenacity, an open source web development agency based in St. Louis. Originally from Kansas City, Megan graduated from St. Louis University in May 2017 with degrees in Communication, Marketing, Spanish, and Graphic Design. Besides managing all marketing and communication efforts for Tenacity, she also covers the Bourbon Friday Show hosted weekly by EQ, Tenacity, and Connect Marketing.