It’s official! After lots of hard work, Major League Hacking (MLH) is now a Certified B Corporation. We also raised a seed round from a group of people who have been supporting this community for a long time and are now invested in MLH as well. I’m really excited to share the next chapter of our journey with you and hope that you’re just as inspired about the future of the hacker movement as we are!
MLH’s mission is to empower hackers. In the early days of MLH, my co-founder Jon and I were able to personally work with a huge portion of the community and show our devotion to this mission first hand. I attended every single student hackathon in our first season, however doing that today would be impossible. Last year the MLH team served more than 50,000 hackers around the world, which is something that I could never have done on my own. Today we’re taking things a step further by becoming a Certified B Corporation and making our mission part of the company’s DNA.
B Corps are a growing breed of for-profit companies that are driven by social impact and the idea that there can be more important goals in business than maximizing shareholder value. For us, that goal is empowering hackers. Being a B Corp enables us to continue to iterate on the ways we serve our community, build an amazing team, and ensure that MLH is always driven by the same mission that drives Jon and me every day.
Getting certified as a B Corp guarantees that we are putting our money where our mouth is and making ourselves publicly and independently accountable to how we impact our mission. We’re proud to join the ranks of progressive and mission-driven B Corps like Ben & Jerry’s, Kickstarter, Warby Parker and many more.
In the early days of MLH the community was small enough that everything we did had far reaching impact. Serving 10x or 100x as many hackers in the future will require significantly more resources. We have an amazing group of partners who care just as deeply about hackers as we do, but taking outside investment allows us to think longer term about how we empower hackers while continuing to serve a huge number of events every season.
We raised a $1m convertible note from some of the most active, long-term supporters of the hacker community. This investment allows us to experiment with new initiatives to help the community, work on projects that will have long term value for hackers, and get advice from some of the most experienced community leaders in the world.
We’d like to introduce you to our new investors:
- General Catalyst – General Catalyst has been supporting MLH and the student hacker community since the very beginning. GC also runs Rough Draft Ventures, a student-led team that has invested in many founders from the MLH Community.
- 1517 Fund – Michael Gibson and Danielle Strachman of 1517 Fund became frequent faces at MLH Member Events while they were working on the Thiel Fellowship. They’ve continued their support of the community at 1517 by offering grants to encourage hackers to keep working on their projects after the weekend. They specialize in funding young founders and have invested in a number of companies that grew out of the MLH Community.
- hackNY – hackNY is a non-profit aiming to federate the next generation of hackers in New York. They organized the first ever student hackathon back in 2010 and continue to host it bi-annually as an MLH Member hackathon. Their investment is especially meaningful because I got my start hacking at hackNY back in the Fall of 2010.
We also had the support of an amazing group of angel investors including: Alexis Ohanian (YC / Reddit), Chris Liddell (WME / IMG), Grant Gittlin (Medialink), Jeff Lawson (Twilio), and Sundance DiGiovanni (MLG / Activision Blizzard).
It’s a privilege to serve such an amazing community and watch it change so many lives. Thank you to every hacker, organizer, mentor, sponsor, volunteer, and all the other supporters who have poured their heart and soul into empowering student hackers. I look forward to the next chapter of our journey and working with many more generations of hackers.
About Major League Hacking (MLH): Major League Hacking (MLH) is the official student hackathon league. Each year, we work with more than 200 weekend-long invention competitions (hackathons) that inspire innovation, cultivate communities and teach computer science skills to more than 65,000 students around the world. At MLH powered Hackathons, students can expect to have access to the latest and greatest technology in a fun and safe learning environment. By spreading hackathons around the world, MLH has jumpstarted the student hacker movement and helped build the largest community of student hackers in the world.