“Once we see a problem, we become obligated to fix that problem regardless of how difficult or uncomfortable it may be.”
Sylvester Mobley is the founder and CEO of Coded by Kids (CBK), a tech and innovation education organization that focuses on preparing underrepresented people for leadership roles in the tech and innovation space.
Sylvester modeled CBK after elite sports development organizations with the goal of creating a system that prepares underrepresented people to perform at the highest levels of the tech, startup, and innovation spaces. Under his leadership, CBK has significantly increased both its annual revenue and scope of impact, growing from serving fewer than 15 students in one recreation center to teaching hundreds of students each week in more than 20 locations across the region.
Sylvester has also launched the early-stage venture capital firm, startup incubator, and startup accelerator, Plain Sight Capital (PSC). As the Managing Director of PSC, he works to prepare high potential, underrepresented founders to launch and raise venture capital to scale tech and tech-driven startups, while providing them with pre-seed and seed-stage investment capital.
He also provides strategic direction to and oversight to Draft Studios — the web design and technical consultancy launched by CBK. Through Draft Studios, Sylvester’s team supports early-stage organizations by helping them overcome the technical challenges that they face as they work to raise capital and gain early traction.
Sylvester is a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business and completed the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Venture Capital Executive Education Program. He is also a veteran of the war in Iraq, serving in three branches of the United States military (Marines, Air Force, and Army) over 12 years.
Sylvester’s awards and honors include the 2018 Philadelphia Award, the University City Science Center Nucleus Cultivator Award, the Please Touch Museum Portia and Otto Sperr Legacy Award, the Philadelphia 76ers Game Changer Award, the Philadelphia Business Journal Veterans of Influence Award, the Philadelphia Business Journal Tech Disruptor Award, the KYW Game Changer Award, the Philadelphia Academies Stand and Deliver Award, and a Philadelphia City Council resolution.
Currently, Sylvester serves on the City of Philadelphia Pathways to Reform, Transformation & Reconciliation Steering Committee, the Mayor of Philadelphia’s Economic Opportunity Cabinet, and as the co-chair of the Digital Literacy Alliance Advocacy, Policy, and Long-Term Funding workstream. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) and Philadelphia Academies.
MORE ABOUT SYLVESTOR
Favorite Book: Learning to Eat Soup with a Knife by John A. Nagl
Hobby: Anything outdoors and in the woods
Most Memorable Childhood Job: Lifeguard for the City of Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation