Meet the Mentors for the Birmingham Summer Cohort

The Full Stack Summer Mentor Group

Covalence is proud to announce the first group of mentors for the Birmingham Full Stack Summer 2017 Cohort. The goal of the Covalence Mentor Program is to connect beginner developers to professionals within their community in order to provide guidance and encouragement in their journey to becoming software engineers. We are extremely grateful to our mentor group and can’t wait for our Birmingham Summer class to begin.

What is the role of a Covalence Mentor?

Covalence Mentors play a vital role in the success of our Full Stack Developers. Not only do they provide valuable insight on what it is like to chart a career as a developer, they support the students throughout the class by offering encouragement, open lines of communication and career advice.

Who are the Covalence Summer Mentors?


Trent Kocurek – CEO and Founder of Airship

As CEO and co-founder of Airship Trent helps companies large and small see software projects transform from concept to reality. His focus is on building a team of passionate, well-rounded engineers and business people to help Airship expand into new markets in need of quality custom software applications, qualify opportunities for a potential SaaS product, and to help our team grow personally and professionally. Airship’s experience in planning, building, managing, launching, and supporting enterprise software applications over the decades has allowed them to do what they love and give companies products they can depend on for years to come.


Jason Pike – Atlas RFID

Jason is an accomplished software developer with 12+ years experience in various technologies and methodologies. He started his career developing GIS software for the desktop and branched out into web and mobile application development. Jason is passionate about creating great software and helping others do the same.


Nate Schmidt – CEO and Founder of Instagift

Nate Schmidt is founder and CEO of Instagift, and managing director of the Velocity Accelerator. Originally from Kansas, Nate moved to the South after meeting his Birmingham-born wife in law school. Instagift provides eGift card and rewards services to small and medium-sized business, and currently services a growing list of over 1000 customers in 40 states. Instagift graduated from the Techstars accelerator in 2011, raising its first round of funding shortly after the program.
Nate and Jennifer live in the Homewood area of Birmingham where they are parents to a nine-year-old and twin five-year-olds, all boys. Instagift is headquartered in Innovation Depot, at the center of downtown Birmingham’s growing startup scene.
Nate serves as the Managing Director of the Velocity Accelerator at Innovation Depot. It’s a 12 week program modeled after Techstars, and which just finished its first cohort in April of 2017. Nate has undergraduate and law school degrees from the University of Kansas.


Jason Hutson – Fetched

Co-founder & CTO of Fetch. Jason has over 15 years of IT infrastructure, development & management experience covering all aspects of technology across all size companies. This experience allowed him to bridge the gap between technology & recruiting, aligning him with longtime staffing pioneer to design and launch the Fetch hiring platform. Since launching Fetch, along with his passion for hiring and workforce development thru automation, Jason has gained a passion for the startup community and he currently is a mentor for early stage startups and entrepreneurs all across the southeast through his association with accelerators & organizations like TechBirmingham, Gigtank, RocketHatch, Tech.co, Collision, etc.


Wes Johnson – McLeod Software

Wesley Johnson was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. He found an interested in IT at quite a young age; building computers from scrap parts when he was 6. Wesley became interested in programming while still young simply because he wanted to create video games. He bought his first programming book “C++ For Dummies” when he was 12 to try and achieve this ambition. From there he had an avenue to explore his creativity and fell in love. He completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science at UAB and began working as a Java Developer at McLeod Software. Today, he still feels that same passion and excitement for development as he did when he was 12.

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