</Who we are>
GoCode Academy is on a mission to inspire the next generation of digital creators. We run after-school coding clubs and holiday tech camps where young people (6-18) can learn computer programming, build websites, create games, code and so much more. In addition to the technical, we focus on building essential soft skills like communication, teamwork, presentation and problem-solving. Our social mission is to give every child in the UK an opportunity to learn to code. We're strong believers of providing equal opportunities, we provide a scholarship program backed by White Clarke Group to students from low-income backgrounds. We offer free workshops to schools to encourage the students to take up coding.
Born out of Natwest’s Entrepreneurial Spark business accelerator backed by DELL, KPMG and Pinsent Mason, in a short space of time we have reached over 3000 students in our first year. Currently, we operate in four locations; Milton Keynes, Bedford, Northampton, and London. Our belief is that education is a very powerful thing that will make our world a better place. and the revenue is a by-product of a high quality, original service which is an ideology held by only the greatest minds in the business. By prioritising the education we provide, our model is financially viable and help shape the future talents in technology. Who knows, the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates could be at our Camps. Check out our success story of Dylan Masters, a GoCode student who got selected for Oxford Coding competition.
Our Tech camps run during holidays and half-term, here are our two main programmes.
Explorer is a 5-day intensive tech camp for 6 to 11 year olds, where they can build games using Scratch (Google CS-First Programme), websites using HTML and CSS, create their own version of PacMan with Lego and Sphero and use BBC Microbit to learn the basics of computer science.
GoCode Academy was founded by Robert Rajeswaran. Rob is an educator, entrepreneur and a young man on a mission to inspire the next generation of digital creators. Robert believes that technology can change the world, and he uses it to inspire and empower people through GoCode Academy. He was a child refugee from the war-torn island of Sri Lanka. He graduated in accountancy and began his career in investment banking. Thereafter he shifted to Financial Technology helping businesses with working capital. He founded GoCode Academy as part of RBS's Entrepreneurial Spark programme, which has grown traction and now works with major technology companies including Dell.
We are now a team of 7 and growing. We recently won the #GoDo award from RBS ‘The #GoDo prize, awarded to entrepreneurs who take action, seek challenges and make every day count, delivering impressive results using a #GoDo mindset.’ This was followed by FSB World Pay Young Entrepreneur of the year 2017. We have just been shortlisted for Great British Entrepreneur Award 2017. We are now at an exciting time in our journey – building a customer base, expanding the team and getting ready to scale.
GoCode Academy is heavily empowered by networking and is constantly working with other tech companies to mutually promote coding amongst young people. Some examples of our collaborations include our drone competition with MKFM; presentations in Tech Camps by DBFB, HSBC and Sport buddy; an after school club run by Supplyant; a workshop with WordPress; a collection of Sphero droids sponsored by Luton Council.
We are always looking to contribute to the local community and have taken interns from schools and universities to develop their work skills and open up more opportunities.
</Why we need your help>
Technology is changing the world and for your kids, this means a whole new set of skills will be required to secure their future.
Did you know that 65% of today's students will be employed in jobs that currently don’t exist? Schools are not doing enough to teach young people to code. Schools often lack the resources and manpower to teach coding. So how do students learn?
We know that talented young people could be anywhere and come from all different backgrounds. More young people than ever are exploring ways to learn to code. We want to double the number of young people we can accommodate. This means we need more space to cater for the awesome work they do, more people to help them do it, bigger platforms to showcase their talent.
</What your pledge delivers>
We plan on opening a dedicated centre to house our young coders, educational equipment, etc. and allow us to hold more frequent events/clubs. The proposed venue in on the high-street and has been empty for 8 years - let's put it to good use!
Our coding academy will open throughout children's holidays and will also open during term-time in the evenings and at weekends.
The funds will be used for the following:
Activities at the centre will include:
- After School Coding clubs
- Holiday Tech Camps
- STEM Days and clubs
- Makers space
- Technology zone with electronic kits, robot making, etc
- Event space to host technology and education meetups for students and local area
- Tablet and laptop lessons for adults
- Children's Minecraft parties
- Store to buy educational toys
The funds will be used for:
- Open space refurbishment
- 20 refurbished laptops
- 10 Robotics kits
- 10 Minecraft licenses for the students
- 10 refurbished tablets
- Tables and chairs
- Smart projector for two classrooms
</What are we solving?>
1. Digital Skills crisis
Currently, there are around 700,000 digital jobs that we struggle to fill as an economy and this is set to increase to 1,000,000 by 2020. The skills gap will cost the economy around £63bn a year in lost income. We are tackling this problem at source by bridging the gap at the source.
2. Coding in schools
As of September 2014, we saw the introduction of computing to the national curriculum but the majority of schools still lack the manpower, knowledge, and resources to teach coding. It's super important that coding is delivered in a fun and interactive way to attract all kinds of students.
3. Creativity amongst young people
Young people have grown up with technology, mobile phones, social media, intelligent computer games and now virtual reality— digital is second nature to them. This generation are has become digital consumers rather than creators.There are clubs for sports, music, drama so on. However, there is a lack of opportunities and environment for kids to really express themselves digitally. We're building a space where young people can build, break, fix and learn. A club for the geeks, techies, games and for those who think differently. We aim to provide the atmosphere and the equipment for them to truly build amazing things. In a use and throw society, we encourage recycling and sustainability.
</What we achieve>
Our community tells us that participating in the tech camps is not just a fun experience, it's also one which grows their confidence, develops their skills, and generates opportunities to improve their futures. By working together and sharing knowledge, participants improve their digital skills, learn about teamwork and communication and make lifelong friends. What's more they get to hear from some of the most talented and inspiring technologists out there, and in doing so realise the value and potential of their own abilities!
But it's not just the participants who benefit - we all do because we encourage 'social hacking' where the young people apply their creativity to solving community challenges and building solutions which improve the lives of those around them!
</Hear from our students>
"I would definitely recommend GoCode Academy because they have been very supportive. It’s a really good start for people who want to learn coding and are really passionate about it"
- Srinivas Subrmanyam, 17 years old, Student, Denbigh School
"Even if you have a spark of interest in programming, it’s worth it! At the end of the course, I can use my knowledge to build websites and apps."
- David Zilvy, 17 years old, Student, Hazeley Academy"
- Connor Spaughton, 14 years old, Student, Stantonbury Campus"
"It’s great being in an environment with other students of similar age and interest such as programming. If we get stuck, we can help each other and learn from each other. I would definitely recommend it because it's super fun and I'm always learning."
- Dawson Taylor, 12 years old, Student, Ousedale School"
</Hear from our parents>
"Dylan does computing at school, but they can only take it so far. To come to a place like GoCode Academy where it's welcoming, generous and provides an environment for him to develop is brilliant."- Lisa Masters, Parent
"Dawson attended GoCode Academy’s Easter Coding Camp and he loved it. It gave him an opportunity to interact with other young people and learn things he hasn’t been able to learn at school"
- Leanne Taylor, Parent
- We're passionate about empowering the next generation of creators by providing opportunities and skills
- Join our revolution by pledging a small amount that will have a big impact on young people
- Get involved with our cool limited rewards
If you pledge over £500 you become a Crowdfunder Champion. This gives you the option to have your logo appear on our campaign page and the 'champions' page of the Crowdfunder website. If you have pledged £500+ and would like your logo and pledge to appear then contact firstname.lastname@example.org to have the placement set up.