S’pore Coding School For Kids Raises US$1M Funding After Being Bootstrapped For First 5 Years
Saturday Kids was established in 2012 as one of the first few coding school for kids in Singapore.
They had very humble beginnings and was bootstrapped for the first five years.
Fast forward to 2018, it has since evolved to be a digital learning school.
It now embraces a broader mission to “make kids curious, inventive, and resourceful” through the mediums of digital play, programming, and design thinking.
To date, over 5,000 students – aged between 5 and 16 – have participated in their programmes, which are delivered in the form of holiday camps and year-round classes.
The school announced today that it has closed a US$1 million seed funding round from Singapore-based Potato Productions.
This is their second round of funding, following a “small initial round” last year.
The said round included prominent angel investors such as FundPlaces founder Brian Wee, SpaceMob (now part of WeWork) founder T Fuad, Pinehurst Advisors partners Mark Hsu and and Kevin Chen, Advance.ai co-founder Chun Dong Chau, and Collision 8 co-founder Michelle Yong.
Funding Will Be Spent On Hiring More Teachers
According to the school, the newly-raised US$1 million will be used in expanding their team.
In a media statement, they said that they want to hire “curious folks” who are passionate about designing experiences that allow kids to learn through play.
This manpower boost will hopefully help to deliver a groundbreaking learning experience for young techies in Singapore and beyond.
“Saturday Kids is more than just a coding school. We use technology to give kids a headstart on real world challenges – where there is no right answer, and success is ultimately based on your ability to try things out yourself and figure out what went wrong,” said John Tan, CEO and founder of Saturday Kids.
“We cannot teach kids everything there is to know. But what we can do is to bring out curiosity in kids, encourage them to look at problems, and think “I can figure this out myself.”
But There’s A Lack Of Programmers In S’pore
According to a report by The Straits Times, there is a sizeable community of Singaporeans living in the San Francisco Bay Area working for start-ups and tech giants.
In Singapore, smaller firms in Singapore are increasingly finding it difficult to fill out vacancies for programmers.
Noting the brain drain dilemma, the Singapore government has been working on proposals to try and draw these tech talents back to Singapore.
Despite their efforts, PM Lee recognises that drawing them back home will not be an easy process as Singapore does not yet provide the challenge and opportunities like Silicon Valley.
So with the right opportunities and a more supportive ecosystems, these changes can help pique some Singaporeans’ interest in returning.
But there is also another school of thought that believes they can best contribute to Singapore and develop their careers by staying in Silicon Valley, where they can act as a bridge between the two tech communities.
In any case, Singapore has definitely been ramping up its efforts to foster the tech community in Singapore.
Besides grants and funding, there are also plenty of initiatives rolled out that aim to help startups and talents to grow.
Hopefully, the newly-acquired million dollars can also help Saturday Kids stand a better chance against big multi-nationals who can offer better salary packages to programmers.
Featured Image Credit: Saturday Kids