In the U.S. today, the vast majority of young students pick up, put down, play with, watch, and interact with electronics all day long. Their smartphones are the core of their social lifestyle, and their computers are how they get their school work done. Their level of tech savviness may surprise you, however, their understanding of how technical programs actually work may only go so far.
Code.org explains that this discrepancy is due to the fact that 90% of schools in the U.S. still do not teach computer programming. Efforts by numerous organizations and companies to change that have attracted the support of technology heavyweights like Facebook, Microsoft, and Salesforce. In Germany, Google has launched a program called Open Roberta to teach students how to code with robots.
Amongst the largest technology companies in the world, there is also a startup in Berlin that is looking to educate the next generation in computer science. The startup CareerFoundry was launched in mid-2013 by founder Raffaela Rein.
CareerFoundry provides online courses and mentorship to individuals with career ambitions in computer programming and user experience design. In addition to educating those who want to pursue a programming career, CareerFoundry also launched its B2B operation that offers young people the chance to give it a try.
Apple’s former Head of Education Alan Greenberg came on board as Director in late 2014 to lead the startup’s B2B division. Last year, CareerFoundry announced its first partnership with TeacherTube, an organization in the U.S. that educates teachers on how to program so that they may pass that knowledge on to their students. According to Rein, TeacherTube has 1.4 million followers in the U.S.
I talked with Rein about CareerFoundry’s mission that applies to both its B2C and B2B operations. “We want to build an alternative education program, and we want to do it at a deeper level that is really tailored to gain the skills that are currently demanded by the market,” she explained. “We are not only offering an education service but a career service as well.”
The latest announcement from the startup is the story of a CareerFoundry graduate that went from unemployed to working as a freelance web developer in only three months.
With a B2C business active in Europe, I asked Rein why CareerFoundry decided to launch B2B operations in the U.S. She responded that CareerFoundry has been a global company from day one. The startup plans to stay true to its global vision going forward. “Our goal is to become the market leader in Europe and then go more and more towards emerging markets,” said Rein.
In Berlin, CareerFoundry has a core team of thirteen people. The startup has also received $250,000 in seed funding from Stefan Glaenzer.