These 6 startups are helping kids become programmers

Coding has become a modern-day toolkit to advance and ease our lives. It’s used everywhere – emojis, sharing memes, booking movie tickets, sending text messages, and even while you’re reading this article — almost everything is possible with just a few swipes and taps, all by coding. 

The kids know this. This is why coding has become a buzzword in classrooms across schools in the country. Many students consider it essential to education alongside regular subjects like English, math, and science – to not only open doors for opportunities but also enhance other skills such as problem-solving, reasoning, creativity, logical thinking, and much more.

Here are some kid-focused coding startups that are enabling students to keep up with technology and helping sharpen their minds by imbuing problem-solving and analytical skills.

CodeYoung

Founded by IIT-Delhi alumni Shailendra Dhakad and Rupika Taneja in 2019, the Bengaluru-based startup Codeyoung offers live coding classes to K-12 students.

The startup offers four programmes: app development, Python, Scratch, and web development for the age groups of five to nine, nine to 14, and 14-16. Each course includes 48 classes and costs Rs 19,999. They offer classes twice or thrice a week, depending on the student’s preference.

“Our curriculum goes beyond drag-and-drop block-based programming and provides a real-world coding environment where students are taught industry-level languages like Java and Python. Our aim is to teach kids the fundamentals of logic and problem-solving,” Shailendra earlier told YourStory

In September 2020, the startup raised an undisclosed amount in a seed round of funding led by Guild Capital to scale up in international markets and strengthen academic research, product teams, and technology.

Tekie

Founded by Naman Mukund and Anand Verma in 2017, Bengaluru-based Tekie is a live coding platform that brings the art of storytelling to make learning a movie-like experience.

The startup has also created the world’s first animated series on coding to teach text-based coding to kids.

“Coding education is still at a nascent stage in our country, primarily restricted to block-based coding. We want students to go beyond just getting introduced to concepts and learn to write real code. Keeping this in mind, we designed our course to teach text-based coding. We wanted to solve the gap in text-based coding for Class XI–XII students. The original idea was to be a B2B platform that could integrate with the school curriculum. But we iterated a lot on the product front,” Naman says.

In May 2021, Tekie raised $1.5 million in seed round funding led by GSV Ventures and Multiply Ventures to scale its operation to support the increasing demand. 

Codingal Education

Founded in 2020 by Vivek Prakash and Satyam Baranwal, Bengaluru-based Codingal Education is an online coding platform for K–12 kids.

Y Combinator-backed Codingal enrolled 40,000+ K12 students in 5 months

“Our mission is to inspire school kids to fall in love with coding, and we are building Codingal to deliver high-quality computer science education combined with world-class coding competitions.

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How Amazon decides which climate tech start-ups to invest in

Amazon bought the naming rights to rename Key Arena to Climate Change Arena.

Source: NHL Seattle

If Amazon is going to achieve its goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, it’s going to need to rely on new technology. To spur the process along, the company has a $2 billion venture capital fund to gather and grow climate tech start-ups.

Watching where Amazon is investing is one way to track innovation in the space. It can also give investors a sense of what parts of its own business Amazon intends to prioritize in the future.

“A lot of what we invest for is three to five years out,” Matt Peterson, the head of The Climate Pledge Fund at Amazon, told CNBC. “We try to look around corners to see where our needs are going to be and where the needs of other companies are going to be. I mean, with with a 2040 time horizon, you know, you can’t really afford to look one or two years out, you have to think long term.”

The Climate Pledge Fund, which was announced in June 2020, is funded entirely with money from Amazon’s own balance sheet. For Amazon, the priority is more about incubating the technologies it will need to meet its own climate objectives — making money is good, too.

“If happens to be that the companies we invest in do well and they become the next Tesla or they return a multiple of our investment, then that’s great. It shows that it’s a validation of what it is, but it’s not the main focus of the fund relative to the broader strategic goal,” Peterson told CNBC.

It’s also open to investing in companies at many different stages, and has invested from seed-stage up to series B rounds. “We can invest a million dollars in the company or invest over $100 million in the company,” Peterson said.

Amazon is not alone in investing in climate tech. The space has seen a five-fold increase in investment dollars to $32.3 billion in 2021, up from $6.6 billion in 2016, according to a recent report.

On Wednesday, Amazon announced new investments in Resilient Power and CMC Machinery and a second investment in Infinium. Amazon has previously announced investments in CarbonCure, Pachama, Redwood Materials, Rivian, TurnTide Technologies, BETA Technologies, Ion Energy, and ZeroAvia — bringing the total tally of climate tech start-ups Amazon has invested in to 11.

Amazon is still accepting applications for start-ups looking for funding. The company plans to make investments both large and small.

Here are five areas within climate tech that Peterson told CNBC Amazon is looking to invest in and how those areas track with Amazon’s current or future goals.

Food and agriculture investments

Food production requires a ton of land and fuel, food waste and spoilage result in methane emissions, and dairy and meat production releases in CO2 and methane emissions — all of which are problems for

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