60-second start-up: Code Kingdoms

0-5 seconds: Sum your business up in a sentence  

Code Kingdoms is a game that teaches kids to code by allowing them to build and share games with their friends.  

5-10 seconds: What's the business model?

We sell premium game content to parents and distribute free material to schools to help them teach the new coding curriculum.  

10-15 seconds: Who are your competitors?

Minecraft is a collaborative game that kids love because it’s creative & Scratch is used by three million kids as an academic tool to learn code.  

15-20 seconds: What's your USP?

We teach real code to let kids create and share the things they imagine in their favourite environment - a game. Code Kingdoms runs on the desktop for schools and tablets so kids can use it on their devices at home.

20-25 seconds: How have you funded it so far?

We’ve just finished Entrepreneur First, a pre-accelerator for new tech businesses. They supported us with £25k initial investment, office space and mentoring.

25-30 seconds: What were you doing before?

Ross founded Twitraffic, a machine learning tool that automates UK road traffic updates using crowdsourced information from Twitter. It was acquired by Telent last summer.
 
Hugh was studying Computer Science at Cambridge, during which he completed research in game’s design.

30-35 seconds: Where did the idea come from?

For four years Ross has been teaching kids to code and has struggled to write engaging lessons for kids using existing resources - they always want to build games.

35-40 seconds: What's the smartest thing you've done so far?

We decided to organise free workshops for schools where we went in and taught Code Kingdoms personally. This has allowed us to do free focus groups, which has dramatically improved the product.  

40-45 seconds: What's the stupidest?

We released a version on the app store that crashed the whole game when some kids tried to open certain levels. Lesson learnt – always test and test again.

45-50 seconds: If your business was a biscuit, what would it be?

A Jaffa Cake. The learning process is incredibly refreshing, stimulating kids’ imaginations to learn code in a way those more mundane purely chocolate-biscuit-based games don't.

50-55 seconds: Which idea are you a bit jealous of?

ClassDojo, a classroom behavioural tool for teachers. They have a rare model that involves solving a problem for teachers by making a solution that kids love, which is ultimately paid for by parents.

55-60 seconds: Where are you going to be in 12 months' time?

We've been focusing on developing in UK schools, but in 12 months time, we hope to have a much wider international user base with a complete curriculum for Computer Science. We want to unleash the vast creativity that code can give kids beyond the game itself.

 

To find out more about Code Kingdoms, click here, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter

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