Smart50 Awards 2018

3 Code Camp

Revenue

$6.12 million

Growth

510%

Founders

Hayley Markham (37), Ben Levi (36), Pete Neill (38)

Head office

Sydney

Employees

61

Industry

Education and training

Website

codecamp.com.au

It started as a hobby in co-founder Hayley Markham’s kitchen, but Code Camp is now running in 150 schools across Australia and expanding internationally.

To date, the business has taken its four levels of coding classes to 40,000 children aged as young as five, teaching them how to make their own video games, and imparting a soon-to-be crucial life skill at the same time.

“With coding becoming more of a core skill, not a specialist skill, the need to teach the younger generations the language of the future is becoming more evident,” Markham says.

“Code Camp saw an opportunity to create a fun and engaging way for kids to learn the skills that will provide them with better working opportunities in the future.”

Code CampThe fast growth the company has seen has been exciting, but it has also brought its challenges. Markham spends more time than she expected on the business, and stresses the importance of making personal time.

“It is important to ensure you schedule in quality time to be with your family and book a few holidays during the year for down time. When not at work, turn off notifications to avoid becoming overloaded and overwhelmed with the never-ending to-do list.”

The founding team have also had to bring in a lot of casual staff to run the camps, and Markham says it has been a challenge to make sure they’re well managed, and able to deliver a standardised product.

The business doesn’t have an exit strategy up its sleeve just yet, but is focusing on expanding its operations in the UK, the US and Switzerland, as well as developing outreach programs for disadvantaged kids.

Markham is also committed to getting more girls into tech. Currently, the programs run at a 60-40 boy-girl ratio, but she is working towards 50-50.

This starts with hiring women as teachers and role models, she says.

“If young girls can see it, they can be it the misconception that a girl enjoying coding must be nerdy and unpopular is outdated.”

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