|7 November 2016|

Edinburgh

Facebook has awarded a University of Edinburgh start-up company $60,000 to support an educational platform which gives people across the African continent access to free coding classes.

The platform developed by the multi award-winning Hyperion Development allows people to learn coding with or without internet access: a game-changing service that offers access to skills which can transform lives.

Facebook’s grant along with the ‘social impact award’ of $150,000 the company has received is recognition for a team of pioneers who are leading a revolution in democratising access to education.

Supported from its inception by the LAUNCH.ed team at Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI) – the commercialisation arm of the world-leading University of Edinburgh – Hyperion Development allows people to take courses with a mobile phone or personal computer even with limited internet connection.

Liza Sutherland, Enterprise Executive at LAUNCH.ed comments said: “This is a massive boost for such a young company to be recognised by the biggest social media giant on the planet. Facebook and its Partners place huge emphasis on education programmes and internet access in the developing world.

“Across Africa, internet connectivity is still a significant challenge in thousands of communities and therefore coding and software development has been confined to the bigger conurbations and cities. The fact that a University of Edinburgh company is taking the initiative to bring coding opportunities to all has been recognised by Facebook with this award win, and reflects Hyperion Development’s vision and ambition to help transform lives and help those interested in coding realise their potential.”

Riaz Moola, Founder & Managing Director of Hyperion Development, added: “We believe this coding education is uniquely empowering – no skill can more rapidly empower individuals to gain access to well-paying careers, yet no skill is as hard to learn in the third world. In Africa alone, over 200 million low-income youth can harness the skills we teach to change their lives forever.

LAUNCH.ed and ERI has supported our businesses during the past year and our success in this Facebook-led competition would not have been possible without the proactive support offered to us.”