Crowdfunding Campaign To Help Plug Digital Skills Gaps Globally

After closing the largest EdTech crowdfunding fundraise on UK crowdfunding platform Crowdcube – and the largest crowdfund in history for an African-linked start-up – HyperionDev, a leading provider of tech education, has now launched a second crowdfunding campaign. This will enable it to roll out online coding bootcamps in more regions to help plug the digital skills gap locally and internationally.

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“Our aim is to cement our leadership in the EMEA market and to secure partnerships with 10 of the world’s top 50 universities to collaborate on bootcamps across the globe by the end of 2022,” says HyperionDev CEO, Riaz Moola.

To date, the Facebook and Google-backed coding bootcamps specialist has teamed up with the University of South Africa (UNISA) and The University of Edinburgh and is currently in talks with over 40% of the Russell Group, comprised of 24 world-class UK universities, to provide university-certified online coding bootcamps.

Moola continues, “In the years preceding the pandemic, there were calls for businesses to partner with universities and other institutions of higher learning. But since the crisis, the need for this has become even more pressing. Nowadays, these institutions’ budgets are thinly stretched due to declines in the collection of tuition fees[ii] as students’ families recover financially from the economic impacts of the pandemic. This means that higher education institutions need to partner with other organisations to improve their finances and their value proposition.

“These companies are typically more in-tune with the needs of local communities and can provide personalised and customised service offerings that the institutions cannot. These partnerships can also help potential students build confidence in their skills before they apply for full courses or full programmes of study with the institutions.” 

HyperionDev exists to close the growing global tech skills gap through affordable tech education and has helped thousands of students learn job-ready developer skills so they can pursue careers in tech. “Coding skills, in particular, are growing in demand both locally and globally. In South Africa, following extensive consultations with business and labour, the Department of Home Affairs recently released the new Critical Skills List which is primarily geared towards attracting foreign nationals but also serves as an indicator of the kinds of jobs and skills needed in the country. Among these were Applications Programmer, Software Developer, and Data Scientist – all of which have coding as a prerequisite,” shares Moola.

The online learning boom, which has continued to skyrocket since the early part of the pandemic, presents a massive investment opportunity, with the global online e-learning market set to be valued at over $370 billion by 2026[iii]. “This has been driven in part by the four-fold increase in the number of individuals seeking out opportunities for learning online[iv]. We have witnessed this growth first-hand with a 108% increase year-on-year in booked revenue and a 58% increase in revenue per student.”

Moola adds that the shift to online learning has led to students from all over the world now having the opportunity to study at institutions of higher learning in other parts of the globe without even having to leave their homes. “This is a gamechanger for students wanting to gain qualifications from reputable overseas institutions but who lack the funds to make the move to another country or continent.”

He concludes by saying, “By being part of our crowdfunding campaign and investing from as little as R200 or £10, members of the public have the chance to make a real impact not only on the lives of South Africans, but thousands of people all around the world too. Together, we can plug the digital skills gap.”

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