Package of support for uni team
Facebook backs spin-out’s African initiative
Social network support for developers
Facebook has backed an Edinburgh university spin-out’s educational software that is designed to bring internet skills to African communities.
The social network giant has awarded Hyperion Development a $150,000 cash award and a further $60,000 support grant.
Hyperion has developed an educational platform enabling people across the African continent to participate in free coding classes to enhance their job opportunities.
It has been helped by the LAUNCH.ed team at Edinburgh Research & Innovation (ERI), the commercialisation arm of the University of Edinburgh.
Liza Sutherland, enterprise executive at LAUNCH.ed, 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, said: “We believe this coding education is uniquely empowering – no skill can more rapidly empower individuals to gain access to well-paying careers,.
“et 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.”