A U.S.-based after-school programme and camp, Code Ninjas, which teaches children how to code by building video games that they enjoy is looking to expanding into the UK.
The self-proclaimed ‘edu-tainment’ company says it is America’s largest and fastest-growing franchise in its field. Headquartered in Texas, it currently has 125 centres in the U.S. with 75 scheduled for opening by the end of August, including expansion into Canada.
Built on the mantra that ‘kids have fun, parents see results’, the company says it is targeting UK entrepreneurs looking to capitalise on the ever-increasing demand for STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education.
David Graham, a programmer and entrepreneur, who previously established Coder Camps for adults, founded Code Ninjas in 2016 after seeing the need to equip his own two children and other future problem solvers with the knowledge and tools to become coders. Inspiration for the business also struck Graham whilst watching his son’s Taekwondo lesson.
As the company explains, Code Ninjas likes to do things a little differently. Centres are called Dojos, the teachers are called Code Senseis and students, or Ninjas, progress by working towards coloured wristbands or ‘belts’ based on the colouring system in martial arts.
Students work through the self-paced curriculum, all written by in-house developers, during weekly drop-in visits to its centres. The game-based coding curriculum engages the children and teaches them logic, problem solving, maths and teamwork, all vital skills.
Parents can either drop their children off at the Code Ninjas centre or stay to take advantage of the specially designed facilities including relaxing waiting area, free coffee and Wi-Fi, and workstations.
‘Badge of honour’
Graham said: “Code Ninjas is all about the experience, that’s what makes us different. You can’t distil what we do down to the curriculum, it’s so much more than that. It’s fun, it’s exciting, it’s a place to make friends and have a good time. Kids are motivated to learn when they’re enjoying themselves and there’s the opportunity to ‘earn’ their next badge of honour.
“The Dojo is a parent free zone, meaning students can communicate independently with their Sensei and peers. I’ve seen, first hand, how coding education improves lives. Every child should have the opportunity to learn code, and have a great time doing it.”
With the growth of the brand in the U.S. and the need today for computer skills, Code Ninjas is confident that the UK will replicate, if not surpass the U.S. in terms of growth speed and breadth of coverage.
Graham explains: “A Code Ninjas franchise offers investors an opportunity to get ahead of the curve by providing a crucial service that has largely been overlooked in the UK market. 90 per cent of parents have expressed an interest in wanting their kids to learn how to code.
“Our UK franchisees will benefit from the support of a UK-based team whose number one priority will be helping to get centres open, operational and profitable. Our first franchisees will be instrumental in developing and shaping the future of the brand in the UK.”
Prospective franchisees do not need any coding experience as the company’s training and support systems are designed for those with non-technical experience.