The Cass Entrepreneurship Fund today announced its most recent investment, into the high-growth innovative technology education business Fire Tech Camp.
The investment round included funds from private Angels in the UK and overseas, and participation from specialist education accelerator, Emerge Education.
“65% of children in Primary school today will work in jobs that do not exist yet. Our mission is to prepare kids for the tech-driven economy in a fun and engaging way,” said Jill Hodges, Fire Tech’s founder and CEO. She continues, “We’re experiencing 40% y-o-y growth this year and have strong demand from individuals, educators and institutions from around the world asking us to bring our programme to their markets. Parents are eager for this product because they don’t feel that their children are getting enough of these critical skills in traditional education; parents don’t want their children left behind.”
To date, the company has delivered more than 7,000 courses to young people across the United Kingdom, Italy, France, Gibraltar and Australia. Parents choose Fire Tech because of their world class locations (such as Imperial College, the London Science Museum & Wycombe Abbey), engaging tutors, collaborative environment and innovative curriculum. Sean Bint, Fire Tech’s Head of Learning says, “It’s exciting the see courses such as Unity 3D, Python Programming and Rapid Prototyping selling out - the students just dive right in.” Fire Tech is known for promoting an inclusive environment where more than 50% of places on weekend courses are often filled by young women.
The UK faces a digital skills gap, which is predicted to grow. More than three in four companies report shortages in digital skills, costing the economy £63 billion a year in lost GDP. Fire Tech’s mission is to support and encourage the next generation of innovators, and in doing so to help grow the skills available to the digital economy.
Oliver Finch, who led the investment on behalf of the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, said, “Jill and her team at Fire Tech design and deliver world-class programmes in technology education for young people. The courses and materials build familiarity across a range of technologies and software, and help students to develop real problem-solving skills, resilience and teamwork. We are delighted to support Fire Tech’s next phase of growth, as it furthers its UK and global expansion to capitalise upon this in-demand area of youth education and experience.”
Fire Tech offers hands-on, creative education technology courses that provide 9 - 17 year olds with the 21st century skills they need to succeed in an increasingly technology-driven economy.
Unlike other tech education providers, Fire Tech offers a range of courses in coding, creating and making, such as video game design, app design, robotics and digital music production which are designed to ensure that participants learn as much in a week as they would in a year of programmatic coursework in secondary school.
Founded by Jill Hodges in 2013, Fire Tech has since delivered over 7,000 courses and workshops. Fire Tech aims to ensure that young people are prepared for a world where technology increasingly drives the economy and are committed to making tech education available and accessible to all children. Scholarships are available to support this goal.
The Cass Entrepreneurship Fund is a £10m commercial Venture Capital fund, based in-house at Cass Business School. The Fund invests in high-potential, revenue-generating businesses.
The Fund was established with the backing of Peter Cullum, CBE, as part of a wider vision to improve business support and entrepreneurial skill-building within Cass Business School and across the early-stage growth-business community.