CodeOp, the first and only coding school in Barcelona for women and the trans and gender non-conforming (TGNC) community, has raised a seed round of over €320k, in-excess of its initial €260k goal.
Founded in 2018 by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Katrina Walker, CodeOp is the first international coding school for women and the TGNC community. With campuses in Barcelona and Kuala Lumpur, CodeOp offers beginner and advanced level bootcamps to students to equip them with the skills needed to become leading developers and data engineers in their fields.
All-women coding schools make up less than 1% of all coding schools worldwide – a contributing factor to the current gender disparity in the tech industry. By offering beginner and advanced technical programs at its Barcelona campus, CodeOp, aims to foster a supportive learning environment that encourages and equips people from these minority groups with the skills to become leading developers and data engineers.
“There are a lot of statistics associated with women in tech,” said Walker, CEO of CodeOp. “It’s one thing to hear about them and another to experience them firsthand. That personal experience is the driving force behind our work. We want to share the power of technical knowledge with folks who’ve traditionally not been encouraged to pursue tech and we believe that ‘If you build it, they will come’. We’re seeing double digit application numbers come in by the week, barely a year since opening. It highlights just how much coding schools like us are needed in this space, and will help shape the future of tech recruitment.”
CodeOp offers technical education programs taught by senior-level engineers. Though the school focuses on tech education for women and TGNC individuals, it also works with individuals and communities worldwide across and outside the gender spectrum to foster a growing network of people who understand the issues these groups face. CodeOp has received support from Lesbians Who Tech and SheCommerce, and has developed partnerships with global companies and organizations including Oracle and Fundació Catalana de l’Esplai.
CodeOp has already received applications from a range of individuals spanning more than 45 countries. Its investors, including Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont and Heiko Rauch, bring their global network to the mission, having previously invested in the unicorn company Creditas, alongside LearnLife and Nutrino. The school is supported by an exceptional board of directors—70% of which are women—including Steven Ramenby; founder of the European Bartending School, Yaron Hadad; founder of Nutrino, and Florence Arretz; Investment Director of Advienta. Collectively, they have extensive experience in global leadership, as well as technology, corporate strategy and the promotion of diversity and inclusion.
This month CodeOp welcomed its fourth and fifth group of students to its Barcelona campus, and in 2020 will open a second location in Kuala Lumpur. CodeOp has also recently broadened the availability of its programs by offering part-time as well as full-time courses. In addition to an in-depth curriculum, the school offers interest free deferred payment plans, and a policy that guarantees students an offer of a job after they graduate. On average, CodeOp students start working just two months after completing the program.
“I have a daughter and I want her to have the same opportunities,” said investor Gabriel Herrero-Beaumont founder of Ubeeqo. “Investing in Codeop is a way to help level the playing field for women in tech. Katrina has an outstanding profile with strong tech expertise and business execution. You can feel her deep respect for education, and responsibility to achieve excellence. It is incredible how much she has achieved in such a short period of time.”