Automation Alley, Michigan’s largest technology business association, is hosting a summer camp for young children to learn about coding through Kidpreneur. Kidpreneur empowers children ages 7-13 to bring their ideas to life with hands-on training in entrepreneurship, Web design, robotics, app development, coding and the latest technology.
The year-old company is the brainchild of serial entrepreneur Thanh Tran, who is also the founder of D-Movement and D-NewTech, organizations which aim to inspire Detroit’s growth. Tran says the idea for Kidprenuer came about when he realized there were not enough opportunities available for young children to learn about entrepreneurship and new technologies.
“I have kids, I love entrepreneurship and I love technology. Coding is in such high demand right now, and it’s important we encourage kids at a young age. That’s the way I want to raise my kids: to become future innovators and job creators,” Tran said.
Kidprenuer classes and summer camps are taught by professionals with real-world experience at various locations throughout Metro Detroit, all of which encourage entrepreneurship and collaboration. The children at this week’s summer camp at Automation Alley Headquarters in Troy are learning how to code video games.
“It’s been a thrill to see these young children getting excited about technology. Promoting technology education is an important part of Automation Alley’s mission,” said Automation Alley Executive Director Ken Rogers. “Kidpreneur is an innovative startup company that’s helping to build Southeast Michigan’s technical talent pipeline and ensuring our future workforce is among the most skilled in the world.”
In addition to coding video games, Kidpreneur training also exposes children to technologies like programming autonomous robots and building apps and functioning websites. Tran says the summer camp is a good starting point to introduce kids to the technologies. If they like it, they can move on to Kidpreneur’s classes, which are a longer commitment.
“With the classes, the entrepreneurship piece comes in,” he said. “What are you going to do with this technology? How can you turn this into a business?”
At the end of classes, the children get practice presenting their business plans to real investors, similar to the popular TV show “Shark Tank.”
“It gives the kids the opportunity to shine, and hopefully their hard work pays off,” Tran said.
With a successful business model and curriculum in place, Tran’s current goal for Kidprenuer is to find more satellite offices and a permanent location.
“Everything to this point has been piloting, even though we are building the company up,” he said, “I’m now focused on building a core team to help franchise the idea.”
Starting in January of 2015, Tran says classes will be available for children as young as five.
“There are actually 10-year-olds that have created apps for the app store. There are kids going through our classes who have created their own servers and are charging others to use it. It’s just unbelievable what these kids can do,” Tran said. “As a parent, if your child is interested in video games, give them the tools to learn. Who knows? They could be the next Bill Gates. And I truly believe there is one out here in our community.”
For more information about Kidpreneur, visit http://www.kidpreneur.co/.
Source: Automation Alley
Click here to be introduced to Automation Alley