imgresFred met with UCode when we were in LA.  He asked me if I wanted to go check it out and so we did.  We showed up in Hermosa Beach on afternoon to watch the company in action.  It was wonderful to see.

One of the things we care most about is the importance of STEM for the next generation. Everything is changing because of technology.  The curriculum in most schools are still set in the past.  Public education is a huge machine and trying to get it up to speed of how to educate the next generation of students is like turning around a cruise ship.  Change must come from outside.

UCode is an after school program started by Scott Mueller who is passionate about teaching kids to code through games, robots, apps and programs like Scratch.  To watch these kids come in and get on the computer and build out fun stuff is inspiring.  They are learning the tools that they will need for their future.  It doesn’t mean that they will all become coders but even if you become a fashion designer you need to understand the software that will help you create patterns, even if you become a farmer you will have to understand the technology that will be used to make your farm more efficient, even if you become a food brand you will have to understand how to build a site and sell your products online.

Technology is the foundation of the future.  It will part of absolutely everything.  These schools are part of a few communities right now but the hope is that they grow to the point where they are the Starbucks or the Chipotle for kids to go to after school to learn the beauty of coding.  The prime age is about 6-11 before the sport teams begin.

Did we invest?  Absolutely.  I am seriously excited about UCode.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Angelique Kepshire

    This sounds like a fantastic program. I’ve been thinking recently about a curriculum sharing. There are a couple networks for homeschooling and then of course common core for the traditional school day but what about after school programs? Yesterday I saw the WaPo article about the public school system failing to support the needs of lower income gifted students. I sense that the afterschool slot is where some of the lost talent may be recuperated.

  2. Maureen

    Public school teachers are killing themselves, mostly of them purely dedicated to children, in a barely functioning operation. UCode sounds great.Btw, one of my favorite things that I have heard in interviews with Fred is the way that he says, “Joanne and I.” I can hear the partnership. I don’t just mean business partnership.

  3. Ella Dyer

    Thanks for promoting STEM; looking forward to STEAM, which includes art, taking off too.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Art is so important.

      1. Ella Dyer

        Yes and thank you for highlighting various forms in your blog. Always a pleasure to read; keep up the great work!

  4. Kirsten Lambertsen

    Funny, I was just checking UCode out the other day, having noticed it appear in your list of investments. It looks so fun! The mentoring piece is such a great idea – sometimes I forget that there are parents who aren’t in a position to mentor their kids, themselves, for coding :)As neat as it is, I feel like the world needs something even slicker, more user-friendly than Scratch. Am I just approaching it the wrong way?

    1. Gotham Gal

      it is literally an after school class. instead of ballet or karate you are learning to code.

  5. LE

    Sounds like an idea that would be ripe for franchising or licensing. This would work in the area that I am located in (a suburb).

    1. Gotham Gal


      1. pointsnfigures

        works in rural areas too. where won’t it work? (rhetorical question)

        1. Gotham Gal

          works anywhere

    1. Scott Allen Mueller

      iD Tech is great. Their primary business is summer camps. While UCode offers summer camps, our primary business is year-round teaching kids programming. This allows us to go from the fundamentals of computer science to professional-level software development.

      1. AMT Editorial Staff

        Any plans to expand to San Diego?

        1. Scott Allen Mueller

          San Diego is an amazing place for a UCode. It’s high on our list…

        2. Gotham Gal

          absolutely. can’t give you a date but expansion is the plan.

  6. Michael Preston

    This sounds terrific – I could see UCode becoming huge.Eventually we will steer that cruise ship. We just have to keep turning the wheel until it happens.