Coded Minds: Encoding Young Minds With the Feel of the Future
Kid-friendly coding? Yes, Coded Minds made coding appealing to children.
In recent years, iSTEAM education has been on the rise, especially among elementary students. However, for now, there are only a few such educational platforms that offer to teach kids about innovation, science, technology, engineering, arts, and math - all combined.
With parents being skeptical regarding this way of learning and the platforms lacking in budget, none of the companies have made a big boom on the market.
That was until 2017, when Coded Minds was formally established with headquarters in Dubai. Omar Farooqui got the idea to create an iSTEAM platform with a more unconventional learning approach and available high-tech tools.
Coded Minds has considered various fascinating and cutting-edge digital trends, making it not a usual educational institution.
So, what brought Omar to the invention of this now globally-known company, and how did he build it from scratch? Stay with us as we carry you through his journey.
Bitten by the Entrepreneurship Bug
CEO and Founder of Coded Minds Omar was born and raised in Saudi Arabia’s port city Jeddah. He grew up in a nice part of the city and only attended the best schools to receive a high-quality education. Both his parents were entrepreneurs and ran their own company.
Omar has stated that part of his desire to build a company and invent something unique was thanks to his father. Growing up, he spent a lot of time in his parents’ company. Even though their work isn’t linked to the platform that Omar would later establish, he was simply blown away by the idea of creating something on his own, just as his parents did.
The Budding Years
As a youngster, Omar had a great inclination toward coding, programming, and everything computer science-related. Back when Omar was growing up, computer science wasn’t as developed as today; however, he knew what he wanted to become in the future.
Omar oozed grand ambitions and leadership skills even when he was a little child exploring the outdoors of his neighborhood. While at school, Omar was always the first to sign up for group projects.
He finished high school in his hometown, where he became very close with one particular computer science professor. The professor saw great potential in Omar and encouraged him to finish college abroad and expand his horizons. And that’s exactly what Omar did - he enrolled in the University of Surrey in the UK, after which many job opportunities opened up for him.
Omar attended college from 1993 to 1997 and got his Bachelor’s degree in Financial Services Marketing. One year later, in 1998, he mastered in the same college and the same field. After receiving his Master’s degree in the UK, Omar returned to his native Saudi Arabia, where he managed to land his first serious job in the National Commercial Bank. Omar worked as a Fund Manager, and his job was to structure the products.
After spending 8 years there, Omar decided to move on to another job. He worked for nearly two years in Deutsche Asset Management as a Vice President, and he was appointed Head of Business Development. In 2007, he switched to Algebra Capital and served as Vice President. Omar worked there for 2 and a half years, assisting in business development, sales, and distribution.
Boosting the Working Experience
Omar's restless spirit led him to move to Dubai in 2008, and luckily, he landed a job as a Senior Advisor for Global Strategy & Institutions in a company called Saudi Fransi Capital International. He worked there for nearly 8 years until 2016; however, he worked two other jobs simultaneously. He spent one and a half years in Theyab International Group as an Investment Advisor for new business development and had to raise funds for future projects.
In the time span between 2010 and 2018, Omar had his most significant working achievement yet. He founded his first company in the UAE and named it CI Holding. The years spent organizing finances and leading a team of experts were crucial - in 2015, he became a Managing Partner at Green Sands Equity, and he also served as a Board Member in this USA-based company.
The Tipping Point
All of those years of work experience that Omar got made the establishment of Coded Minds an effortless process. The initial factor that led Omar to create the platform was when he saw that his child was unfamiliar with coding in computer science lessons. He realized that if his son struggled with coding and had no knowledge, other kids would also have difficulties.
Coded Minds was formed to educate youngsters aged 4 to 16, mainly in the field of programming. The company believes that every child has the potential to be a leader; thus, they want to ensure that the chosen and constantly evolving courses they offer are suitable for a quickly changing future.
‘Coding’ Young Minds
The platform has become a leading enterprise in iSTEAM and Leadership Education technologies. The philosophy and aim behind the company are to revolutionize education, and Coded Minds is devoted to closing the education-skills gap.
Coded Minds provides cutting-edge technologies and is pushing kids’ boundaries to learn more and educate on different topics in order to solve global concerns later and build new standards.
The platform provides services for both kids and adults who want to equally engage in learning activities with their kids. Future Coded Minds graduates develop skills in programming, math, virtual reality, and other e-business areas. At first, the platform started as assistance that would further complement one’s education.
Evolution Leads to Revolution
However, after some time of existence, Coded Minds developed into a top-quality educational service. This was a sign that the company was ready to provide kids and adults with suitable knowledge such as an academy would.
In 2018 Coded Minds' courses became authorized and validated worldwide by the Ministry of Education in Dubai, which was a turning point for Omar’s company.
Later on, it also became licensed by the KHDA - Knowledge and Human Development Authority. With this, in 2019, the firm decided to expand its services further. Thus, they held a ten-day spring camp based in Pakistan for children aged four to sixteen, accompanied by their parents.
Funding the Dream
Coded Minds has received AED 10M in investment over one round. The Series A funding round was raised in March 2019, the date when the platform rose into a million-dollar globally-known company. Coded Minds has only had one investor company - Alarabi Investments, their lead investor.
The amount of $2.7 million that Coded Minds has secured from Alarabi Investments is intended to expand its operations in UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. As part of the agreement, Alarabi Investments became a minority shareholder in the company.
Fending off competitors like Edutech, ISTE, and Brilliant only made Coded Minds believe even more in its philosophy.
Coded Minds, Today
Today, the company’s team consists of around 50 people who educate kids and adults on various 21st-century topics. Unfortunately, the founder of Coded Minds, Omar, is no longer a part of the team since he decided to leave the company in 2021, after 4 and a half years in the lead.
The platform has recently partnered with multiple similar educational companies, and some include Ranches Primary School, Madar International School, GEMS Education, and Universal American School.
As of 2022, Coded Minds is slowly expanding to Pakistan and trying to bring its contemporary educational operations there.
Even though Omar doesn’t work in Coded Minds anymore, he is still actively helping the company to spread its educational services more and more. He strongly supports the idea that everyone needs and should be able to afford higher education.