Christine McDonnell is CEO and Co-Founder of Codelicious. Codelicious is a technology company that is transforming the way elementary and middle school educators teach students how to code.
More about Christine:
1. What is the mission of Codelicious?
Codelicious is on a mission to empower elementary and middle school educators to transform the computational thinking and coding experience they can provide their students. Using a SaaS-like subscription model, Codelicious builds and licenses curriculum uniquely designed to teach elementary and middle school students, while engaging them through their different learning styles. Codelicious saves educators time and money by enabling them to spend more time teaching and less time sourcing reliable, scalable computer science curriculum.
2. Who is your key audience?
Elementary and middle school administrators and educators.
3. What are the most popular courses at Codelicious?
Programming 101: Introduction to Coding with Scratch - This course teaches the fundamentals of problem solving and analytical thinking through coding using the Scratch Programming language developed by MIT. With collaborative, interactive coding projects, unplugged activities that emphasize computer science foundations, internet safety topics, and optional hardware projects, Introduction to Coding with Scratch teaches essential problem solving and analytical thinking skills through coding to elementary and middle school students.
Programming 111: Introduction to Coding with Java - This course introduces students to the powerful language of Java. Students will develop coding projects utilizing advanced programming techniques and line coding methodologies. This course emphasizes computer science core principles such as methods, and classes that are applicable across many other programming and object-oriented languages. With collaborative interactive, coding projects, career exploration, discussion topics on ethics in coding, this class includes an optional research project related to computer science in the real world. Introduction to Coding with Java is designed for advanced elementary and middle school coding students.
4. How is Codelicious different from other coding education organizations?
The Codelicious curriculum is differentiated by its student engagement model and its product delivery model.
Our student engagement model is uniquely designed for elementary and middle school student learning styles, whether it be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic/hands-on, with content and projects that will build coding skills, develop critical thinking, and incite discussions on careers and ethical use.
With an easy web-based login providing instant access to a fully vetted curriculum, educators increase the time they spend with students and decrease the time they spend developing content.
5. What is the biggest challenge starting up your business?
Early on, our biggest challenge was defining the right product fit for our target market. Once we had defined that, the challenge became finding early adopters in the elementary and middle school markets who were willing to use out product and take the time to provide valuable feedback on our offering. Now that we are generating revenue, our biggest challenge is growing awareness and securing funding that will enable us to scale.
6. Who or what has helped you along the way?
Codelicious participated in the Indy Startup Challenge in the fall of 2016. The rigorous approach to examining every aspect of our business model while generating conversation with 100s of potential customers, helped us define our minimum viable product and accelerate our successful entry into this market. Receiving the "Visionary Company" award from the judges of the final pitch competition, created momentum for our launch.
7. What are your plans for growth over the next year?
Codelicious has aggressive growth plans for 2018. Our traction with elementary school and middle school administrators and educators is growing. With the right investment, we will secure revenues over $0.750 Million in 2018.
8. What advice do you have for other women thinking about starting up a business?
When thinking about a business to start, be sure it is something you are passionate about.
9. Congratulations on being a finalist at the 2017 Indiana Conference for Women pitch competition! Tell us more about your experience, and how you will apply it as your business moves forward.
Being a finalist in the 2017 Indiana Conference for Women pitch competition has opened so many doors for our company. In preparation for our pitch, we received an abundance of professional advice to help refine and communicate the pitch; the market value for the advice from these professionals would have been beyond what our budget would have been able to pay. Additionally, the pitch competition provided insightful feedback from the judges and drew audience members who have connected with us to further understand our business and offer support.
10. How have The Startup Ladies helped you grow?
The Startup Ladies is helping increase awareness of Codelicious as a business entity, awareness of the talent in our management team, and awareness of the unique value proposition we offer to elementary and middle school educators. Additionally, The Startup Ladies Study Halls help me as a business owner take the time to reflect on key aspects of my business, enabling me to consciously make time to work on my business as opposed to only spending time working in my business.
Connect: LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chmcdonnell/