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Coderjo expansion

The Irish International Business Network (IIBN) New York Future Leaders Board recently organised an exclusive gathering hosted by the Private Manhattan Residence of Consul General of Ireland. After the introductory remarks by Minister for Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, the guest keynote speaker was a young tech entrepreneur James Whelton, Founder of the start up company CoderDojo.

At just 20 years old Cork-based James Whelton has taken an idea about teaching kids computer skills to a global phenomenon. CoderDojo is a non for profit organization where young people learn how to code, develop websites, apps, programs, games and more. Dojos are set up, run by and taught by volunteers. Dojos organise tours of technology companies, bring in guest speakers to talk about their career and what they do, and organise events.

Whelton set up a computer club in primary school, frustrated by the lack of IT classes in Irish schools. Later he teamed up with Bill Liao, an entrepreneur who was interested in enhancing IT skills amongst Irish students. There are now 104 Dojos happening every Saturday afternoon (41 in Ireland) in cities from Dublin, Florence, Tokyo, LA, New York, San Francisco, London and Chicago to name but a few. They have over 20 in the US alone which is growing.

Most recently James was honored at the Dublin Web Summit, being the youngest-ever recipient of the prestigious Ashoka Fellowship award. This was followed by being named the winner of the 2012 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award.

Read his story in this weeks Huffington Post, as written by IIBN Member Maura Kelly

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