Tech Educators, a Norwich-based provider of coding bootcamps, won the Digital Business of the Year award, sponsored by LOCALiQ, at the Norfolk Business Awards 2022.

Founded by James Adams in 2021, Tech Educators aims to give individuals from all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue a career in tech.

“We started Tech Educators because there just aren’t enough skilled developers coming through, especially from diverse backgrounds,” said James.

“Further education and higher education institutions do a fantastic job,” he added. “They are producing incredibly talented people, but they are generally people who have the means or the ability to go to university.

“We want to be a place where everyone thinks ‘I can do a tech ed course, I can be a developer’, and that means supporting people from all backgrounds in life to achieve that dream.”

Tech Educators works with partners such as Norfolk Developers to deliver instructor-led training courses that equip people with essential tech skills.

“People with no coding backgrounds can come on a 10-week daytime or a 20-week evening coding bootcamp and be ready to go out and work as a junior developer,” said James, adding that the instructors help set Tech Educators apart from online providers.

“You’re constantly nurtured and supported through the courses,” he continued. 

“I think that’s what makes us different, and ultimately, that’s why we want to have campuses around the country, because we want people to come and be part of that community.”

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The business has a campus in Norwich city centre and is currently closing out a £150,000 raise through the Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS). This will fund a second campus in Cambridge, followed by a further location – likely Liverpool – later this year.

“Going to Cambridge is really cool, and we’ve got a huge contract in Liverpool, but we also want to ensure we are delivering the best we can for Norfolk – because we originally set this up to support local people,” said James.

“I think it’s always important to remember and focus on your roots.”

From a team of two at the start of 2022, Tech Educators has quickly expanded to a team of seven and has already trained over 200 people through its various courses.

“The first cohort was two people – and the cohort we’re currently running is 27,” said James. 

He cites Leanna Lucas, a member of the first cohort, as a great example of the company’s success to date.

“Aviva hired Leanna before she even finished her bootcamp, and she has gone on to set up a meetup group in Norfolk called Women in Tech, with two other women who work in the tech industry,” he said. 

“The group is about empowering women to take up space in the industry, and supporting everyone to understand how they can do that too.

“At the beginning, we just wanted to change one person’s life,” he added. “We achieved that with Leanna in our first cohort, so she is a shining light of what’s possible.”

Eastern Daily Press: James Adams, founder and CEO of Tech EducatorsJames Adams, founder and CEO of Tech Educators (Image: Tech Educators)

Tech Educators is already backed by local councils around the UK, which pay for those out of work, self-employed or at risk of redundancy. Such is the company’s commitment to supporting individuals of all backgrounds, it also continues to fund a scholarship on each of its training courses.

This has seen it recognised by the wider business community – as evidenced by its win at the Norfolk Business Awards.

“Our students tell us that they love us, which is amazing, but they see it first-hand,” said James.

“It’s incredible when a group of judges outside the organisation takes that moment to actually recognise us,” he added. 

“It was great external validation for the team.”

However, nothing makes James prouder than seeing students graduate from Tech Educators.

“The two best days are the graduation day and the day that people get their jobs,” he said.

“Those graduation days are great because everyone’s family comes out – and it’s most likely the first time they would have had a graduation ceremony.

“You get addicted to that, and as you grow, you get more of that,” he concluded.

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