Tung Nguyen and Ha Nguyen, the co-founders of a coding education platform, MindX (formerly known as Code. ac), in Vietnam’s digital economy is one of the fastest-growing in the world, but there is an increasing IT shortage.
Many children wish to learn to code, yet schools do not offer a sufficient curriculum; according to Tung Nguyen, the co-founder of MindX (formerly known as Code.ac), an online/offline education platform that focuses on preparing students for tech professions, many kids want to study it.
MindX, a Vietnamese startup that develops and markets AI-powered coaching software for organizations, announced today that it has raised $3 million in Series A funding.
This round was co-led by Wavemaker Partners, Thien Viet Securities (Vietnam’s second-largest investment bank), and an unnamed U.S.-based investor, bringing the company’s total to more than $5 million since its inception in January 2019.
MindX also benefited from Beacon Fund’s debt financing, which specializes on businesses started by women.
MindX will use the $32 million to expand its internet platform, create additional instructional material, and enter Vietnamese Tier 2 and 3 cities and rural regions.
MindX intends to establish a network of IT firms that hire graduates of its programs.
Its courses are designed for children aged three through grade twelve as well as undergraduate students. It claims that alumni have worked as software engineers at firms including Google, Amazon, and Shopee after completing their studies.
The firm will begin providing an income share agreement to students who join MindX with the aim of becoming technical professionals, so they won’t be charged upfront tuition.
“One concern for parents with low-income levels is that they want their kids to have a guaranteed job placement, but they don’t want to run out of money for tuition,” said Tung.
“They asked for financing solutions and we plan to implement the income sharing model by the end of this year for our students.”
A course like this may be an excellent alternative for students looking to advance their skills in another industry, particularly when it comes to programming.
A program geared toward students with prior experience working in software companies in Vietnam, for example, will be one example. It’ll teach them how to look for a higher-paying job in Singapore and how to pay back their tuition after they start working.
Tung Nguyen and Ha Nguyen started MindX as a non-profit in 2015. Both were employed at technology firms at the time, and taught part-time coding classes between their jobs to provide learning spaces and computers for their pupils.
After a year, demand had grown to the point where the two decided on committing full-time to MindX as a company.
MindX currently has 13 offline locations in Vietnam, in addition to its online education platform, and claims it has been successful for the previous six years, even during COVID-19.
In fact, MindX’s founders claim that as of September 2021, MindX had experienced a 1,000 percent year-on-year increase in internet enrollment.
MindX partners with 200 technology companies in Vietnam, Singapore, Japan, and other countries to assist students find employment after they complete training.
According to MindX, its graduate hiring rates are 100% in Vietnam and 55% in Singapore. Some of the businesses also act as educational collaborators.
They provide MindX’s pupils the opportunity to work on tech products or live projects with them as an example.
Tung Nguyen and Ha Nguyen found MindX as a personal calling. “We didn’t have opportunities to study technology early in our lives,” said Tung.
“For example, I was born in a poor working family, in a remote province in Vietnam. Computers were very, very expensive, they cost a fortune for most Vietnamese families at that time, so of course my family could not afford one for me.”
Tung was the first of his relatives to go to college, but after a year he dropped out because he “didn’t find any passion in the university’s curriculum and didn’t see my future in it.”
Instead, he studied coding on his own for two and a half years. “I believe learning software engineering and coding changed my life because it opened many doors for me,” including a position as a software engineer at a technology firm in Hamburg, Germany.
Tung met several European colleagues his own age who had started programming in elementary school, but he was unaware that they had.
“I really realized that for myself, and other young students in Vietnam, if we had the same opportunity to study software engineering, we might have far better futures and far more opportunities to compete and participate in the global job market.”
In Vietnam, according to the creators of MindX, many STEM education institutions offer only 3 to 4-month programs.
On the other hand, depending on ages, levels, and goals, MindX’s choices range from one year to ten years. Most parents and students initially opted for shorter programs but have lately seen a rise in students enrolling for 2-, 5-, or 6-year courses to prepare for a technical profession.
Students are grouped into cohorts and collaborate closely with instructors.
On completion of their training, MindX’s career advisors assist students in creating CVs and preparing for job interviews.
A portion of the fresh cash will be used to apply blockchain technology to track the connections between MindX alumni and the employers that hire them, allowing applications and interviews to be automated.
“We’re proud to partner with MindX on its mission to revolutionize Vietnam’s tech education landscape and open up career possibilities for 20 million K-12 and university students,” said Wavemaker general partner Gavin Lee in a press release. “MindX is addressing a pressing issue, given the worsening scarcity of software engineers in Vietnam.”
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