Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.
Back in October, a nonprofit crowdfunding campaign launched on Indiegogo with a view towards making computer science widely available in schools. And four weeks on, Hour of Code has beaten the previous Indiegogo record for the amount of funds raised.
The organisers are seeking $5 million before December 14, and the money will be used to train 10,000 computer science teachers.
The full funds haven’t yet been raised, but with more than a month to go and almost $3 million in the kitty so far, it looks likely to succeed. At any rate, it doesn’t matter too much. Given this is on a so-called ‘flexible funding’ campaign, all monies raised will be kept regardless.
It’s also this very fact that means this project can lay claim to the Indiegogo funding record – as you’ll no doubt remember, the Ubuntu Edge smartphone actually garnered more than $10 million in funds, but ultimately ended in failure as it was required to meet its full $32 million goal for the funds to be kept.
This campaign represents just a small facet of the broader initiative. Entrepreneur Hadi Partovi raised $10 million from big-name technologists such as Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg to launch Code.org, a not-for-profit seeking to drive computer science in schools.
Hour of Code is the first high-profile event to emerge from Code.org, with thousands of schools encouraged to spend at least one hour every week teaching students programming.
There have been some big-name backers of this specific crowdfunding campaign, including Mark Zuckerberg and John Doerr who donated $1 million between them. As a matter of fact, every donation is being matched dollar-by-dollar by big-name Code.org backers, including Bill Gates and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman.
Prior to this, the Indiegogo funding record was held by a craft brewery called Stone Brewing Co., a campaign that raised $2,531,775. Hour of Code is the seventh Indiegogo campaign to raise north of $2 million since May.
Over on Kickstarter, there have been a couple of projects that have raised more than $10 million, including a cooler that that notched up $13 million of its comparitively paltry $50,000 goal.
Get the TNW newsletter
Get the most important tech news in your inbox each week.