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Tech Spark Canada Collaborates with IBM Canada, Interac, Pixel Dreams, RBC, Shopify, and TikTok Canada to Empower 70,000 Future Tech Entrepreneurs

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TORONTOFeb. 18, 2021 /CNW/ – To adapt, adjust and thrive in today’s digital world requires continuous innovation, and that’s precisely what Tech Spark’s new Tech Entrepreneurship Course will teach grade 11 students across Canada.

With support from a few notable tech giants, students will develop future revenue-generating ideas that utilize digital mediums such as websites and mobile apps to solve real consumer problems. Students will develop skills to launch real businesses and learn how to test their ideas.

The credited course, which is the first credited tech entrepreneurship course of its kind, is divided into six modules and aims to help design an entrepreneurial experience that exposes students to the lean startup methodology, the mindset of a successful entrepreneur, product development, revenue generation, and pitching to investors.

Students are provided with an experience that utilizes the platforms of each partner. The course curriculum was built in close collaboration with Pixel Dreams and its in-house team of educators. TikTok Canada will support business advertising, RBC will support financial literacy for small businesses and entrepreneurs, Shopify will support through free access to its commerce platform and online learning resources; IBM will support students with technical training material.

The national course was born out of a time of crisis when the need for solidarity and resources to the BIPOC community was more pressing than ever. The course will break some of the barriers that exist for BIPOC students, empower and support students while adding diversity to the technology pipeline.

The Tech Entrepreneurship Course rolls out February 2021 in the Durham region, beginning in Ajax High School then J. Clarke Richardson in April 2021. “Our goal as an organization is to provide all students with access to culturally relevant and sustaining learning experiences that enhance their rigor, retention and engagement.” –Tamar Huggins Grant, Founder, Tech Spark Canada. The course will be made available virtually through www.techspark.ca  and to teachers in AlbertaOntario, and Nova Scotia with aims to reach 70,000 students and 2000 teachers by 2023.

The course is intended to provide students with the important skills needed to become the innovators and creators of the future and fix the leaky pipeline for underrepresented Canadians in the tech ecosystem.

Teachers and school districts interested in bringing the course to their school are encouraged to contact alysha@techspark.ca

For more information on Tech Spark and the innovative programs, they design visit: www.techspark.ca

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About Tech Spark Canada: Tech Spark is Canada’s first edtech and curriculum design school committed to empowering BIPOC students, women, and Canadian teachers through innovative and culturally relevant education. We specialize in creating, revising, and teaching inquiry-based, student-centered K-12 curricula through the lens of tech, entrepreneurship, and equity. Our educators and technical mentors are industry experts who reflect the students and communities we serve. We design and develop our curriculums to be culturally relevant and responsive and teach with a mentorship focused approach in order to build the social and emotional skills of our students.

QUOTES

“As the future of work evolves, students need access to digital platforms that equip them with skills for long-term, meaningful employment. We are excited to leverage our Open P-TECH platform to support Tech Spark’s entrepreneurship course through free digital learning on foundational topics like cybersecurity, AI and cloud computing as well as soft skills like critical thinking, problem-solving and conflict resolution.”

– Annie Akpan, STEM for Girls Leader at IBM Canada.


“In the age of AI, it’s vital to invest in people because human creativity is a shared advantage. As a creative company, we venture to raise intelligence and consciousness. The intent of this Tech Spark collaboration is to encourage, educate, and empower our youths to take ownership of today and tomorrow.”

– Khalid S Mokhtarzada, Founder CEO, Pixel Dreams.


“We’re excited to be working alongside this incredible team of partners to help bring the promise of RBC Future Launch to life through the Tech Entrepreneurship Course. We have a responsibility to prepare young people for the opportunities and ambiguities of the future. That starts with teaching them the valuable skills to keep them future-ready and feeling prepared for the future of work.”

– Mark Beckles, Vice President, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC.


Building a more equitable technology ecosystem is imperative to Shopify as we strive to bring more voices to entrepreneurship. After several years of supporting their early programming, we’re excited to embark on this new partnership with Tech Spark by providing free platform access, learning resources and volunteers to promote a tech and entrepreneurial mindset among underrepresented youth in Canada.

– Brittney Oberfeld, Social Impact Lead, Computing Education, Shopify


“Entrepreneurship is an essential skill that is translatable whether you own your own business or work for an employer. It is critical that Canadian youth are provided with the training and resources necessary to successfully start and succeed in running a business. Tech Spark’s pioneering approach to creating culturally relevant course content will help to ensure that youth from all backgrounds have the skills needed to found Canada’s next generation of startups.”

– Steve de Eyre, Director of Public Policy & Government Affairs, TikTok Canada.


SOURCE Tech Spark Canada

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