We have so many unique locations in Chicagoland to learn, play, and experience! Codeverse is one of those places. I enjoyed talking with Katy Lynch when it first came to Naperville. Her and her husband live in the city (River West) and founded Codeverse together. They have a passion for making cutting-edge technology available to our kids, ages 6-13 years old, and we thought Katy is someone you should meet!
What is your professional background?
I am originally from Scotland, but moved to Chicago in 2007. I landed my first gig at a travel startup called Where I’ve Been. I singlehandedly managed their marketing efforts for a couple of years.
When Where I’ve Been was acquired in 2010 by Tripadvisor, I co-founded SocialKaty, an agency that specialized in social media marketing. Four years later, SocialKaty was acquired and I moved on to become the CEO of Techweek, the largest traveling technology festival in the country.
Now, I am the CMO and co-founder of Codeverse.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love Soulcycle, walking along the lakefront, and playing with my puppy, Yoshimi!
I also love to travel – especially by sea! Craig and I recently just sailed from the U.S to the Bahamas. It was an incredible life-changing experience and I look forward to more trips like that in the future.
Why did you start Codeverse?
Prior to Codeverse, I was the CEO of Techweek – the nation’s largest traveling technology festival. While at an event in LA, I went to a viewing of “CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap”, a documentary that focuses on the lack of women and minorities in STEM. It is a scary and sad fact that young girls lose interest in math and the sciences at a young age.
As a woman in tech, and someone who is a big advocate for girls, I knew that this needed to change. Getting girls excited about coding, as early as 6 years old, can have a big impact on their lives.
Craig and I did a a lot of research into the different apps, toys, games and gadgets that existed out there to get young kids excited about coding. In our research, we noticed two big things: There was not a physical space where kids could program every object around them, and there was no hands-on coding language designed specifically for 6-13 year olds. And so, that’s when the idea to start Codeverse came about!
Did you overcome any adversity when starting it?
My journey hasn’t been easy. There have been plenty of ups-and-downs!
The truth about entrepreneurship is, if you want to be successful, you have to work hard every single day. Back then (and still now), I made numerous sacrifices, like staying in on a Saturday night to focus on my business instead of going out with friends. I’ve learned a lot about myself as a leader and how important it is to establish a happy and healthy company culture for all of our employees.
The hardest thing I experienced a decade ago was the lack of resources or groups specifically for female founders. As a 25 year old, I wanted to meet like-minded ladies that I could get to know and swap stories with. Chicago is a world-class city, with great talent, but years ago, female entrepreneurs like myself had a hard time finding and connecting with other founders. Fast forward to 2019 and that has certainly changed!
What makes Codeverse unique?
Great question. First and foremost, Codeverse is the world’s first fully interactive coding studio for kids aged 6-13. The studios are riddled with cutting-edge technology, such as concert-hall lights and speakers, robot arms, and 3D printers – all of which can be controlled by kids using code!
In addition to our award-winning spaces, we have designed and developed a kid-friendly language called KidScript. With it, kids can build apps and video games, as well as program all of the hardware featured within our studios.
Codeverse is basically the classroom of the future – and it’s awesome!
What is the most important thing you want people to know about Codeverse?
Children are naturally curious, and love to build. They have a genetic predisposition to explore the world around them and challenge information and ideas.
We thrive on this! We celebrate their successes and their mistakes and we never underestimate kids. Ever.
The Codeverse experience is designed to promote the development of intellectual curiosity, and teaching children how to think instead of what to think. These are the skills that will remain relevant throughout their lifetimes!
Codeverse offers free trial classes!
Want to read more about Codeverse Naperville? We wrote about this interactive coding studio when it was being built! Click here to read more about Codeverse Naperville.
55 S. Main Street, Suite 230
Naperville, IL 60540