Staff news

Start-up wins Facebook social impact award

An Edinburgh start-up company has won a $150,000 award from social media giant, Facebook.

Hyperion Development has won the award and a $60,000 support grant for providing scalable software development and computer science education to people across Africa.

The company received the ‘Innovation Challenge Award’ in the education category, one of six ‘Innovation Challenge in Africa’ awards, devised by, a Facebook led-initiative to make the benefits of internet connectivity universal.

Education platform

The start-up, supported by the University’s commercial arm, Edinburgh Research and Innovation, developed an education platform that allows every person, regardless of socio-economic status or internet connection, access to free coding classes.

The company hopes to provide opportunities for better employment and higher paying jobs.

Entrepreneurial support

Over the past year, the LAUNCH.ed team at Edinburgh Research and Innovation has provided support and entrepreneurial advice to the start-up.

The fact that a University of Edinburgh company is taking the initiative to bring coding opportunities to all has been recognised by Facebook with this award win, and is a reflection of Hyperion Development’s vision and ambition to help transform lives and help those interested in coding realise their potential.

Liza SutherlandEnterprise Executive, LAUNCH.ed

We believe this coding education is uniquely empowering - no skill can more rapidly empower individuals to gain access to well-paying careers, yet no skill is as hard to learn in the third world. In Africa alone, over 200 million low-income youth can harness the skills we teach to change their lives forever.

Riaz MoolaFounder and Managing Director, Hyperion Development