Chatting Up the Winners: Vid Code


I’m speaking with Alexandra Diracles, Founder of Vid Code.

What’s Vid Code all about?

Vid Code is a democratic medium for girls to flex their creative muscles while learning to code. I envision it as a web app geared towards pre-college-age girls. Using the app, they’d learn to code Instagram-style videos, filters and all, that they could share with their friends.

How is Vid Code different from other services that teach code?

Vid Code is specifically geared towards girls, who are underrepresented in the tech field. Coding is perceived by a lot of girls as “nerdy” and “for guys.” Our platform would show girls that coding can be creative and female-friendly.

A lot of young girls are interested in fun, artsy stuff like Instagram and Vine, but right now, all they see is the end product, not the code under the hood.

I want to get girls to the point at which they’re producing apps and tech tools, instead of only consuming them. I learned to code just recently – while in grad school – and I don’t want girls growing up today to wait so long to see how fun coding is.

What’s your business model?

We want to use a freemium model, and offer a few different tracks based on level of difficulty. Instead of charging per month, we’d charge per track. I’d like to make a basic track free, and then if the student wants to learn something more challenging, there’d be a fee for a higher-level track.

We haven’t nailed down pricing, but I’d honestly like to price Vid Code as low as possible considering that we’re marketing to kids. I can justify a higher price for working professionals, but it’s different when the end user is in high school. A lot of the cost would really be about instilling a sense of commitment to the learning process. If it’s totally free, the students won’t value it.

How do you see the business growing from here?

I want Vid Code to have its own culture. I’d want students to be able to chat online with teaching assistants on our payroll who can help them out if they get stuck on the material. Eventually, I hope to bring Vid Code to schools, maybe as an after-school program. We’d charge schools for the license, with the exception of schools in low-income areas. For those schools, I believe we should offer the service pro bono as way of giving to the community.

Who are your team members? How was it working with them?

My team was incredible. I had no idea we’d win. We were different – artsy. Maybe that’s why we stood out. Honestly, it was magic. Everything came together so well.

Aside from myself, Vid Code is Melissa Halfon, VP and resident math genius, Leandra Tejedor, developer and lead designer, Terry Ruth VanDuyn, marketing director, and Ken Warner, developer.

How’d you get interested in edtech?

My background is actually in creative pursuits. I studied cinematography and photography as an undergrad, and I was a freelance photographer for a while. Right now I’m working towards a master’s degree in interactive technology and design.

That said, I’ve always been interested and psychology and human behavior, which really ties into education – especially when you’re talking about progressive, cutting-edge methods of education. I see technology as being, for the most part, really underutilized in education today. I was drawn to tech specifically because I want to evoke change in education landscape.

Where does the Vid Code go from here?

We’re continuing to build out the idea and continue as a company. We had a debriefing this Friday. We’re excited to get this product out there. I’d love to raise a round and maybe add a finance person/CFO.

Final impressions?

SW NYC EDU was very powerful experience. I didn’t initially plan on pitching, but I was so motivated seeing other people pitch that I decided to go for it. I’m so happy I did! Everyone involved was amazing, and I’m telling all my friends about it.