The Digital Xtra Fund will receive additional support for its annual grants programme thanks to a £25,000 donation from Chroma Ventures.
Launched in 2016, the Fund provides grants to schools and organisations to boost interest in computing and technology among young people aged 16 years and under.
Grants up to £5,000 are awarded to innovative, exciting extracurricular activities that engage young people and teach skills such as coding, data science or cyber security as well as creativity and resilience.
Since its inception, the Fund has awarded £660,000 to 80 initiatives around Scotland and helped engage over 38,000 young people in technology.
Partnerships and Development Manager at Digital Xtra Fund Kraig Brown said: “Like many charities, 2020 was full of uncertainties for the Fund but Chroma Ventures’ support has enabled us to continue supporting educators and young people at the same level as previous years.
“At a time when many in the third sector are struggling, this is important as it builds confidence amongst our grant recipients, stakeholders and other industry partners that Digital Xtra Fund will consistently support young talent in Scotland’s tech sector.
“We’re delighted we’ll be able to continue our work and help inspire more young people in Scotland to pursue a career in tech. With ambitious plans, we also hope Chroma Ventures’ involvement will raise awareness and encourage further interest and support in our grants programme.”
Chroma Ventures was recently formed as the investment arm of games developer 4J Studios. The group also signed up as a Gigabyte Partner with Digital Xtra, which will help enable digital skills activities and initiatives for young people across the country. The donation is one of the largest the charity has received to date.
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Paddy Burns, Principal at Chroma Ventures and CEO of 4J Studios will also join Digital Xtra Fund as a trustee as part of the company’s commitment to the charity. As well as experience of directly investing in exceptional individuals and teams, he brings an entrepreneurial approach to developing innovative ideas and technology.
Burns said: “Technology is a thread that runs through my own back story and the sort of initiatives delivered by Digital Xtra Fund resonated strongly. I firmly believe improving digital skills in Scotland can lead to life-changing opportunities for young people across the country, and that’s why our support for this initiative felt like a natural fit.
“I benefited from the support of experienced entrepreneurs and investors when I was starting out more than 20 years ago, and it’s fantastic to be able to give something back to a sector that is very close to my heart.”