Code-teaching app developed in Armenia wins Grand Prize in Facebook’s FbStart contest

A code-teaching application developed in Armenia has been named the winner of the FbStart program, TechCrunch reports.

Facebook has announced its “FbStart Apps of the Year”, which is an event which recognizes the most successful apps from the global FbStart program. This year’s Grand Prize winner is
SoloLearn (iOS/Android) which is a free mobile-first app for anyone who wants to learn how to code.

SoloLearn’s CEO and Co-founder Davit Kocharyan came up with the idea for the app in his native Armenia, where most of their team is based, to teach coding to the local population.

The app’s idea is to educate members through game mechanics, peer-to-peer sharing, and user-generated content. SoloLearn community members compete in head-to-head challenges and unlock hidden lessons. It offers 12 free courses, including JavaScript, Swift, Python, C++, and HTML/CSS.

Yeva Hyusyan, CEO and Co-founder of SoloLearn told Mike Butcher of the TechCrunch the app had hit two major milestones. She said the first is that it’s turned into the “friendliest” community of peer learners. “You get an answer from your peers in our Q&A forum within minutes; we have over half a million public codes on SoloLearn today that are used as a great peer-to-peer learning tool; tens of thousands interactive peer-to-peer challenges are completed daily,” she said.

The second is that users are generating a lot of the content themselves.

The app has also gotten more traction, with now 5+ million profiled learners; 1.5M quizzes completed daily; 3 codes are compiled every second; and over 1,000 answers are published every day. Some 40% of users are based in India, 25% in the US, and the rest is across Europe.

Developers participated in FbStart for the chance to win up to $100,000 in prizes to help scale their business. The event got 900 submissions from 87 countries.

In addition to SoloLearn, the other “Apps of the Year” were :

EMEA: Mondly [iOS/Android] – “A language learning platform that’s the first company to launch a VR experience for learning languages (featuring speech recognition and chatbot technology).”

Asia-Pacific: Maya [iOS/Android] – “A free app that makes it easy for women around the world to track their periods, monitor related symptoms, set health reminders, track pregnancy and connect with health experts. Has 7 million downloads in 190 countries.”

Latin America: ReservaTurno [iOS/Android] – “A mobile app to book beauty appointments on the go.”

Social Good: Golden [iOS/Android] – “A global platform that helps people find local volunteer opportunities based on the activities they prefer to do for fun rather than skills-based requirements.”

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