- Kitty Knowles from Forbes

Codam To CareerFoundry: Female Founders Are Transforming Tech Education

Corinne Vigreux cofounded Dutch sat nav business TomTom back in 1999. It was “the company that saved millions of marriages by showing the way,” she joked at Forbes30Under30 Europe Summit last month. Over the years, the French entrepreneur has grown TomTom into a $2.4 billion business: so-called “palm pilots” have gone out the window, TomTom maps have slipped into Apple iPhones, and it’s today investing in technologies for autonomous driving.

This year, however, Vigreux turned her tech-savvy to social good. In March she founded Codam College in Amsterdam, a free peer-to-peer coding school for 18-30-year-olds. Financed privately by the entrepreneur, the school operates at all hours, every day of the year, teaching up to 700 students in a bid to increase social mobility and computer literacy. Around 30% of Codam College students are women. “As an entrepreneur, when I see something that can be done differently I like to just roll up my sleeves and do it,” says Vigreux.