Dear Skyrock Community,

It is with great regret that we announce the temporary closure of Skyrock Projects for the remainder of 2022 and up until summer camps in 2023. 

We gave it absolutely everything we’ve had to survive this pandemic. Unfortunately, it’s time to accept that Skyrock’s future is at the mercy of Covid-19 and it cannot operate sustainably until it disappears completely.

Why must Skyrock pause its operations now?

Decreased Revenue: Our revenue decreased 50% in March and then 90% across April and May due to the Omicron outbreak, with no signs of this improving. This is due to families choosing to attend after-school programs at their school or English learning center as opposed to specialty enrichment programs like Skyrock. Additionally, parents are reluctant to enroll in programs that could be affected by the pandemic and government restrictions. 

Refunds and Loan Repayments: As a company, Skyrock is dependent on monthly revenue right now for two things other than daily operations: 1) to prepare for the camps in the summer, which usually costs 25% of the total fee and 2) to meet its refund repayment obligations and bank loan repayment schedule. We cannot earn enough money to meet these repayments and the Ministry of Education will not allow us to operate with an education license unless we pay them.

Summer camp disruption: Skyrock makes all of its profits during summer camps and then reinvest the profits to improve its curriculum. Summer 2022 is now the third summer in a row that has experienced massive disruption, with 90% of parents choosing to wait and see what happens with covid cases in May and June. Without disruption-free summer camps, Skyrock cannot exist.

No Access to More Loans: As the founders of Skyrock, we have personally guaranteed a total of NTD 5.8M in loans in an attempt to make it through to the other side of the pandemic. With no guarantees of when the pandemic will end, no institutions are prepared to loan us more money to continue.

No Access to More Investment: Skyrock’s investors have been incredibly supportive since the start of the pandemic, providing the financing required for survival. However, with no guaranteed end to the latest wave of covid in sight, we cannot find investors willing to take the risk right now.

No government support: Periodically the Taiwan government has imposed restrictions on the learning centers - completely restricting our ability to operate - without offering any financial aid. Our foriegn management and teaching staff have received zero benefits. Meanwhile the government has charged Skyrock’s cofounders NTD 400,000 in late health and labor insurance payment penalties while we personally have to pay NTD 3M in deferred labor and health insurance payments to the government over the next 10 years.

What is Skyrock doing for its
summer 2021 credit note holders?

As founders, we take the responsibility of servicing the customer credit notes extremely seriously. For this reason, we have given completely free access to our elementary age-group curriculum IP, equipment, and technology systems to a handful of former Skyrock staff who are starting a similar STEM learning service called Atomic. In exchange, Atomic has agreed to service the elementary age-group credit notes for 100% of its value. Similarly, we are in discussion with our preschool partners about arranging a similar solution for our preschool Nano program. For more information on credit notes, please see the FAQ below.

As the founders, we’re deeply sorry
that we cannot process more refunds.

As the founders of Skyrock Projects, we apologize wholeheartedly to all of the customers that have requested a refund for not managing the presale cash more responsibly in the spring of 2021 prior to the outbreak in May. As company directors, we were not paying enough attention to the risks and refund exposure. Instead we were distracted by the rapid growth we were experiencing and a desire to create the best STEAM camp in the world for our community with cutting edge equipment and original curriculum materials. Additionally, we were operating under the assumption that the government would provide support during an imposed lockdown that was similar to what small businesses were receiving in the UK and US. This was a fatal assumption.

Since then we have drastically changed our behavior by taking personal responsibility for the company’s debts by borrowing money to meet refund requests and have taken the minimum salary required to get by while teaching class ourselves on the weekends. As of February 2022, we were meeting NTD 250,000/month of refund repayments, servicing NTD 300,000/month of credit notes, and paying NTD 220,000/month in non-negotiable loan repayments. Sadly, this behavior change was too little too late. As continuous Covid-19 outbreaks and government restrictions keep knocking us down every time we recover and get back up, we can no longer meet these repayments. As individuals, we have no choice but to seek employment to pay back this debt.

Please note that Skyrock has no backing from an institution, no backing from large mature companies, and no high-net worth backers. We are just two former teachers that have raised angel investment from friends and family. We have tried our best to partner with larger organizations to maintain the status quo but no organization wants to take on additional risk during these uncertain times.

We will be forever grateful to our supportive customers, partners, and team members.

To our customers who have given us the space to try and recover while sending their best wishes, we say thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Additionally, to the customers that have allowed us to refund them via monthly repayments and given us the space to pause during the difficult times, we thank you too. Our partners will endeavor to service every last cent of credit notes and so will we when we return in the summer of 2023.

To our partners that have stuck with us and provided us with support so we can recover, we say thank you. You had no obligation to support Skyrock financially but you provided grace and relief to allow us the space to bounce back. To our future partner, Atomic, we thank you for servicing the credit notes.

Finally, to the teaching and support staff that took reduced salaries and worked extra hours to try and get us through to the other side, we say thank you. It was a pleasure to work with you, and we’re proud to say that you created one of the most innovative STEAM programs in the world. It’s our hope that you will continue to use and improve this as you stay in pursuit of Skyrock’s mission to ignite and nurture a curiosity for science and innovation in kids.Yours sincerely, Simon and Tony

How is Atomic different to Skyrock and who is behind it?

Atomic intends to differentiate itself from Skyrock by applying a stronger focus on learning Math and Science through the use of technology and engineering. Additionally, Atomic desires to be more accessible to the wider community by running classes for the more affordable rate of NTD 14,500 as opposed to NTD 17,500. However, for this summer, it will use Skyrock’s curriculum in its current form.  

Skyrock’s former admission director, Chirs Walshe, is the General Manager of Atomic. He will be operating the service with 5-6 of Skyrock’s regular staff and a few new staff members.

What happens to my summer camp 2022 booking and deposit?

These camps will run as planned in the same areas, with the same teachers and same curriculum. In some instances, the classroom location will change. Skyrock’s admissions teams will be in touch with each customer individually to inform them of any changes.

What happens to my credit notes from the postponed summer camp in 2021?

Atomic will also service Skyrock credit note holders to the full amount at Atomic’s partnership locations across Taipei. Over the course of this week, Chris Walshe will be sending all credit note holders personal emails with a PDF copy of their credit note that is signed by Chris as the director of Atomic and Simon as the director of Skyrock. These credit notes will be kept on file at all times and can be used by the original holder or friends with no expiry date. For more information, please see the FAQ below or email chris@skyrockprojects.com.

What about the Skyrock Nano bookings and credit notes?

We are currently in negotiation with our preschool partner sites about running the program this summer. Additionally, we’re currently interviewing teachers that are interested in using Skyrock’s curriculum IP and equipment for free in exchange for servicing these credit notes.

All Skyrock Nano customers will be contacted by our admissions team within the next 7 days.

What happens to Skyrock classes at partnership sites?

Negotiations are taking place between Atomic and some former Skyrock teachers about taking over these programs. Former Skyrock teachers will continue to operate TYPA classes. Discussions are still ongoing with the management teams at CHIA and Treehouse, who are trying to do everything they can to support our community.

We would like to remind our customers that these partner sites have not received any fees from Skyrock and have no commercial interest in Skyrock as a company. Therefore, the obligation to service the credit notes is entirely with Skyrock and Atomic.

Will there be an option for customers to take Skyrock classes on Saturdays in the fall?

Yes, Atomic will also operate on Saturdays in the fall at partnership locations.