Why Kenzie

Wouldn’t it be great if a school charges no tuition until you get a job, gives you part-time work to pay the bills while enrolled, and gets you job-ready in less than half the time of a traditional college? If only all colleges do that, we would have solved the student loan crisis.
— Chok Ooi, Co-Founder & CEO
 

The Kenzie Model

Students attend Kenzie on campus or online for 6-12 months and have the opportunity for an optional apprenticeship.

 

Students pay no upfront tuition until they get a job earning $40,000 or more. Otherwise they walk away and owe us nothing. Try doing that with a student loan!

 

Students enrolled at Kenzie have access to a part-time tech support job that works around their school schedule. Best of all, they can work from home.



We founded Kenzie Academy to tackle a major opportunities gap in America. Fast-growing technology companies concentrated in expensive coastal cities were struggling to hire tech talent. Meanwhile, a large population of aspiring individuals across the country could help fuel these talent needs. Our mission is train a new pool of talent in the American Heartland with the necessary technical and workplace skills, mindset, and confidence to launch a rewarding career in technology. We believe that a population of highly skilled tech workers will attract more companies to expand operations in their communities, in turn leading to more high-paying jobs.

cofounders.gif

Our Story

Co-Founder & CEO Chok Ooi was a senior technologist at the financial industry. He was a lead engineer at Silicon Valley-based startup Loopt, and held various CTO and engineering management roles at tech companies. Chok had previously built a successful company developing tech talent in South East Asia. His company Agility.io hired fresh college graduates, took them through an intensive 7-month coding bootcamp, and placed them on projects with over 150 tech companies and startups. He was able to improve the speed of training through real-world project-based learning, reducing the costs for tech startups, and make a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of his employees. 

Co-Founder and COO Rehan Hasan was co-founder of Galvanize. Rehan helped launch Galvanize’s G-School in Denver, which today is a popular coding bootcamp operating in 7 cities. Rehan left Galvanize a few years ago, and was involved in launching various accelerators and incubators, including the first Cuban-American accelerator in Havana called Incubate. Rehan is a corporate tax attorney by training, worked at a major law firm, and was a consultant at Deloitte.

Co-Founder and CMO Courtney Spence founded Students of the World in 1999, where she rallied and inspired a generation of millennial story-tellers to produce purpose-based media stories for nonprofits working around the world. She mobilized students to partner with organizations like the Nature Conservancy, P&G Foundation, UNICEF, among others - and produced content in over 27 countries. Courtney also co-founded a purpose-driven creative agency, the CSpence Group. CSpence Group is committed to partnering with organizations driving change, and clients include the American Institute of Architects, Aurora Healthcare in Wisconsin, and Louisiana Calling - an organization dedicated to driving more young people into successful, lifelong careers. 

Head of Curriculum Mike Cammarano was pursuing a PhD in Computer Science at Stanford University before leaving to be employee number 1 at social-gaming company Playdom (acquired by Disney in 2010 for $763MM). Mike also worked at another tech startup that was acquired by Dropbox, where he joined as a Software Engineer.