Series A funding round led by ReThink Education
Indianapolis – September 30, 2019 – Kenzie Academy, an Indianapolis-based college alternative providing job-focused technology training to middle America, today announced $7.8 million in Series A funding, led by ReThink Education. Other investors include Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund, Strada, LearnStart, Peak State Ventures, Flat World Partners, and Kelly Services, through the Kelly Innovation Fund.
Founded in September 2017, Kenzie is training untapped tech talent in the American heartland by providing affordable financing options and job-focused education that accommodates modern-day students looking to learn digital skills to propel their career forward. Unlike 90-day bootcamps, Kenzie’s one year online and in-person programs in Software Engineering and UX Engineering allow students a deeper immersion to truly develop the hard and soft skills that have attracted dozens of local, regional and national companies to hire Kenzie graduates.
“There is a massive amount of untapped tech talent outside of Silicon Valley and NYC. Kenzie is identifying this talent to fill the millions of jobs available, training workforce-ready skills and connecting students almost immediately with top employers,” said Chok Ooi, Co-founder and CEO of Kenzie Academy.
Kenzie’s focus on untapped talent outside of traditional coastal tech hubs coupled with its job-focused training and employer relationships has attracted some of the top investment firms in the world who believe in the strength of Kenzie’s forward-thinking business model as a bridge to close the opportunity divide between coastal cities and middle America. This money will be used to further its efforts towards expanding access to tech education and opportunity for Americans that have been left behind in today’s digital economy.
“Right now, 75 percent of venture capital is concentrated in three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts,” said Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of Revolution. “Kenzie Academy is not only demonstrating that exciting innovations can start and scale outside of Silicon Valley, but that a lot of talent exists outside of the coastal tech corridors to fuel the growth of startup ecosystems in the middle of the country.”
Kenzie is a disruptive education model, training a new workforce. With this new funding, more students can be educated and turned into job-ready candidates.
“At Kelly, we’re always thinking about what’s next for talent,” said Rick Wallace, Vice President of Corporate Development & Strategy for Kelly Services. “Kenzie Academy, with its innovative and flexible approach to upskilling, is a natural fit with our longstanding commitment to helping workers take their careers to the next level.”
About Kenzie Academy
Kenzie Academy is a college alternative that creates jobs for tomorrow’s economy by providing technology training to anyone looking to accelerate their career. Kenzie’s one-year project-based curriculum in Software Engineering and UX Engineering was created by industry practitioners and designed to parallel today’s workplace, providing students with an industry-aligned experience that leads directly to rewarding careers in technology. Employers are struggling to find workforce-ready job candidates because traditional four-year universities and short-term bootcamps aren’t adequate preparation for long-term career success. With roots in Indianapolis and remote students in over 40 states, Kenzie is solving this problem by training untapped talent in Middle America and throughout the U.S., connecting employers with candidates equipped with the skills they need. With an affordable price point and financing options that make education accessible for all, Kenzie Academy is closing the opportunities gap for Americans that have been left behind by today’s economy.
About ReThink Education
ReThink Education invests in early- and growth-stage companies that are developing technological solutions to 21st Century learning. Launched in 2012, ReThink Education supports startups that are focused on learning outcomes by pursuing business models that are scalable, efficient, and unique.
About Rise of the Rest
Rise of the Rest is a nationwide effort powered by Washington, D.C. Investment Firm Revolution to invest in and work closely with entrepreneurs in emerging startup ecosystems. Since 2014, Steve Case and the Revolution team have logged more than 11,000 miles touring entrepreneurial communities by bus in 43 cities. In 2017, Case and JD Vance announced a $150 million ROTR Fund, backed by a group of iconic entrepreneurs, executives and investors that believe the next great startup investments are located outside of coastal cities. The ROTR Fund invests catalytic capital, often alongside regional investors, to the most promising early-stage investments in Rise of the Rest cities. For more information, please visit: www.revolution.com/rotr or follow us on Twitter @RiseOfRest.
About Kelly Services®
Kelly connects talented people to companies in need of their skills in areas including Science, Engineering, Education, Office, Contact Center, Light Industrial, and more. We’re always thinking about what’s next in the evolving world of work, and we help people ditch the script on old ways of thinking and embrace the value of all work styles in the workplace. We directly employ nearly 500,000 people around the world, and we connect thousands more with work through our global network of talent suppliers and partners in our outsourcing and consulting practice. Visit kellyservices.com and let us help with what’s next for you.