Chok Ooi

Kenzie Academy

Too many entrepreneurs try to run their entire business from behind their desk. When my business was about to go under, I knocked on every single door I could find. I literally forced myself out the house every single day so that I could attend every meet up or conference I could get my hands on.

Watching the latest boom in tech and coding bootcamps, Chok noticed a major gap in those programs - they were insufficient for people who were much earlier in their professional development. Particularly for recent grads and those who did not have a college degree, the typical program was not well-rounded enough to both help the students land a job and be successful. So, Chok set his sights on bringing affordable high-quality tech training, mentorship, and business to the American heartland with his venture, Kenzie Academy.

Kenzie is a tech apprenticeship school offering 6-month to 2-year Software Engineering, UX Engineering, and Digital Marketing programs online and at physical micro-campuses. The program offers not just technical skills, but elements from a traditional four-year college curriculum, like critical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills. Aiming to bring more tech jobs to the Midwest US, Chok Ooi and his team of 40+ use Income Share Agreements to increase accessibility of its programs, by allowing students to receive their education up-front and pay after graduation.

From his early days of building his own PC and launching Malaysia's first official secondary school website at age 16, Chok now has more than 10 years of Wall Street and Silicon Valley experience managing and leading agile teams. Prior to founding the renowned, he built trading systems for top investment banks including Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup and Bank of America. Chok also worked for Silicon Valley startup Loopt and was previously CTO of AZAP Mobile and Head of Web and Mobile Solutions at Selerity.