INDIANAPOLIS Ind. (WISH) – Could Indianapolis be the next Silicon Valley? One group believes that’s a possibility. The founders of Kenzie Academy say, with the backing from investors at Google and Facebook, the tech industry is ready to explode here in Indianapolis.
Kenzie leaders say there are three kinds of people looking to get started in tech, those that are unemployed, underemployed and those looking to make a career change. They say this academy will be on the forefront of the tech movement here in Indy.
Chuck Ooi, the CEO, and Becci Medhurs,t VP of Operations for Kenzie Academy, are looking for the next crop for the industry.
“People in the tech industry in Silicon Valley, in New York will start to take notice to say if Salesforce is here. Then that means they’re seeing something here and we should also pay attention to Indy as well,” said Ooi.
Not only Salesforce but other companies like Infosys have committed to Indianapolis for the future. Ooi says it’s opening the doors for other small tech companies and those companies need workers.
“To build a sustainable tech ecosystem, they need to find meaningful careers for them they need to find the right place for them,” says Medhurst.
Kenzie Academy has their first set of students. They have partnerships set up with companies so their students can go right into working. They also allow students to explore different careers not just front end software coding.
“So our mission is to provide people who are unemployed underemployed or considering a career change a pathway to a higher pay in tech,” said Ooi.
Kenzie Academy also says they want to give back to people who may not get the opportunity to get started in tech.
“People from lower social economic communities are typically overlooked by the industry,” said Ooi. “So, what we’ve done is created the Kenzie Hope Project which, will provide a pathway for them to attend Kenzie Academy.”
But why Indy? Leaders say a few reasons. First those bigger companies hare here to stay. Also, Indy is an affordable place to live and a great place to raise a family. Also, we are located in the middle of the country which makes it easy to get to both New York and San Francisco, especially with direct flights, which they say is a huge factor.