#117: Chok Ooi – CEO of Kenzie Academy

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Coming to the states with two suitcases and a pocketful of dreams, Chock Ooi is currently the CEO of Kenzie Academy

Chok is a startup veteran working at places like Loopt and AgilityIO, and is a 500 Startups mentor. He has a background in Finance and Technology at Goldman, Bank of America, and BNP Paribas during the financial crisis.

Today, Chok talks about how he has realized his dreams to help people break into tech and his thoughts on income share agreements (ISAs).

Career Karma now has over 30,000 members. Please come check it out and learn more about income share agreements where we’ve put together a comprehensive report highlighting emerging players, innovators, and potential influencers.

Lives In:

New Jersey

 Current Job: CEO of Kenzie Academy
Date Recorded 09/15/2019

Show Notes:

[02:40] Chok gives a brief overview of Kenzie Academy and their training programs focused around software engineering, UX engineering, and digital marketing (and more soon!)

[03:55] Earn while you learn: Kenzi is so unique that they help their students get a job while they’re studying for 12 months.

[06:10] Leveling out the playing field: Kenzie helps connect students to successful people in technology.

[07:41] Learning how to learn: Kenzie teaches people the right mindset of learning how to learn so they can evolve successfully as the industry changes and how to become problem-solvers.

[09:20] Virtualized class environment: Students who attend Kenzie have full access to an actual class environment regardless of where they are.

[10:38] Solving the student loan dilemma: Chok shares his thoughts on the share income agreement (SIA) model and how it actually works.

[19:10] Chok talks about AgilityIO, the first company he started nine years ago, which they have grown from zero investors into a global company of 250 employees.

[23:20] Access to networking opportunities: Kenzie spends so much time in communities outside of Silicon Valley. They want to be where their students and employers are.

[25:25] Career Karma has created groups such as the Kenzie Academy Squad where you can meet students attending Kenzie and interact with them. Start growing your network and join the 21-day challenge!

[26:35] Kenzie support people that want to work remotely. In fact, they see the future of work is heading to remote work.

[28:15] Chok talks about his personal story growing up in Malaysia and his perspective on taking risks.

[35:55] Understanding economic cycles and supercycles: It’s about “when” the next recession is going to happen, not “if.” 

[38:32] Beyond transactional relationships: Chok recalls his transition from finance to tech and how he landed a job at Loopt emphasizing that while skills are important, your network is equally as important.

[44:50] The power of mentorship: Find a mentor who can give you the roadmap so you will have an advantage of how to navigate.

[47:47] Chok shares his tips when sending cold emails and some words of motivation to those who also want to break into tech

Contact Info:

Chok Ooi

Kenzie Academy

Twitter: @chokooi

Articles & Mentioned Resources:

Learning Resources

State of the Income Sharing Agreement Market 2019

500 Startups

Career Karma

Kenzie Academy Squad

Career Karma’s 21-day challenge

Join the Breaking Into Startups Facebook Community

Personal Projects/Partnerships:

Kenzie Academy


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