Anthropology, a honeymoon, and Malawi: We’ve had a remarkable journey and are excited for what our future holds. Read about our international history, rapid growth, and upcoming milestones below.
Bridge International Academies expands outside of Kenya!
Bridge International Academies opens 51 new academies at once, making for a total of 134 academies and 53,216 pupils. A new, dynamic tablet application is developed for teachers to use for curriculum, assessments, attendance, and more. Geoboards, national exam prep classes, and a wealth of other educational firsts also launch throughout all academies. Class 6 is added. Bridge International Academies becomes the largest chain in Kenya, with more outlets than any other business in the country.
47 new academies launch making for a total of 83 academies and 25,472 pupils. The successful smartphone Academy Manager application is implemented across all academies. Baby Class and Class 5 are added, curriculum is upgraded, and a new green academy structure is rolled out. Pupils test up to 205% higher than their peers in international exams. Bridge International Academies is declared the fastest growing company in Kenya.
28 new academies launch in 2011 with Bridge International Academies’ first substantial expansion outside of Nairobi. Nursery Class and Class 4 are added. Custom smartphone software is piloted as a way for Academy Managers to admit and track pupils, as well as manage the operational budget for each academy. 4,887 pupils are enrolled by the end of year across 37 academies, making Bridge International Academies the largest chain of private schools in Africa.
Bridge International Academies opens eight more academies in Nairobi. International testing shows that Bridge International Academies pupils outperform their peers at other neighborhood schools. 1,341 pupils are enrolled by the end of the year.
The first Bridge International Academy opens in January in the Mukuru slum in Nairobi offering Pre-Unit (Kindergarten), Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. A second academy opens in May. 299 pupils are enrolled by the end of the year. Bridge launches mobile payments for academy fees.
Bridge International Academies establishes its first country headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya and moves into its first official office space at Pewin House, near Wilson Airport. The company, now developing its trademark Academy-in-a-Box model along with pilot curriculum and academy architecture, quickly outgrows this space and moves into its second office at Clifton Park on Mombasa Road.
Jay and Shannon get married in China. Their honeymoon takes them to developing countries around the world where they examine the state of both public and private schools and talk to key leaders in education. They reconnect with Phil in Malawi, where the three discuss ways to bridge the education gap and empower parents, pupils, and communities alike. Bridge International Academies is born.
Jay and Shannon move to rural northeast China for Shannon’s dissertation fieldwork. Here they witness extreme poverty and the gap in quality education firsthand. Phil, now working with smallholder farmers in Malawi, has similar experiences.
The trio all find themselves in San Francisco working on issues related to education, innovation, and development. Jay founds Edusoft, an education software company. Shannon gives countless lectures at schools and universities alike while pursuing her PhD in Anthropology from UC Berkeley. Phil develops a new business unit for IDEO based around commercializing and brokering new technologies. Our three soon-to-be cofounders meet.
Jay, Shannon, and Phil all go to university in Cambridge, Massachusetts (Jay and Shannon at Harvard, Phil at MIT). They never cross paths.