History

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.

  • 2015

    In addition to continued growth in Kenya, Bridge International Academies will expand to Uganda and Nigeria!

  • 2014

    146 new academies open in Kenya, making for a total of 359 academies and over 100,000 pupils!  Class 7 is added.  International exams administered by an independent agency find that Bridge pupils score 35% higher in core reading skills and 19% higher in maths. Bridge International Academy founders Jay Kimmelman and Shannon May are named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneurs of the Year 2014 at the World Economic Forum on Africa.  Jay and Shannon are also name on CNBC’s “Next List” as innovators expected to change the face of business over the next 25 years.  Expansion preparations begin for Uganda and Nigeria.

  • 2013

    130 new academies open throughout the year, making for a total of 213 academies and 56,577 pupils.  A new, dynamic tablet application is developed for teachers to use for lessons, assessments, attendance, and more.  Geometry boards, national exam prep, 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.  A US office is opened.

  • 2012

    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.

  • 2011

    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.

  • 2010

    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.

  • 2009

    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.

  • 2008

    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.