#MIKidsCan Program Computers and More, With Local Start-Up

Wixom based Kidpreneur is a technological start-up that helps kids hone and refine their creative skills to become little entrepreneurs. Through coding,

HTML, Minecraft, robotics classes and more, the organization fosters a sense of intellectualism for kids and helps them learn computer science at an early age.

Kidpreneur started in 2013 as a result of founder Thanh Tran’s interest, after founding two software companies. Within a few hours of selling his most recent venture, Tran had a Kidpreneur website developed and began inquiring about doing workshops.

“I inquired through the Novi and Northville libraries to test the market for the need of this business,” Tran said. “It turned out a bunch of kids signed up immediately. I knew there was some interest.”

Kidpreneur has since, come to target “tweens” and younger kids in curriculum like Minecraft, web design, computer programming, game development, 3D printing and more. Classes currently range across 12 different curriculums with even more in the works.

“We use a model that will let kids learn like they are learning instruments,” said Tran. “When kids learn music they can continue learning indefinitely; the same goes for technology, especially computer programming. If kids want to be on top of a trend, they’re going to stick with it. As the technology changes, we want to too.”

In the pilot stages, the program started with less than 30 kids in all. After the business’s inaugural 2014 session of summer classes, however, enrollment has jumped to over 100.

“We want kids 13 and under to learn about engineering, technology and computer programming, ” Tran said. “If we can make it cool enough for them by the time they make it to high school, hopefully they’ll appreciate the skills once they’re there.”

The results are clear as well. Kids and parents alike love the classes. Some kids have even been recognized with honors such as Ernst and Young student youth scholarships and TEDxDetroit speaking engagements.

“It’s amazing that kids can build apps,” said Tran. “It’s amazing that they can create websites. It’s even more amazing that they can come up with their own start-ups. Creativity is the biggest thing we promote. Thinking differently and thinking logically.”

Kidpreneur now hosts classes across the state in cities like Wixom, Troy, Flint and East Lansing, among others. For more information on classes, locations and further details, visit www.kidpreneur.co.

Photo credit: zeitfaenger.at

This blog post is part of #MIKidsCan, an initiative created by Blue Cross Blue Shield Michigan to promote positive change in the health and well-being of Michigan youth. To learn more about the campaign, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/mikidscan

 

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