Brad Nickel, Richie Chimelis and Maurice Lopes all work in the startup technology industry and live in Miami. They’re also dads, so when they went looking for the kind of summer camp they wanted for their children and couldn’t find one that was “just right” they decided to create their own.
“We know how critical it is for our country to have many more students prepared for software to be a component of everything they do in the future,” Brad Nickel said. “If they don’t understand it, then they won’t be able to compete and do well. We have young children as well, so we want them prepared and while we are using online tools and other software to teach them. We also wanted them to take part in a camp curriculum.”
When they looked around South Florida, they could not find high quality camps that had a reasonable price. With some camps charging $1,000 per week, they thought they could do better. Working out a deal for multiple curricula so that kids could have a choice and find what they like about coding, they started building the company.
The result was CodeKids Camp, with classes in Coral Gables, Doral and Pinecrest. The classes will be running all summer in two or three week sessions or a one week mini-camp.
“We mentor dozens of new startup founders every month and they gave us a chance to apply what we teach to the real world,” Nickel said.
“So far, we’ve been able to rapidly build a new business and get ready for camp season while providing a high quality and fun experience for the children of this community. It hasn’t been easy, but nothing good ever is.”
They did extensive research on the best coding curriculums, looked at more than 20 different courses and tested them out on their own kids. They picked two that they thought were excellent and that have been tested with millions of children. One of them is based on Minecraft and the other lets kids build their own games.
“We hired the best programming instructors in South Florida, setup our locations, had everyone background checked and got ready to launch,” Nickel said.
The one week mini-camp cost is $465, two weeks of camp is $795 and three weeks is $1,190. For information visit codekidscamp.com.