AZ Tech Podcast Episode 11: Kelly Smith, Founder & CEO, Prenda

Kelly Smith is changing the way America thinks about education. He founded Prenda, a company that empowers parents to choose the learning that’s best for their children and gives students the confidence to be whatever they want to be. Kelly believes that, if you teach children to follow their passion, they will grow up to become the people who change the world.

Prenda helps people run microschools, which are groups of 5-10 kids learning in flexible environments that allow them to collaborate with each other and gain confidence in exploring a wide range of subjects. The company’s mission is two words — empower learners. In a system that doesn’t necessarily prioritize students, Prenda’s philosophy could definitely be seen as a complete disruption to the status quo.

The company has grown over the last few years to over 70 employees and has seen accelerated growth through the pandemic.

On top of all that success, Kelly also might be one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. Like on April Fools’ Day, he made his four kids french toast for breakfast as a “reverse prank.” And he also graduated from MIT with a graduate degree in nuclear physics.

In this episode, Hamid talks to Kelly about Prenda’s explosive growth, the education system and its flaws, while Kelly teaches Hamid a brief lesson in nuclear fusion. It’s an episode you don’t want to miss.