CEO Hengjie Wang, Chairman Bob Drummond, CTO Jordan Thoms and COO Alliv Samson (Photo: Supplied)

How Kami is improving digital learning for millions worldwide

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he’s joined by Hengjie Wang and Alliv Samson, co-founders of Kami.

If you have any school-aged kids in your life, you’ll know all about the technological changes the education sector has had to adapt to this year. During lockdown us parents had what seemed like endless repetitive problems with documents not saving properly, not appearing properly, and generally just not working properly at all.

But one New Zealand-based education tool has taken a bunch of these frustrations and made it easy to collaborate, annotate, work and see what others are doing in a shared online workspace. The app is called Kami – which means paper in Japanese – and it’s helping create a shared learning environment for millions of kids and adults around the world.

Kami is now used in more than one in three schools in the US. It’s closing in on 20 million users worldwide, and it’s been in the news recently as it made an offer for all New Zealand schools to be able to use its app for free for the foreseeable future.

Kami was launched by three final year students at the University of Auckland who’ve now built the business into a global force in the highly controlled and highly contested education space.

To talk about the journey, running the business over lockdown with a new baby, and what’s next, co-founders Hengjie Wang and Alliv Samson joined Business is Boring this week for a chat.

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