–by Sylvania AdVantage Staff
PUBLICATION DATE: Sept 14, 2020
After several delays due to the pandemic, Michael Betz is nearly ready to open his new business, CodeNinjas, in the Oak Tree Shopping Plaza on the corner of Sylvania Avenue and Holland-Sylvania Road.
“We really like this location for our 2,200-square-foot ‘dojo.’ It is near schools, the Boy Scouts camp Miakonda and the Kumon Learning Center. This is also a very high traffic area with Barry Bagels on one end and Papa John’s Pizza at the other end,” Betz stated.
“And, it is also very close to Handel’s Ice Cream,” quipped his mother, Marian Linenkugel, who is the center manager.
“In addition to its being a great location, the shopping center owners have been very helpful,” Betz offered. “We are in an ideal location for our business.”
Betz explained that CodeNinjas is designed for kids to have fun and build video games while learning skills such as coding. They gain problem-solving, critical thinking and STEM skills in a fun, safe and inspiring environment. “Parents can very quickly see results,” Betz said. “Coding has been called ‘the literacy of the 21st century’ for good reason. Just like math, science, and literature, coding is a key aspect of understanding our technologically advanced world. There’s a huge need for a generation that not only understands technology, but how it works. Our proprietary curriculum teaches kids to code by building video games they love, including popular favorites like Roblox® and Minecraft®. Kids aren’t aware they’re learning, they are just having fun.”
“This is the kind of program that I wish would have been available when I was a boy. It has everything I wanted to do with my sons,” Betz remarked wistfully. “When I attended the introductory session, I was amazed at all of the toys that are part of the program, toys I would have loved like robots and drones along with tons of LEGOs.”
For Betz, who grew up as a gamer and later an experienced IT professional specializing in writing code, this company was a no brainer. “When I saw an advertisement for franchise opportunities, I realized this would be a perfect fit for me,” he recalled..
All of the CodeNinjas programs are goal oriented and are operated very much like a martial arts program. Participants of all ages beginning as young as 5, complete lessons and earn badges along with wrist bands rather than belts. Children start by earning white bracelets, moving up the ranks until they qualify for black. “At this point, those children will be having a game published on an Apple device or an Android,” Betz outlined. “This program incorporates so many skills and yet makes the most of each child’s imagination.” Programs include Creative Junior for children ages 5 to 9; Standard Creative for those age 7 to 14; and the soon-to-be-added Creative PRO for those 14 and older including adults.
The Sylvania center will be open Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 8 pm.
“In addition to our regular curriculum, we will have multiple offerings including camps, after school and even Friday night programs, allowing parents a date night, and very flexible membership options. We are also available for birthday parties and more,” Linenkugel added. “We also plan to offer ‘founding family’ discounts.”
CodeNinja, founded in 2016, is headquartered in Austin, Texas. It has grown to include franchise locations in 39 states, Canada and the United Kingdom.