It all started...

As many stories do, with a D+ in thermodynamics. All right, maybe just this one. Penji cofounder Ben Holmquist looked around at UC Davis for help but couldn’t find much. After a conversation with friends Ricardo Matsui and Ben Morrison, Penji was born as a way to connect students to successful peers on campus, a.k.a. “Uber for Tutors”.

3 years and 35,000 sessions later, Penji forged its first university partnership at CU Boulder. This was a lightbulb moment: in partnership with a college, we could focus on our specialty - software - and learning centers could focus on theirs - delivering excellent education in line with their institution.

Since then, Penji has doubled double on building the leading platform to amplify the excellent services already offered by a college. We focus on three values:

1
Lower the barriers for students

Most software in higher ed is built for administrators. Penji takes a different approach, focusing on student-friendly, accessible, mobile-first software. Our mission is to drive up usage rates of these impactful services.

2
Impact graduation rates

Running a center is difficult enough, spanning hiring, budgeting, operations, and more. Connecting one's work to retention is often a step too far for most. We love helping our centers tell the story of their impact on students.

3
Build a community

With 100+ partner institutions, Penji can also play an important role as connector, helping programs learn from and support one another. To do this, we hold monthly discussions, director interviews, and manage an active discord.

Higher education has many challenges to surmount, including declining enrollments and tuition price growth, but we continue to believe the experience of college is irreplaceable. Penji is excited to play a part in building a sustainable and successful future for today's colleges.

Penji logo, a smiling penguin

Meet Penji

Penji is a small penguin from the far reaches of the south arctic. When times get tough, Penji and its penguin buddies stick together, huddle up, and help each other out.

As with penguins, so goes higher education: personal, human support can be the difference between an incomplete degree or a greater life trajectory. Maximizing these personal connections is key to advancing colleges' mandate to educate and strengthen our society.

Thanks, Penji!

Penji logo, a smiling penguin
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