EXL Inc, the company behind Coding Rooms, is a venture-backed EdTech start-up that aims to be the go-to platform for computer science and programming teachers and students. Since inception in 2017, our vision has been to provide teachers with the most advanced tools to help students learn most effectively and efficiently. Our team is laser-focused on delivering the most efficient, valuable and engaging learner experience possible, while maintaining a degree of scalability. The EXL Inc product roadmap religiously adheres to these principles, while facilitating interaction and adding functionality to increase engagement. The company won honours in the ATEC Startup Competition at last year’s Asia Technology Entrepreneurship Conference (ATEC), an entrepreneurship event organized by the Hong Kong alumni associations of Harvard, Columbia and MIT, as well as the South China alumni association of Stanford.
Co-founder, CEO & Director
Sasha has led Coding Rooms since its inception and focuses primarily on product and strategy. Before Coding Rooms, Sasha led several projects at Cathay Pacific and AT&T where he developed customized recruitment technologies and organized large programming competitions for the purpose of recruiting software developers – these experiences helped to form the initial thesis for Coding Rooms, which came from teaching and working with a lot of computer science students and junior developers in a fast-paced environment, where training for new projects and technologies was a top priority.
Co-founder, CTO & Director
Stan has been full-time on the team since late 2016 and brings with him a long track record in enterprise IT and consulting. He managed large-scale projects at Oracle, Denovo, Capgemini, and E&Y – predominantly for blue-chip clients, including Glaxo Smith Kline and 3M. At Coding Rooms, Stan focuses on pre-sales, IT operations, technical hiring, and support. Coming from a high-stakes enterprise IT background, Stan not only has a passion for developing high-quality, maintainable, and secure software, but also for building the teams that can effectively collaborate to build and operate complex systems that require vast amounts of developers – often hailing from a myriad of cultures, offices, and time zones.
Head of Business Development
Karim joined full-time in late 2017 to manage Coding Rooms' operations and business development. Before joining Coding Rooms, Karim founded Cardiac Design Inc., the first company in the world to introduce a medical grade, FDA cleared heart monitoring wearable enabling a smartphone to become an integral part of an automated and powerful heart assessment toolkit. During his 5 years’ term, Karim managed to lead incredible talents from around the world applying a strong expertise in data-driven and strategic planning, coordination of team planning in Asia and USA, implementation of plans and achieving on-time deliverables. Along with his long-time passion for engineering, product, and cutting-edge technology, Karim brings years of consulting and project experience – with specific expertise in Asian markets, including China.
Head of Operations
Enzo Cheng is the Head of Operations who joined the team in 2020. Before joining Coding Rooms, Enzo was an investment banking analyst in the Greater China Corporate Finance team at Credit Suisse (Hong Kong), responsible for transaction execution. At his previous position with Credit Suisse, Enzo has executed several financing transactions such as the Hong Kong secondary listing of Alibaba Group (9988.HK), the new shares offering of Alibaba Health (241.HK) and the US IPO of Youdao Inc. (DAO.US). Enzo holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor.
Customer Success Manager
Joe Mazzone is Coding Rooms' Customer Success Manager and is passionate about ensuring that the Coding Rooms product is meeting the needs of all its customers. Joe is an experienced Computer Science Educator and president of Rhode Island’s local CSTA chapter. He has a long history of creating open-source curriculum content and resources, facilitating professional development for teachers, and working with state departments of education to expand Computer Science education in schools across the US. Joe has a bachelor’s degree in Technology Education from Rhode Island College and a master’s degree in School Leadership from Providence College.
Lead Frontend Engineer
Brian is a lead frontend software engineer at Coding Rooms, specializing in building full-stack cloud-based solutions. Before joining Coding Rooms, he’s been developing his own software such as Co-ode – a collaborative platform for developers, Visualize COVID-19 – data visualization tool that displays coronavirus cases, SortAlgo – a web app that compares sorting algorithms and how they handle random and reversed data, and Stock Price Predictor - a program for predicting stock closing prices with a Machine Learning (LSTM) model. Driven by an innate passion for solving complex problems, he takes pride in providing the best software experience possible. Brian attended college at California State University, Fullerton, where he obtained a Bachelor of Computer Science.
Nelson joined Coding Rooms in 2021 as a frontend software engineer. Prior to joining Coding Rooms, Nelson founded Codingbee.my - a coding academy for K-12 students in Malaysia. There, he taught computer science and worked with local schools and non-profit foundations to develop and offer CS courses. Nelson also created CSPlayground - an interactive coding platform that offers self-paced coding courses for students to learn how to code (acquired by Coding Rooms).
Jonathan Schmidt has been a strategic advisor and director of Coding Rooms since its inception. He oversees the company’s strategy and advises the management team on the company’s financing deal flow. Jonathan is Co-founder and CEO of Adtingo, a project incubator and development-company with a present focus on India and the Middle East. He also served as a legislative assistant in the US Congress before locating to Taiwan as an editor of the China Post’s editorial and international pages. In 1994 Jonathan co-founded and served as MD of Asia Intelligence Wire, which was sold to the Financial Times Group in 1996, where he subsequently served as MD for the FT’s Asia Pacific activities until 2000. For 7 years, he served as a senior strategic advisor the Russian Ministry of Economic Development and is a senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan on international investment and New Silk Road investment strategies. Jonathan was also a board advisor to Caixin Media (China) and is non-executive Chairman of Skills Matter, the world’s largest peer-education community of senior software architects and engineers.
John Hsu is Director of his family’s charitable foundation, VK Hsu & Sons Foundation Ltd., primarily providing support to the disadvantaged and underprivileged. John brings to Coding Rooms extensive leadership experience. Beside his role as a director, he invested in Coding Rooms through the Hsu family office, OSS Capital, where he manages the family’s investment portfolio. John is currently Director of Isola Capital (a privately-owned multi-family office), Seaspan Corp. (a NYSE-listed containership lessor), and founder of Matrix Global Investments (a US technology hedge fund). John’s family has, for generations, been in the business of owning and operating bulker ships through Sincere Navigation Corp. (Taiwan-listed) and Oak Maritime, Inc.
A US$60M startup fund aiming at revitalizing HK’s ecosystem of innovation by connecting local venture capitalists and entrepreneurs to invest in ideas and startups. It is co-founded by Hony Capital, eGarden Ventures & several successful HK entrepreneurs.
A privately owned family office looking after a diversified portfolio of asset classes.
ATEC Startup Competition
ATEC is an annual not-for-profit technology conference organized by the alumni associations of some of the world’s pre-eminent academic institutions. The mission of ATEC is to foster technology entrepreneurship and to encourage the brightest minds in Asia to start high-impact technology-driven ventures for the benefit of the region and the world. The organizers of ATEC include:
- Harvard Club of Hong Kong
- Columbia University Alumni Association of Hong Kong
- Columbia Business School Association of Hong Kong
- Stanford Club of South China
- MIT Club of Hong Kong
- MIT Sloan School of Management Alumni