About Us

Our Mission

The mission of Local Tech Heroes is to empower all students to realize their potential by challenging them to solve big problems in their communities using emerging technologies. We want to bring together local students and local business to foster innovative solutions to real problems they are facing in their community.

By partnering with local business mentors, technology innovators, and community leaders, we hope to provide these programs and classes to students who don’t have the access to or can’t afford current offerings. Our hope is to provide scholarships for each and every student who wants to learn new skills to enable them hands-on experience in a collaborative environment that directly affects their local community.

How We Began

Local Tech Heroes was started in 2017 by Kris Kling and Will Nickley in Columbus, Ohio. Their background in technology education, product development, community outreach, and emerging technology research led them to understand that there is a great need to offer computer science classes to the 60% of students who don’t have them in their schools. By partnering local students with local businesses, they are trying to give all students the access and skills to understand their potential by solving real problems in their community with the help of business mentors and leaders.

Meet our Board of Directors

Currently, all three Directors on our Board have been with LTH since its very beginning in 2017! Their diverse backgrounds and shared belief in creative STEM programming ensures LTH can carry out its mission in Columbus, OH. Learn more below!

Kris Kling

Kris Kling leads the career technical program at Franklinton Preparatory Academy, Kris Kling has been focused on bringing technology education skills and career technical opportunities to Columbus youth for over a decade. Kris recently worked with his non-profit to provide FPA students with 3D Printing and Coding classes, and was very excited to move into a full-time faculty role this year for more in-depth programs for all FPA students. Kris hails from Worthington when he isn’t out on camping and mountain biking adventures with his wife, and spends his days racing drones and solving problems with inventions at the Columbus Idea Foundry in Franklinton.

He and his wife Kate, who is a frequent and indispensable volunteer and mentor, live in Worthington, OH.

Will Nickley

Will Nickley is leading the way in inspiring the next generation of thinkers and dreamers through interactive aero-robotics programming – workshops, classes, races, competitions, events, and an entire scholastic league with his company Safety Third Racing. He is an Industrial Designer by profession, with a decade of experience in the design and strategic planning. Will is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Design Research & Development at The Ohio State University.

Will, his wife Kayla and their brand new daughter live in Columbus, OH.

Todd Perkins

Todd Perkins has more than three decades of experience designing and fabricating objects ranging from automotive to fixtures and furniture, using a range of technologies including 3D CAD, welding, machining, and everything in between. Having been an active member of Columbus' maker community even before the Idea Foundry came onto the scene, Todd acts as a teacher, mentor and friend to many! He continues to teach fabrication classes at Idea Foundry while freelancing as a one-man design and fab shop.

Todd lives in Columbus, OH, although it's hard to find a time when he isn't working at Idea Foundry!