Ortus Academy is made up of people that love to create possibility for our future leaders, including members of our team! Here's a little about us.

We know money matters.

We believe Financial Intelligence matters more!


Financial Intelligence means understanding more than the mechanics of money, but also the habits and emotions that drive our financial behaviors.


This sort of financial education can inspire and empower better people, families, schools, and communities.

We believe that in order to have a meaningful life, an individual needs to be financially intelligent.


We like to ask the deeper questions. The topic of money doesn't have to be taboo. The more we talk about and understand our habits, behaviors, and mindset, the more we understand our Why and can make Financially Intelligent decisions. 


Our beliefs, habits, and decisions around money have a profound impact on our lives.

Money effects our daily lives and plans, including our decisions around where we live, what we can learn, and how comfortable, secure, and free we feel. This varies from person to person of course, but the common thread is the same. Money affects our emotional and physical well being, and plays a large role in our sense of purpose, pride, providing for our family, and productivity. Money is essential to life.

Yet -- Money is a topic that the world offers very little wisdom about.

This absence of good guidance leaves us to learn too little too late, or through hardship and struggle, and for money to remain largely taboo, ignored, or unknown.

It is time we change all of that. 

This is why we started Ortus Academy -- to give young adults the education, resources, and community to have the best opportunity to navigate their finances as they grow. Our Foundations courses teach the core components to get off to a good start. Our Stability Courses teach those responsible for their financial choices already to get or regain control and then grow. Our Growth courses help those ready for the next step reach new heights in life.


Our social impact is to empower communities through education, one person or group at a time!

Why Ortus Academy Exists:

Meet Our Leadership Team

Aaron Velky, Ortus Academy CEO & Co-Founder
CEO & Co-Founder

Aaron Velky brings to the team an award winning leadership style, deep experience as a coach, and an in-depth knowledge of business operations, sales, social marketing and business development. Aaron also coaches youth girls soccer, is an avid athlete, author, mentors entrepreneurs, participates in local causes, and loves self-development.

Josh Massey, Ortus Academy COO & Co-Founder
COO & Co-Founder

Josh Massey brings to the team an acclaimed teaching and coaching history and an in-depth knowledge of systems development, leadership, marketing, and business development. Fun fact, Josh earned his third degree black belt in Hapkido, and lead hundreds of students to earn theirs while head instructor of a Martial Arts school.

Gabe Bustos, , Ortus Academy Education Director
Education Director

Gabe Bustos brings years of educational program management and development to the Ortus team. Gabe leads our team in curriculum development, building our online lessons, and he is an amazing mentor to our team of interns. In his spare time, Gabe plays harmonica in a blues band, one of many he has played in and toured with over the years.

Ben Lyons, Ortus Academy Wealth Stategist

Ben Lyons

Wealth Strategist, Partner

Ben Lyons shares his business experience, financial expertise, and leadership wisdom as our wealth strategist. His ability to break down complicated wealth principles and mindset development strategies is a welcome addition to the team. Ben has a wife and family and loves to golf and build businesses.

Our X3 Team Members

Our X3 Team Members are are working with us to get eXperience, eXposure, and eXcellence - simply stated, it is what we have decided to call our internship program. Our goal is to provide them with meaningful projects that engage them in our businesses beyond a traditional intern relationship. These individuals bring value to Ortus Academy and the expectation is we will do the same. 



Stacking Benjamins Adulting During the Age of Coronavirus (plus an intro to Ortus Academy)

WUSA9 - How to Take the Emotions Out of Finances Baltimore These are the top 20 Baltimore tech companies


MediumEdTech founders highlight student success at annual showcase Baltimore - 10 Baltimore EdTech StartUps Bring Tools to Classrooms

Press Archive

Front Row Dads Podcast - A Financial Intelligence Course with Aaron Velky

Millionaire Mindcast - Interview with Aaron Velky

Purpose Chasers Podcast - Interview with Aaron Velky Baltimore - A Look at the graduates of the Conscious Venture Lab

Business, L ife and Coffee Podcast - Are you more financially literate than a 5th grader? with Aaron Velky Baltimore Conscious Venture Lab names new accelerator cohort

The You'est You Podcast - The Power Trio: Fear, Purpose & Financial Intelligence

Towson Lifestyle Towson Men to Watch - Aaron Velky


Baltimore Business JournalMD bills call for financial literacy in schools & prisons

Baltimore Business Journal​The Tech and Education of Ortus Academy

Out of the Box Radio ShowInterview with Aaron Velky from Ortus Academy

Our origin story

It all started with a game of laser tag...

Aaron & Josh met playing a game -- an epic laser tag battle that has still gone without agreement on a winner (Josh won). From that competition, the two struck up an ongoing conversation, which delved into philosophy, learning from lessons in life, and the hard and knowledge needed to succeed.​ A common thread through the discussions was that it often came down to financial decisions and constraints they entailed that significantly framed the challenges and opportunities in life. ​These talks led to powerful questions about how people could avoid common financial follies. As passionate coaches and non-traditional educators, how might we possibly share some of our greatest failures, lessons, and successes? What if we could empower students by teaching them to be more financially intelligent? What if we could help young people to find some direction in a life purpose, an education plan, and a fulfilling career, while saving more, spending less, and most importantly -- understanding their relationship to money?​ We created something we wish we would have been offered to us as kids -- a fun, interactive, exciting game to learn all the most important money lessons that changed our lives. ​As a longtime soccer coach and karate instructor, the duo chose to model sports. The central game has practices, coaching, and winning strategies. It highlights experimentation, failure, and creativity as key components of success. It rewards accomplishing achievable targets, leading to playing a winning a game.​ Ortus Academy was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and has served in person over 1,400 students in over 30 schools and organizations in the state. Ortus means East, but it's deeper translation is "New Beginnings" or "Revolution!" We created this enterprise in East Baltimore, and see "new beginnings" as our our proud call to action. We exist to help people to start fresh on a better path. We are leading a revolution for financial intelligence!

Our Approach

Our approach is more than financial literacy....

Ortus Academy provides games, courses, coaches, and experiences for students to develop Financial Intelligence. Financial lntelligence focuses on our money behaviors rather than knowledge. Behaviors are hard to change, and different for everyone, so this is pretty bold approach. Our mission is to empower young people with the skills and mindsets to find meaning in their lives, to make better financial decisions, and to learn the principles of financial intelligence. We build dynamic games, create engagement activities, and tell authentic stories that students can connect and relate to so that they may become more responsible, balanced, prepared young adults. With over 15 years coaching experience between the executive team of Ortus Academy, we were frustrated by what we saw education providing, and not providing. We’re committed engaging and educating a child based on experiences and games, not excessive reading materials and lectures. ​Ethical businesses can elevate humanity by contributing to causes greater than themselves. We were established with one goal in mind: to give students the opportunity to build a healthy relationship with money!

Our values

We believe in 6 simple (but hard to embody) things...

Impact: Our reason for existence is to make an impact. We want young people to feel confident about their grasp on finances, so that they can imagine, plan, and lead a better life. We believe in empowering people with more independence, security, and freedom, and we measure that through the satisfaction of our programs. Engagement: People learn when they are engaged. Through play and experiential learning, including interactive games, stories and analogies, and decision-making simulations, our approach to education is one of engagement! Integration: The deepest learning and change happens through integration. We integrate with what students already know, to make connections that are relevant, meaningful, and practically applicable. Our programs are accessible, self-paced, and give people chances to make mistakes, ask questions, and collaborate. Relationships: Our teaching style is different, because we focus on relationships. We want unique students to stay that way. Building positive relationships that have lasting impact can be the difference between success and failure, and we are treating that as a paramount. It's the reason that we are a team of Coaches, not teachers. Transparency: We aren’t hiding the costs or details, and we're not overpromising, because we believe in Transparency. We want you to know exactly what we’re doing so you know exactly what you’re getting. Clarity is kindness. Respect: Our policies are based around the full respect, enrichment, and safety of students. We have a zero tolerance policy and will not stand for any behavior that reflects poorly on our students, company, partners, or schools. We believe in open communication, listening, collaboration, and motivating and supporting each other.


Contact ORtus Academy

Ortus Academy HQ:

901 S Bond Street, Suite 203 
Baltimore, MD 21231

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