NAME OF CLIENT’S COMPANY: Knetkit Inc DBA Boolean Girl Inc
OWNER: Brian Moran, Sarah Eastman, Ingrid Sanden
ADDRESS: 815 N Barton St, Arlington, VA 22201
TELEPHONE NUMBER: 703.841.1575
NAME OF MENTOR(S): Edward Coleman
SUMMARY OF THE CLIENT’S COMPANY: Boolean Girl Tech is in the Tech/Ed market. The company was founded in 2014 with a social mission to narrow the gender gap in STEM careers through education and consistent exposure to computer science and engineering. We began as a hobby business, teaching classes to elementary school girls at local Arlington schools. When parents started asking where they could get the kits we used in the classes, we pivoted, ran a Kickstarter and created the Boolean Box. One of the primary goals of the Boolean Box was to reach even more girls by allowing them to learn at home, at their own pace or in local clubs run by parents and teachers across the country.
The launch of Boolean Box began the shift from a hobby business to a full-time enterprise in 2017. In 2018 we spun off the services business (teaching classes) as a non-profit so we could reach more underprivileged girls and boys with camps and classes. In 2018, we reached almost 2500 kids, and more than 20% were from underserved/low-income communities.
DESCRIBE PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES: The Boolean Box is a build-it-yourself computer engineering kit, built by girls and used by kids across the globe. We inspire kids ages 8 and up to build, code, invent and animate using our kit and corresponding online curriculum (available for free at BooleanU.org). We believe our users (and their parents) say it best: “I love the Boolean Box. I definitely wish I’d had it as a kid; it would have saved me a lot of angst in my “Electronics and Computers” class in college.” (from a parent on Reviewed.com), and “Boolean Box… is awesome, fun, and very hands-on. You can follow directions on how to code something, or you can do it by yourself. I think it is great. I like that you get to code.” (from a fourth-grader who gave the Boolean Box 5 out of 5 smiles). Our Boolean Girl crew continues to inspire us. We are parents and started this project because we wanted to find ways to encourage and inspire girls 8 to 14. We are software developers, product managers, and even have experience working for non-profits. We’ve built and shipped complicated hardware and software products before starting on Boolean Box. As a team, we started on this path with a purpose. We’ve created course materials, ran a successful Kickstarter, and founded a non-profit called Boolean Girl (booleangirl.org). We are passionate about our work and truly want to change the make up the technology workforce.
Complementing the Boolean Box is the EdPack, designed for clubs and schools, which includes ten Boolean Boxes and all the educational props for running clubs or summer camps.
HOW DID SCORE HELP THE CLIENT?
Boolean Girl Tech began working with SCORE mentor Edward Coleman at the Arlington Economic Development Agency, 1100 N Glebe Rd #1500, Arlington, VA 22201 in March of 2018. Ed helped us make the critical transition from a hobby business to a full-time enterprise including developing a business plan that drove the business. Based on that plan, Ed also assisted in:
- Development of a product strategy including a good, better, best product set.
- Expansion of distribution channels.
- Securing funding for inventory acquisition, including acquiring a $100k loan from TD bank in coordination with staff at Arlington Economic Development. Score continues to assist in the exploration of Angel funding for continued growth.
- Thought leadership on separating the businesses into a commercial entity and a non-profit entity.
WHAT HAS CLIENT ACHIEVED TO DESERVE THIS AWARD?
In the past two years Boolean Girl has successfully pivoted from a small, “hobby”, services-based business with revenue of $30K, to a product company with $214K in 2018 revenue and a clear plan for growth based on expansion of our product line. In 2017, we were a single SKU product company; today we have 3 products growing to 5 by the end of 2019.
In the process of growing out of our hobby-based business and transitioning from a services to a product company, we managed to start a successful non-profit business that has also grown. In 2017, the service business generated $30k in revenue and reached just over 1000 girls up from 353 in 2016. In 2018, the non-profit founded on the services business reached 2480 kids with revenue of $100k.