Samaira Mehta may seem to be a typical 10-year old kid, but she is actually the founder and CEO of CoderBunnyz, a board game that she invented to teach kids how to code. It is a very successful venture that has already earned her $200,000 in revenue within just one year since its launch. In addition, she has caught the attention of several major tech companies and former First Lady Michelle Obama!
At the age of 7, Samaira learned how to code with the help of her father, who is an engineer. Upon discovering that there were not much learning materials for first-time coders, she thought it was an opportunity to make a product that could help kids as young as 4 learn about programming. She conceptualized the board game reached out to graphic designers and game manufacturers in New Zealand and China with the help of her family.
“My family is very much involved in my business,” Samaira told CNBC’s Make It. Her father serves as an official advisor for the company, her mother supervises their social media presence and marketing, and her younger brother is the game’s tester.
Last year, they launched CoderBunnyz, a board game that teaches players from the age of 4 and above “all the concepts you ever need in computer programming. There’s the very basic concepts like sequencing and conditionals to more advanced concepts like loops, functions, stack, queue, lists, parallelism, inheritance and many others,” she said.
CoderBunnyz has already been succeeded by another game she also invented, CoderMindz. It is a coding-based artificial intelligence board game that teaches basic AI concepts using the Java programming language.
“I’m really passionate about coding,” she said. “I want the kids to be the same way, because coding is the future and coding is what the world will depend on in the next 10 to 15 years. So if kids learn to code now, [when] they grow up they can think of coding maybe as a career option.”
Since the product’s launch in April 2018, her company sold about 6,000 games and generated about $200,000. She said the earnings go back to the company as reinvestment, to her college funds, and to charities she donates to that address homelessness in her community.
Samaira initially sold the board games through her website and kept the stocks in their garage. But with growing demand, she put it on Amazon, which now helps fulfill the products’ shipping. She also held workshops at schools, libraries, and companies like Facebook, Microsoft, and Intel where she encourages kids to try coding.
At one time, she had the opportunity to go to Google and meet its chief cultural officer, Stacy Sullivan. “She said if I grew up I could probably work at Google if I like. And then she also said ‘Oh but you’ll probably have your own company by then.’ She inspired me to work harder and it was just a great moment in my life,” Samaira said.
Samaira was also recognized by former first lady Michelle Obama who wrote an inspiring letter for her in 2016. She dreams of becoming a student at Stanford University someday but for now, she focuses on her studies as well as her career as an entrepreneur.
“I would say I already have it now, because I am an entrepreneur,” she said. “But I want to expand on that and I want to become an entrepreneur that helps people and does good for the community.”
For more information about CoderBunnyz and/or to order online, visit www.coderbunnyz.com