Meet Silicon Valley’s 10-year-old Samaira Mehta. When she was 7, according to one of her bio-pages, she created the coding board game CoderBunnyz. Her mission, she says, is “to get everyone age 4-104 excited about coding in a really fun way.” She learned to code from her father, Rakesh Mehta, when she was six.
She bills her game as a Play and Learn Coding Concepts board game, which includes: Strategic Thinking; Problem Solving; Sequencing; Conditional; Branches; Loops; Functions; Debugging; Inheritance; Parallelism; List; Stack; Queue; and Algorithm Writing.
Business Insider (BI) interviewed her and ran a feature article introducing her as “the founder and CEO of a company called CoderBunnyz that’s earned national recognition and landed her speaker roles at nearly a dozen Valley conferences (and counting).”
A real life Powerpuff Girl
After creating the board game, Mehta won the $2,500 second place prize from Think Tank Learning’s Pitchfest in 2016. This caught the notice of some marketeers for Cartoon Network who were looking to profile inspiring young girls as real life “Powerpuff Girls.” After she was featured in one of those videos, things took off from there.Business Insider; Oct 21 2018
Samaira considers herself an entrepreneur. She started selling her game on Amazon and after recognition from some national broadcasts began to pick up her story, she tells BI, “we’ve sold 1,000 boxes, so over $35,000 and it’s only been on the market for one year.”
She has started her own YouTube channel as well as her own website called Cookies with CoderBunnyz, which features her interview series with CEO’s to sectors from education to even a Meditation and Spiritual Guru.
She is also a girl with a big heart with big plans and “she thinks big.” When launching her game, she, along with her father’s help, “came up with a killer marketing plan.” She wants to teach the world’s one billion children how to code.
She launched an initiative called Yes, 1 Billion Kids Can Code which allows interested people to donate boxes of the game to schools. She then set up workshops to help kids at those schools learn how to master the game.
At the start of this school year, 106 schools were using the game to teach kids to code, Mehta says.
“In the world there are over 1 billion kids,” she said. “There are people who are willing to donate Coder Bunnyz boxes to schools, and to people in need all over the world, who want to learn coding.”Business Insider
Mehta says that, so far, she’s done 60 workshops in Silicon Valley, which has amounted to over 2,000 kids, and that doesn’t include “a series held at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California.”
Google’s chief Culture Officer Stacy Sullivan caught up with Samaira after she did her “back-to-back workshops” and told her she “was doing great,” that she could come work for them after college. She told BI said she told the Google representative, “she didn’t know if she would want to work for Google. She likes being an entrepreneur.”
Now at 10, Samaira is doing so well she has created a sequel to her CoderBunnyz game, called CoderMindz. She is billing this one as “the first ever AI board game” to teach the basics of AI principals. “Concepts like training an AI model, inference [and] adaptive learning,” with the goal to “eventually … use those skills to build robots.” It will be in stock on Amazon November 2.
She developed it with the help of her little brother, Aadit. He’s six.
As Mehta is reinvesting her money into her company making more CoderBunnyz games and her new CoderMindz launch, she has also already set up plans for when she begins to turn a profit.
She plans to make sure she donates to charity and has one picked out: PATH – People Assisting The Homeless. “It ends homelessness and helps people rebuild skills and I care about the homeless.” Until then, she’s putting her Powerpuff Girlz entrepreneurial power raising money in other ways to donate to PATH, such as “hosting a lemonade stand this summer that brought in $119.”
“A young Valley star is born.”