Indian American coder Samaira Mehta – the girl who at 7 years old created a board game, CoderBunnyz, to inspire kids to code – continues to prove to be an inspiration to many in her community and beyond.
Mehta, now 12 and heading into seventh grade, to date has designed three board games and a trio of missions.
One of her biggest missions, "Yes One Billion Kids Can Code," has the goal of helping 1 billion kids gain access to STEM and CS tools.
However, with the world around us changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing many countries, including the U.S., to shelter at home over the past four-plus months, the Indian American tween thought this would put a halt to her big goal.
Despite the odds against her, she has been able to do virtual workshops, hack-a-thons and speaker events, helping her slowly get closer to this goal.
But if there’s one thing she has realized from all the talks and workshops that she has given, especially virtually, is that kids have an amazing mindset, she said.
They have ideas and solutions which our world needs right now. Often, kids are seen as people who don’t know as much as adults, and although this may be true, what isn’t true is that it doesn’t make their opinions and views not matter, she said.
Children can bring a lot to the table and now more than ever with all the problems arising in the world right now, solutions are necessary.
This is why Mehta launched Boss Biz.
“Boss Biz is a business pitch fest, where I, alongside well-renowned entrepreneurs across the world, will share the process of creating a business and becoming an entrepreneur, from the very basics on how to start out and by the end, you will know all the needed skills to become an entrepreneur,” Mehta told India-West in an email.
“You put the skills you learned to use when you get the chance to create your own business,” she added. “You get to pitch your idea for the chance to win $1,000 as seed funding to make it a reality! Participants get the chance to make their ideas reality, bring change, develop solutions, and most importantly get their voices heard,” she told India-West.
In addition to the $1,000 grand prize winner, second place will receive $500, and third and fourth place will win $250. The idea here is that the voices of children across the world are finally heard.
Boss Biz, which will be sponsored by retail giant Walmart, will take place between July 13 and July 24 from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. PT. More information about the event can be found by visiting www.codermindz.com/bossbiz.
Through this event, the goal is to unlock kids’ brilliance as they are challenged to create their own profitable companies; teach them about how a business is made from the start to the finish; create their own company, gain vital entrepreneurial skills and mindsets; give them the chance to learn and interact with guest speakers who have created well-known companies and made their name across the world; gain public speaking skills; and finally pitch their business and product for the chance to win $1,000, she said.
The top three winners will get the chance to make their ideas reality, bring change, develop solutions, and, most importantly, get their voices heard.
“Throughout the event, students learn entrepreneurial skills, gain entrepreneurial mindsets, as well as a better overall mindset, and public speaking and pitching skills. Everything is virtual and open to anyone in the world,” Mehta said, adding if all goes well, this will be the first of annual events.
“My goal is to do one of these every summer or perhaps even sooner,” she said.