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SMALL BUSINESS GRANT CONTEST

WE HAVE A WINNER!

This winter, we ran a $50,000 small business grant contest. Hundreds responded to the knock of opportunity, but there could only be one winner. Meet STEM Center USA.

Lavanya and Melissa Jawaharlal

STEM Center USA

DATE ESTABLISHED

2011

LOCATION

Claremont, CA

NUMBER OF EMPLOYEES

15

About STEM Center USA

What we do

STEM Center USA is a K-12 robotics education company that inspires the next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) leaders through hands-on activities. Students attend weekly classes and are introduced to various levels of robotics, electronics, coding, 3D printing, renewable energy, power tools, and more! In addition to the weekly classes, STEM Center USA also offers summer camps, special workshops, and partner with schools to offer classes and professional development.

The STEM Center USA team provides students with an experiential education that excites, engages, and enriches through a unique, learn-by-doing curriculum. Founders Melissa and Lavanya Jawaharlal believe that true learning takes place when a student is allowed to discover the underlying principles through a hands-on, experiential, learning model. By providing opportunities to be engaged in a learning process that excites, energizes, and exposes them to a wide variety of skills and concepts, STEM Center students discover a path that will enable them to have a more productive education.

What we plan on doing with the $50,000

STEM Center wants to grow the business by franchising its model to help teach children across the country, opening a second Robotics Creativity Center in Los Angeles. Melissa and Lavanya have begun planning for this next step but were in need of financing assistance to build out the space, purchase materials, rent/deposits, and begin staffing the new space.

Why they won the $50,000

  • Passionate Entrepreneurs: The founding businesswomen are passionate about teaching children STEM knowledge and closing the gender gap in STEM fields by hosting workshops for young women who are interested in STEM

  • Growth Mindset: They want to grow their business by franchising their model to help teach more children across the country, opening a second Robotics Creativity Center in Los Angeles

  • Community Enrichment: The expansion of their business will create job opportunities and impact a new community of children and young adults

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