Linda Chen is the Founder of Baby Monster Group.
Tell us about your company. What inspired you to start it?
Several years ago, I took my daughter, who was almost four years old, to shop for her birthday present. At that age, she usually willingly accepted my suggestions. But, when I suggested getting some Lego toys, her response was “Legos are for boys!” I realized that girls lose opportunities to STEM exposure very early on compared to boys, and many of them never had the chance to be confident or develop an interest in this critical knowledge. My company’s mission is to give children of all ages, gender and economic background an equal opportunity to learn STEM.
Who are your cofounders and what makes you a great team?
I’m the main founder of Baby Monster Group. Currently, we have a great team of engineers, educators, academic advisors and graduate students who all got involved because they care about the same issue.
How is your company making a difference?
We strive to influence every kid we interacted with to enjoy STEM through their preferred play activities that are collaborative and full of creativity.
What are some of the challenges you have faced?
Being a software engineer, I did not realize how difficult it is to manufacture hardware products. A small startup does not get the support and attention from manufacturers nor the entire supply chain.
What is your biggest win?
Students testimony that how much they enjoy creating shows using our current STEAM learning platform, Interactive Stage. Interactive Stage is a fully programmable puppet theater stage that allows children to program lights, motorize their props and wow their audience with their imagination.
Who is your role model?
My high school math teacher, Mrs. Abromowitz. She was smart, dedicated to her teaching and loved all her students so much. She inspired me to pursue math and go for the stars. That’s how I got accepted to MIT.
What do you wish you had known before starting your company?
I started this company with a personal growth mentality. I knew I didn’t have all the solutions. It has taken many trials and errors to develop my first product. I noticed that if I had known more professionals in a similar space, it could have taken me less time to get to where the company is today by following their footsteps.
What is your CEO superpower?