Sara Chipps and Brooke Moreland are on a mission to change the way young girls think, through the toys they play with.
The duo co-founded their New York City-based start-up,
"I was five years into my career before I worked with another woman, and another five years before I worked with another one," Chipps, 36, said. "I really just wanted to change that environment."
Chipps began coding at age 11 and dropped out of Penn State, where she was studying computer science, to head into the workforce, going on to co-found Girl Develop It in 2010. The nonprofit provides affordable opportunities for adult women to learn how to code via in-person classes, now in 50 cities nationwide, with more than 60,000 women served. She met Moreland that same year, after being hired to do some programming for Moreland's start-up Fashism, a fashion photo-sharing app for teenage girls.
"I thought it was really great to work with an engineer who was a woman," Moreland said. The two stayed friends, and when Chipps had the idea for
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The friendship bracelets are equipped with four LED lights and a button and connect with one another over Bluetooth.
To test the idea for Jewelbots, they launched a Kickstarter campaign in July 2015, hoping to raise $30,000 in 30 days. Instead, they hit that goal in 24 hours and went on to sell 3,000 bracelets and raise $170,000 in just one month.