SEASON 6 EPISODE 2
STEM building toys for girls
Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen
$500,000 for 5%
$500,000 for 5%
Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner
ACQUIRED, IN BUSINESS
What is Roominate?
Roominate is a construction toy set targeted towards young girls between the ages of six to ten years. It teaches building and even some electrical circuitry skills by combining storytelling, making it fun and engaging. Designed as a toy set to encourage women in their later years; to enter the fields of science, engineering, technology, and mathematics. The aim is to build the dollhouse rather than buy it ready-made essentially.
Who Owns Roominate?
Maykah Inc. is the company name of co-founders Alice Brooks and Bettina Chen business, which produces Roominate. The two met doing their master’s degree in engineering at the University of Stanford.
The two ladies came up with the idea for an interactive, unique construction set game for girls when they realized that only 15% of women entering college intended to graduate in male-dominated fields, primarily engineering and science.
The two ladies felt this was partly due to the toys young girls played with inside their rooms. They felt if girls could be encouraged to build their barbie houses or similar toys in a fun and interactive way, it might create a stimulus later on in life to pursue similar careers. Alice quotes her father, who gave her a saw for Christmas one year when she asked for a barbie house, saying “Build the dream house yourself.” His remarks inspired a lifelong passion for engineering.
After their initial success raising capital for their Roominate project, the two entrepreneurs went into production not long afterward. They even landed some big-name clients, selling their product at Toys R Us and Radioshack. These initial successes generated nearly $1.8 million in sales in a little over 18 months of sales since production started.