This 10-year-old coder is already so successful she's been scouted by Google and Microsoft
Samaira Mehta is a kid-coder-to-watch in Silicon Valley.
The 10-year-old is the founder and CEO of CoderBunnyz, a company which has earned national media recognition, and landed her speaking appearances at almost a dozen Silicon Valley conferences.
It all started when the programmer was just eight-years-old. After learning how to code aged six, Mehta created a game called CoderBunnyz to teach other children how to code.
She went onto win the $2,500 second place prize from Think Tank Learning's Pitchfest in 2016, and duly caught the attention of Cartoon Network's marketing team who were looking to profile inspiring young girls for their real life "Powerpuff Girls" campaign.
Since then, Mehta has come leaps and bounds. After featuring on several newscasts, her board game was listed on Amazon. "We've sold 1,000 boxes, so over $35,000 and it's only been on the market for one year," the youngster told Business Insider.
But Mehta doesn't just deal with the game's logistics, she also came up with a detailed marketing strategy with the help of her father - Rakesh Mehta - an Intenl engineer and Sun Microsystems/Oracle alumnus.
In order to flog her product, the 10-year-old launched a supporting initiative called Yes, 1 Billion Kids Can Code, which encourages interested parties to donate boxes of the game to schools, which she then delivers workshops and seminars to.
At the start of this past school year, Mehta claims that 106 schools were using the game to teach children to code. "In the world there are over 1 billion kids," she explained. "There are people who are willing to donate Coder Bunnyz boxes to schools, and to people in need all over the world, who want to learn coding."
The young entrepreneur has now launched a sequel to CoderBunnyz: a game that teaches kids to code using artificial intelligence.
The follow-up, which is called CoderMindz, has been billed as the first ever AI board game, and involves basic AI principles, such as how to train an AI model, interference, and adaptive learning.
Mehta developed the concept with the help of her younger brother, six-year-old Aadit.
Several of the workshops that the young coder has held were at the Google headquarters in Mountain View, California, where she met Google's Chief Culture Officer, Stacy Sullivan.
"After my back-to-back workshops at Google headquarters, we talked for an hour," the youngster said. "She told me I was doing great and once I get out of college, I can come work for Google."
Mehta has gone onto speak at Microsoft, and also at the Girls' Festival, which was sponsored by World Wide Women, earlier this month.
She's even met Mark Zuckerberg. When trick-or-treating in his neighbourhood last year, Mehta took the opportunity to speak to the tech mogul about her coding work.
"I finally got to meet him," she recalled. "He was handing out chocolates. I told him I was a young coder and he told me to keep going, you're doing great."
I think we can all agree that in Samaira Mehta's case, "doing great", is an understatement.