Guest blog post by Nikema Prophet.

My entrepreneurial journey started with a Startup Weekend that I attended about a year ago. I went in hoping to practice my iOS developing skills (I didn’t), but I still made a significant contribution to my team and we ended up winning. Startup Weekend opened my eyes to the fact that my ideas and my contributions have merit. I was able to see every team there start with an idea and create something from it over 54 hours. Having learned that any solution to a problem can be validated with a method, I went to work on addressing some of my own problems.

Since Startup Weekend, I’ve presented an idea at 1 Million Cups, participated in Startup Hustle with Hacker Lab, become a 4.0 schools Essentials Fellow, and now I am in Founder Institute as part of the first Sacramento cohort. I have found myself in the company of amazing and accomplished people. I’m beginning to understand that they are my peers; I am amazing too. I’m working on my boss mindset. This year has been a leap for me in terms of personal growth. It’s a stretch for me coming from a lifetime of shyness and introversion.

The Problem

I’m sick and tired of the pipeline excuse. Our top tech companies excuse their lack of diversity with the claim that they can’t find enough qualified people to hire from underrepresented groups. I’m building a mobile marketplace app that connects facilities, instructors, K-12 students, and community facilitators to provide STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) themed enrichment classes. This marketplace is being designed from the beginning to be accessible to underserved communities. The community facilitator role allows us to pay people from the community to assist with classes and connect students to virtual instructors.

If you’re curious, here’s the first version of the landing page

Why? Why Me?

I’m a single mom and I am dedicated to making homeschooling work for my family. I believe that my children are better off outside of the traditional schooling and I’ve made it a priority to provide them with an alternative. I quickly realized that it’s a difficult lifestyle to maintain and that having limited finances makes alternative educational options inaccessible. I set my sights on creating solutions for families like mine. I am passionate about this work because I want to improve the lives of parents and their children. I am working on solving a problem I experience.

Feedback, Please?

I am building a company from an idea and I appreciate any feedback you have to offer. Thanks for being on this journey with me.