Tue, 24 February 2015
About: Tara Tiger Brown- Co-Founder of KitHub with Luz Rivas
Overview: Tara Tiger Brown is a lifetime lover of building- from software, to coding, to creating DIY kits. She is constantly on the go. Through this interview, Tara shares with us how she got started in the software industry, and where her passion for helping others came from.
Background: Tara grew up in a small town outside of Vancouver, Canada and attended school at British Columbia Institute of Technology where she studied business, and information technology. When she finished school, she ended up at a data warehouse consulting company that built gigantic databases for airlines, and tech companies. At that job, she became really interested in website development. From there she went on to work with Microsoft, specifically Hotmail, where she helped with coding on site. At that position, Tara learned a lot about scaling companies. Eventually, Tara realized there was a world outside of Microsoft, and went to work for TopSpin. She then took a year off when she had her child, and during that time started working on a startup. She later took a break from startups, and worked for non-profits. While working for non-profits, that's when Tara really began to feel passionate about doing good and helping others.
What is KitHub: KitHub is a very new company that sells unique sets of kits for young learners. It provides young children with an opportunity to have a hands on experience building something that they may not have the time to do during school. These kits also allow the parents to be more involved in their children's learning. You can subscribe to their website to get a themed kit each month from science, to fashion, to environmental. They also sell these kits to schools and classrooms. These kits are targeted for children ages 6-12.
How it Works: As a parent, simply go to their website, subscribe, and from there you will receive a monthly kit. In between waiting to receive the kit, parents will receive different how-to's of things that they can actually make at home with things they may already have lying around. Also, every Friday KitHub has a live show and tell online that your children can watch.
Goal for KitHub: Tara would love to have thousands of subscribers by the end of 2015, and would also like to have a plan on how they can move into the older age group. She would also like to be more involved in the planning and development of the kits.
Struggle with KitHub: Although Tara's background is in software, she has struggled with how to manage the logistics side of the business. She is working on getting more involved with that part of the company so she can focus more on the kits themselves.
What is LA Makerspace: Started in 2012, Makerspace is a community of people who tinker, DIY, and who want to learn how to do everything from programming to 3D printing. And the people who are part of that community are those who do not have the tools or space to do so. Makerspace is focusing on workshops in LA, and working on getting another space in the surrounding area. Because Makerspace has teamed up with libraries in the area, it is free- all you need is a library card.
Represent LA: When Tara moved from San Francisco down to LA in 2009- she wasn't sure where to find other women that tech scene so she decided to do something about it. Represent LA
Women in the Tech World: Tara feels very fortunate- she has never felt disrespected or blocked out as a female tech entrepreneur. She certainly has empathy and understands when women report issues that they're dealing regarding this matter and is open to talking to these women and helping them in anyway that she can.
Advice for Entrepreneurs: Choose something that you actually like- it's a bonus if it's something you have experience in. Surround yourself with people that you trust, and work with people that you enjoy working with.
Take Away: We learn from Tara that women can be software engineers too. Tara is a great example of constantly pursuing her dreams and always looking for new things she can build or ways she can help others in the tech community.
Connect With Tara:
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