Zoe Bundy is the founder and CEO of Brainy Ladies, a web publication designed to foster interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) for young women.
Brainy Ladies, which will function much like an online monthly magazine, has its roots in Bundy’s first-hand experience of the disparity between boys’ and girls’ participation in STEM-oriented activities in school.
“When I was in sixth grade, I was in this tech group at school,” Bundy said, “and out of 30 kids, I was the only girl.”
Bundy sees herself possibly entering a STEM-related career one day, and she has shown a natural inclination toward STEM subjects during her time in school.
“I have been interested in all four topics,” she said.
Bundy’s interest in entrepreneurship precedes this venture; she took initial inspiration from her father, who builds websites as a side job. His do-it-yourself entrepreneurial spirit was one of the things that initially inspired her toward business ownership herself. She also drew inspiration from Microsoft’s #MakeWhatsNext campaign.
“I thought I could start a business,” Bundy said. “I like to earn money, and I like to spend money,” she added, describing her early thoughts on entrepreneurship.
Curiosity about business eventually led Bundy to become involved with Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) through a leadership conference she attends in Bismarck. Bundy took her idea for Brainy Ladies to an Investors Panel Shark Tank competition event held by YEA! and The Chamber of Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo, where she was named a Saunders Scholar and awarded a trip to YEA!’s national competition in Rochester, New York. The Shark Tank panel also awarded her $1800 for her work on the website.
“We’re still figuring out what we’re going to do with that,” Bundy said.
Brainy Ladies is planned to launch in August. For now, those interested the site can visit a welcome page at its address, girlsinstemmagazine.com, where they can sign up for a newsletter or like the site on Facebook.
Once launched, the site will feature content updated monthly. Access to the content Brainy Ladies will host will cost a $15 yearly fee.
The first month’s worth of Brainy Ladies content will cover bones, mini-computers, self-driving cars, and algebra—one topic for each of the letters in STEM.
Bundy wants Brainy Ladies to help connect local young women to tech camps for girls in the area, of which Bundy says there are several.
“We can come along as a resource that will you find activities in the Fargo-Moorhead community,” Bundy said.
She also suggested that Brainy Ladies can be useful for women at the three area colleges who arrive and find they are maybe interested in a STEM-oriented major, but they haven’t really emphasized those subjects for themselves in previous learning—Brainy Ladies will be a ready-made resource they could use to familiarize themselves more deeply before diving into a major.
Bundy tells a story about how, as she started building Brainy Ladies, came across Fortune‘s list of the most powerful women in business, and she tried to hunt down ways to contact the women on the list, with some success: She got back an enthusiastic response about Brainy Ladies from Indra Nooyi, the CEO of Pepsi. She has also had help from other women who are passionate about STEM involvement, including Nicole Haugen, a principle software engineer at Microsoft, and Katie Ralston, of the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.