LabCandy Attracts Ladies to Sciences



Olivia Pavco-Giaccia ’16 knows how to make her pitch.

“Close your eyes,” she says to her audience of likely company partners and investors. “Picture a scientist.”

The group responds with descriptions of previous males in white lab coats — the exact reaction Pavco-Giaccia is making an attempt to adjust.

Pavco-Giaccia is the founder of LabCandy, a startup company that generates trendy lab gear for younger ladies to encourage them to pursue the sciences. By tough stereotypes, Pavco-Giaccia stated she hopes to persuade youthful women that STEM-associated fields are not for males alone.

LabCandy merchandise contain a bedazzled lab coat, a do-it-by yourself goggle kit and a story guide that Pavco-Giaccia hopes will become a series. Written by Pavco-Giaccia herself, the fictional tale revolves close to a young girl who utilizes science to solve a challenge or mystery. A “recipe card” with directions on how to replicate the experiment employed in the story is printed at the back of the guide.

Pavco-Giaccia, a cognitive science key concentrating on gender and selection-generating, stated the idea for LabCandy had often been in the back of her thoughts but did not come to fruition till she heard about the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute throughout her freshman yr. When she scheduled a meeting with the program director of the Institute’s Summer season Fellowship, Pavco-Giaccia stated the director “listened to my crazy concept and did not laugh at me.”

Final summer, Pavco-Giaccia worked to launch LabCandy with the aid of the summertime fellowship. Between the essential aspects, she stated, was going out and talking to ladies at science fairs, higher colleges and elsewhere to figure out what customers would really want in a item.

“We realized that we needed to catch them early — kindergarten through third grade,” Pavco-Giaccia mentioned. “By high college, a good deal of them have figured out what track they are interested in.”

Richard Foster, a lecturer at the College of Management who serves as LabCandy’s mentor and advisor, said that though the organization is nonetheless in its early phases, he thinks LabCandy will aid pique girls’ curiosity in science at the acceptable age. Foster added that advancing the objectives of LabCandy is in the long run in the nation’s best curiosity.

Pavco-Giaccia, who became interested in the sciences when she was a young lady, recalled strolling through science fairs hunting for other ladies like her, only to find handful of, if any, close to. She additional that she hopes LabCandy will support make ladies in the sciences more noticeable.

Although the business has grown because the YEI fellowship, Pavco-Giaccia is hunting ahead to this summer time when she will launch her newest campaign by way of Kickstarter, an online crowd-funding platform. Via the website, LabCandy will set an ultimate fundraising goal and motivate guests to pledge funding in return for a prize.

But even Kickstarter comes with a catch, Pavco-Giaccia said.

“If you do not meet your fundraising goal, then you get zilch,” she mentioned. “But you can go as substantial over your purpose as achievable. It’s a genuinely amazing method and a excellent way to introduce a product into the world.”

Pavco-Giaccia mentioned she programs on continuing her function with LabCandy right after graduation, perhaps in New Haven, where she mentioned she has found a supportive entrepreneurial community.

The most rewarding portion of LabCandy has been the reactions from the ladies themselves, she stated. Pavco-Giaccia recalled displaying a jeweled lab coat to her younger cousin who proceeded to check herself out in the mirror and request if she was what a scientist looked like.

Juju Yonemoto, a seventh grader who owns the full line of LabCandy gear, explained she needs to examine the sciences due to the fact of the boundlessness of the area.

“LabCandy has manufactured me much more interested in locating out much more about new diseases,” Yonemoto explained. “I am interested in science due to the fact there are so many items that are but to be found.”

Third grader Alexis Watkinson explained LabCandy taught her that girls can function together to be productive.

These days, 24 % of STEM-connected jobs are occupied by ladies.

LabCandy, started by Olivia Pavco-Giaccia ’16 with help from a YEI fellowship, seeks to encourage young girls to research science by producing trendy lab gear and demanding stereotypes.

April 8, 2014