Turning her passion for teaching into a business was a new adventure for Anuradha Kothandaraman and although she had the experience with teaching, she had never started a business before. By working with CTSBDC, Anu was able to learn about the significance of business planning and forecasting.
$320,000 Loan/Line of Credit
Owner: Anuradha Kothandaraman
Business Start Date: June 23, 2018
What Does Your Business Do?:
Code Ninjas is an afterschool enrichment program for children aged 7-14 that teaches computer programming, problem solving, logic, math and more. We teach kids to think creatively, dissect problems into smaller workable chunks and enable them to work collaboratively while improving their leadership and presentation skills. Code Ninjas runs after school programs, day camps, summer camps, birthday parties, scout badge programs, parent night outs and much more. We are embedded in the community and lead and support several free events to engage parents and students in STEM, educating them on the future jobs and bringing in more girls in STEM world.
What Inspired You to Start Your Business?:
I have always had a passion for teaching and shaping the leaders of tomorrow and combined with my experience in STEM/IT, it was a fantastic fit to start a business that prepares our children for the future! Read my blog for further information: http://bit.ly/CodeNinjasBlog
Before Coming to the CTSBDC, What Were Your Primary Challenges and/or Needs?:
My primary challenges were business planning and forecasting. I did not know much about starting a business and what it entailed!
How Has the CTSBDC Helped You Overcome Your Challenges?:
It's invaluable the amount of gratitude I have for CTSBDC. Without Valeria Bisceglia's guidance, I wouldn’t have been able to take "My Passion" and turn it into a business venture. Valeria diligently worked with me to create a business plan, worked on forecasting, reviewed my budget and finances, networked with local businesses and acted as a mentor, coach and guide.
What Have You Learned/Changed Since Working with the CTSBDC?:
1. It is important to have a holistic view of the business - Finance, Marketing, Employees etc.
2. Forecasting and adding as much detail helps you think about what you would need to do to meet that goal.
3. Creating a detailed Business plan is not a nice thing to have but a "MUST".
How is Your Business Doing Now? What Does Your Future Look Like?:
We had our GO on June 23rd which was well attended by 300+ people from the neighborhood. Right after, we dove into summer camps and had more than 150 kids throughout all our camps. Our back to school specials for the after school program created a good number of students added to our "founding" families. We also ran a free 3D printing event for Halloween where kids designed and printed ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, bats, spiders and more. Our creative day camps on school closure days, enabled us to reach more parents and kids from the neighborhood and we look forward to a great summer camp session in 2019. Our Core programs continue to rise as parents and children understand the need for such a program. We are looking forward to a successful 2019.
What Was It Like Working With Your Advisor?:
Valeria Bisceglia is not only a trusted advisor but a fantastic advocate for me and my business. I truly value her opinion and she has been an important success factor for me and my business. She is always available and 100% committed to my success, and she has been nothing but incredible! I am looking forward to working with her as my plans for expanding the business mature.
What Words of Advice Would You Give to Small Businesses Looking to Work with CTSBDC?:
If you're starting a new business, or expanding your current venture, CTSBDC's help, guidance and support can provide you with more than what you can do by yourself. If you aren't using CTSBDC's services, you're missing out on the enriching experiences and expertise they bring to the table to help YOU succeed.
"Anu's passion and willingness to work hard to achieve her goals are the staple of a successful entrepreneur. She believed in herself, and has always been open to learn and continue to improve her skills as a business woman to stay on top of her enterprise and keep growing. I look forward to continue working with her on opening her second center. As a single mom with two beautiful daughters, she's a hardworking woman and an inspiration to others. This past December she was asked to join the Board of Directors at the Trumbull Chamber of Commerce - she is a breath of fresh air."
- Valeria Bisceglia, Business Advisor
Learn more about Code Ninjas: