Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Small Business Success Story -Mindwick, Inc.
Each year the New York Small Business Development Center recognizes outstanding small businesses in a variety of ways. This Success Story from the Stony Brook SBDC appears in our 2015 Annual Report.
Elena Yakubovskaya, a research scientist in the Pharmacology Dept.at SUNY Stony Brook, received her Ph.D. in the field of molecular and structural biology from the Institute of Molecular Biology in Moscow. About ten years ago, she was one of the founders of School Nova, a Stony Brook University program that provides supplemental STEM instruction on weekends for elementary school students. Elena is currently the director of a summer STEM educational camp for gifted students.
During 2014, Elena decided to sharpen her focus on STEM education by starting Mindwick, Inc. to promote early science education among public elementary school students (grades 1-3). When she needed assistance with her venture, Elena was pleasantly surprised to discover that the SBDC was conveniently located on the Stony Brook campus. Elena has worked with Senior Advisor Bernie Ryba for the past two years and attended two SBIR/STTR workshops that were held on campus to learn more about submitting applications for grant funding.
In June 2015, Mindwick was awarded a $150,000 Phase I SBIR grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop “Ready for STEM,” a new educational program for improving reasoning skills in elementary school students. Elena intends to apply for a Phase II $750,000 NSF grant and two new Phase I grants at other agencies in 2016. Elena joined the Stony Brook incubator system in September, 2015 and is confident that with the support of the Stony Brook SBDC her dream of developing a commercialized version of “Ready for STEM” can be realized.