December 1, 2023

Technology Genius Inc., based mostly in Beverly Crest, is understood amongst college students and lecturers for its academic movies on scientific subjects starting from astronomy to ecosystems.

The movies star founder and chief government officer Dr. Jeffrey Vinokur in a Invoice Nye-esque mix of training and enjoyable. These movies can now be present in 30% of elementary colleges within the nation. The corporate has seen substantial development within the final 12 months, which led the corporate to develop its operations and workforce base. Starting in a 1,500-square-foot warehouse in Chatsworth in June 2022, manufacturing moved to a 5,000-square-foot area in Canoga Park the following month. Following its enterprise’ burgeoning success, it moved to a 15,000-square-foot warehouse in Simi Valley final month.

Final 12 months, Vinokur and Eric Rollman, Technology Genius’ president and co-founder, determined to create a product that may enable youngsters to discover the enjoyment of science experiments from their very own residence. It launched a line of at-home science kits, which include experiments corresponding to turning water to snow or making “liquid worms” out of calcium chloride and sodium alginate.

The kits might be bought on a one-time foundation or as a month-to-month subscription. A package comprises three experiments, which may every be carried out a number of instances, and have boomed in reputation. There isn’t any paper handbook, as a substitute kids can watch a video of Vinokur strolling them by way of the steps and giving verbal directions.

Rollman, an Emmy award-winning kids’s tv producer, mentioned the corporate bought 5 kits its first day. It now typically ships greater than 1,000 kits per day.

The kits’ reputation additionally led the corporate to convey on extra employees, each human and robotic. Beginning with 22 staff through the summer season, its workforce expanded to twenty-eight amid excessive vacation sale quantity. The corporate now has greater than 50 staff, working exhausting to provide the kits.

It determined to usher in automated know-how to help its staff, beginning in April. This robotic-type equipment operates in its Simi Valley warehouse and performs capabilities corresponding to filling, labeling and capping the tubes that kits’ components are available. It has not laid off any staff with the introduction of this technique, however has been capable of scale back prices and enhance productiveness.

“The extra employees and extra space are immediately associated to the necessity to make extra kits,” Rollman mentioned. “To make extra kits, we’d like extra uncooked supplies and extra individuals.”

Vinokur mentioned its kits enable youngsters to develop the potential of what experiments they’ll strive at residence. The kits’ components are non-toxic and secure when used as directed.

“If you don’t have a science package, you’re type of restricted,” Vinokur mentioned. “(You’ll be able to have) glue, salt, pepper, glitter, baking soda, vinegar, and you may have enjoyable with that. However if you would like the following stage of enjoyable, you then want sure supplies and sure chemical compounds… however dad and mom, they don’t have time to exit and discover these items and purchase them and work out the easiest way to do the experiment.”

Technology Genius has seen this success all with no enterprise capital backing. It raised $1.6 million in seed funding, which features a $1 million recoupable grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and $1.07 million in crowdfunding. Rollman mentioned the corporate noticed about $900,000 in income in its first six months promoting these kits, and that gross sales are nonetheless rising. This income doesn’t embrace earnings from its video platform.

“As a child, I used to be very enthusiastic about science and I had a lab in my storage … making issues bubble and poo and explode,” Vinokur mentioned. “Now I need to give that (ardour) to the following technology.”