Trendsetter to Know: Sharmi Albrechtsen

Name: Sharmi Albrechtsen





Title: CEO of SmartGurlz

Married/Single: Married

Kids: Yes

City you live in: Scottsdale

A typical day in my life includes…

working on making Smart Buddies a household name! That means traveling and meeting customers, working with the media, and promoting our products on Facebook and Amazon.

My favorite thing about Arizona…

I love the beautiful weather and the opportunity to be outdoors for all my meals.

My family…

is amazing, supportive but also understands that I am a healthy workaholic.

If I could have dinner with anyone, it would be…

Melissa Gates. She values female empowerment and I would love to get her thoughts on helping the next generation of women.

One thing I cannot live without…

Diet Coke. Yes, I said it – I love it.

When I was younger, I wanted to be…

a fashion designer. Now I design clothes for our Smart Buddies dolls, LOL.

I’m inspired by…

nature, my husband and I love the ocean and beaches.

The one person who motivates me is…

my husband, he truly believes that I am a rock star.

If I could change anything in the world, it would be…

save the coral reefs. So sad that they are all dying due to climate change.

I’m currently working on…

SmartBuddies just introduced the Camp In A Box for kids ages 7-11 which allows them to still enjoy a two-week virtual summer camp at home with real counselors and teachers. The camp includes daily zoom classes for two weeks, coding robot of choice, plus they get to meet their fellow campers twice-a-day for learning activities. 

Favorite Quote…

“If plan A doesn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters – 204 if you’re in Japan.”

― Claire Cook

Our Plan A was to raise VC funding in San Francisco but after 6-months, several maybes, and hundreds of ‘no thanks or non-commitment’ we looked to equity crowdfunding. It has been the best Plan B ever, we have thousands of committed, loyal fans who have a low risk.

Biggest Dream…

to teach 1 million kids how to code.

More about Sharmi…

Robotics aficionado, educator, author and mom, Sharmi Albrechtsen, CEO and co-founder of SmartGurlz, a fast-growing start-up company focusing on closing the gender gap in technology. SmartGurlz is the first robotics company focused on girls and has just launched Smart Buddies Education for girls and boys.

In 2016, Sharmi started SmartGurlz after she became frustrated when trying to find educational but fun toys for her daughter, Nina. She saw a world of opportunity with tech fun, coding, and digital learning for girls and at the same time inspiring interest in STEM-related subjects.

As CEO, she is the visionary backbone of the company, ensuring that the company develops, markets and sells innovative products. SmartGurlz Partners include BlackGirlsCode, Girl Scouts of America and DigitalGirl Inc.

Sharmi was recently named AdWeek’s 2017 Disruptor Award, in Championing Gender Diversity in Advertising and Tech. She has also been named Women Entrepreneur of the Year 2018 by the Asian Chamber of Commerce. She is a Morgan Stanley Multicultural Innovation Lab fellow.

She has been featured in TEDx, Forbes, Huffington Post, Financial Times, Fox Business News, Fox and Friends, and CNN.

SmartGurlz was featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, November 2017, where Sharmi battled more than 40,000 companies to get placed. On air, she battled celebrity sharks including Sir Richard Branson, Mark Cuban, and closed a deal with Daymond John.

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