Frustrated by trying to find educational gifts for her pre-teen sister, Makeda Ricketts, a current MBA student at the University of Chicago and an alumna of Wellesley College, started PinkThink in 2013. PinkThink is an interest-oriented and peer-supported web and mobile platform that makes (S)cience, (T)echnology, (E)ngineering, and (M)ath education powerful, relevant, and engaging for girls. PinkThink is known for creating cStyle Bracelets, an innovative wearable that girls can code to change colors based on things like ambient light and body temperature.
PinkThink has won numerous awards and prizes for cStyle, including the Yale School of Management’s Education Business Plan Competition. Recently, Makeda also was named Maker of the Year by the International Ally Awards.
What inspires you?
Possibilities. In life, the idea that things can change inspires me to try and change them. I believe that anything is possible. Whenever I need motivation, I remind myself that I don’t know what tomorrow will bring but it might be something amazing! In business, I see those same possibilities when I work with girls. It is the idea that, if they feel encouraged and empowered, their future can be anything they want it to be. So the girls inspire me to keep trying to inspire them.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten?
“Ninety percent of success is showing up.” People often wonder what it takes to successfully start a business or just be successful in general. Show up, respond to emails, go to events, apply for the job, and just keep trying. It’s actually really hard to do on a consistent basis, but I try to pursue as many opportunities as I can. You never know if an opportunity will lead to success, but you miss 100 percent of the chances you never take. So show up! fw