100%

funded

Total loan: $9,500

Omar

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Hermosa Beach, CA, United States / Services

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A loan helped a minority-owned business build a sales team to launch a remote learning product during COVID-19.


Omar's story

Since grad school (and later in high school and undergrad), I've wanted to take things apart to build something better, faster, more intricate. To do it, I needed tools that let me work on electronics at home and during my own hours, but we could never afford them. I barely had a functioning voltmeter, and we were never going to be able to afford the $1000s needed for standard equipment (oscilloscopes, instrument panels, power supplies, specialized meters, etc.). For those interested in electrical hardware projects, and especially those unable to afford the rising education costs, the deck is badly stacked. I started undergrad terrified that I didn't have enough to pay tuition, and finances have been a constant struggle throughout my educational career. And yet I am privileged, having completed multiple degrees (including a Doctorate) in Electrical Engineering, with over 16 years of R&D and industry experience across 6 countries, leadership roles in 3 startups (previously as the Director of Powertrain Engineering for electric aircraft), numerous technical roles prior to that in established firms, 7 patents, and 16 refereed publications. I also volunteer as a reviewer for 12 IEEE publications and my work has been featured in 6 newspaper and magazine articles. With that wealth of experience behind me, I decided to develop our first product to do my part in making life easier for the electronics creators who come after me, the leaders who have mentored me, and anyone else who would dare to ask: "How can I make this better, and how can I afford to build it?!"