Step inside most freshman dorm rooms and you’ll find stacks of books, piles of laundry, and maybe a Bob Dylan poster or two. Those who entered Sara Sakowitz’s 100-square-foot room in Furnald Hall, however, were more likely to find a small erupting volcano or an assemblage of weird smells.
“Any one day someone could walk in and I would be trying to prototype a science experiment or working on box designs,” said Sakowitz (CC’18).
Within months of her first day at Columbia in 2014, Sakowitz, a double major in psychology and German, started her first business, Blue Moon Box, a monthly science kit subscription service that delivers experiments straight to children’s homes.
She had the opportunity to pitch it to Shark Tank founder Kevin O’Leary on Good Morning America, where he provided “some great feedback” from himas well as a trophy with a gold shark on it. In 2016, Blue Moon Box won first prize and $25,000 in the Columbia Venture Competition #StartupColumbia Challenge.