Robots that Teach Coding Skills

Company Information



Robotics, Toys & Games


Arlington, VA

SmartGurlz sells a line of robots designed to teach young girls how to code.

This company has raised more than $2.7 million to date, and its investors include Morgan Stanley and NYU.

By using a series of software programs, kids learn coding skills to power and control robotic “dolls.” Kids then use these robots to complete digital games and missions, helping them gain an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).

In the midst of Covid-19, SmartGurlz’ Smart Buddies remote learning program was named one of the best STEM Camps. The company has brought in more than $2 million in revenue throughout the pandemic.

SmartGurlz is in talks with NASA to introduce new products based around Mars exploration. It’s also signed a contract to help develop a new animated television series for kids.

Team Background

Sharmi Albrechtsen - Co-Founder & CEO

Sharmi has more than 20 years’ experience in STEM, specifically as a director of learning, communication, and marketing.

Before starting SmartGurlz, she served as Communications Manager for Ferring Pharmaceuticals and Head of Communication for Sonion, a company producing hearing aid instruments.

She was instrumental in getting SmartGurlz chosen as a participant on ABC’s “Shark Tank” television show, and was recently nominated to AdWeek’s top 37 women “Who Are Disrupting the Status Quo and Championing Gender Diversity in Advertising and Tech.”

Sharmi earned a Bachelor’s degree from Temple University and an MBA from Copenhagen Business School.

Jesper Nissen - Co-Founder & CTO

Jesper is a longtime engineer and industrial designer who has been instrumental in helping three tech companies achieve successful exits.

He has more than 20 years’ experience in research and development, engineering, production, and logistics.

Prior to starting SmartGurlz, Jesper served as Executive Vice President of Global Operations for Teledyne industrial technology company. This company acquired Reson, where Jesper previously served as VP of Global Operations.

He formerly served as Chief Operating Officer for Kaleido Technology, an electronics manufacturer that was acquired by Millpond.

In addition, Jesper spent nearly 10 years in various senior roles with Phase One digital photography company.

He earned an MBA from Copenhagen Business School.

Siri Lackovic - Chief Marketing Officer

Siri is the former Vice President of Blue Prism marketing company.

In addition, she spent more than 14 years at Adobe computer software company, serving in roles including Brand Manager and Senior Brand Strategist.

Siri earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Radford University.

Martin Pidel - VP of Sales & Business Development

Martin brings more than 20 years’ experience in the toy industry to SmartGurlz.

He was formerly Vice President of Global Brand at Hasbro, and Executive Vice President of International at LeapFrog. While with these companies, he introduced brands to retailers around the world, and brokered licensing deals with television studios.

Martin brought hundreds of toys to the market, including Big Hugs Elmo, voted “Pre-school Toy of the Year” in 2014.

He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and an MBA from Schiller International University.

Rob Perry - VP Online Sales

Before joining SmartGurlz, Rob served as an online sales director for Nintendo video game company.

He has a background in digital marketing, specializing in social media and search engine optimization.

$121K (48%)
Current Valuation
$9 million
Min. Investment
Deal Type
Title III
(For all investors)
Offering Type
Finance History
  • $700K
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