Sunny Washington: Launching Curiosity

Lolly BowlerMaking the Grade: Utah works to improve its marks in STEM education Utah Business May 8, 2018News

Sunny Washington knows all about momentum. After leaving the banking industry following 9/11, Washington turned her focus to tech and has continued to move forward ever since.

Working with educational tech companies like Instructure and Certiport, she developed a passion for STEM education, especially experiences that give students real-life science knowledge. This led to the creation of her company Because Learning—formerly Ardusat—in 2014. Jumping into the startup world, Washington was astounded by the magnitude of fundraising she had to do to get financing for her company.

“There are so many challenges as a startup: getting customers, getting traction and finding venture capital. It’s even more difficult for women, which has become more apparent to me,” she says. “Women get 7 percent of venture capital funds, and that number is getting smaller and smaller.”

As a woman of color, she finds that percentage is even lower—just .2 percent, according to a recent CrunchBase Women in Venture report. Washington is a first-generation American. Her parents came to the United States from Seoul, South Korea, raising their family in Orem. She lived in Europe during her teenage years but returned to Utah County to attend Brigham Young University.

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