Suz Somersall, founder of KiraKira, received the inaugural Kathryne Carr Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence on 16 November 2016, in recognition of her commitment and service to the larger community in developing an online platform for engaging girls in engineering and design.
The award, which includes a grant of at least $25,000, was created in 2015 in memory of Kathryne “Kathy” Carr—the first director of the i.Lab Incubator Program.
Somersall first founded Suz Somersall Designs, producing 3-D modeled jewelry that was featured in a variety of business and fashion outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, InStyle, Real Simple and MarieClaire.
She then converted this passion for engineering and design to found KiraKira, an online community and platform designed to inspire and prepare the next generation of innovators, makers, designers and architects. The platform teaches and enables students to create virtual and physical products using CAD software.
KiraKira was selected to participate in Intel's Education Accelerator program and has partnered with HP, Autodesk and True Ventures on a MakerStudio in San Francisco’s Ghirardelli Square (featured in the San Francisco Chronicle). Somersall was honored as one of Fast Company's Most Creative People of 2017, and the company has been featured in such outlets as Entrepreneur and Inc. magazine.