Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

On the Job: Anastasia Miliano ’10 Th’11, COO at Bitsbox

Interview by Theresa D’Orsi


Anastasia Miliano. Photograph by Aidan Chopra.

What started out as an offer to help launch a Kickstarter campaign for a kids coding product quickly grew into a full-time gig for Anastasia Miliano ’10 Th’11. Three years on, the COO, based in Boulder, Colo., enjoys delivering a subscription service that “kids can use as a jumping off point for their own ideas,” raves Tech Age Kids.

What does Bitsbox offer?
Bitsbox delivers insanely fun app-building projects to thousands of kids all over the world. We print the projects on beautiful books, trading cards, stickers, and (sometimes) whoopee cushions. The boxes build on each other, introducing a new coding concept each month. Kids take the projects they receive and type the simplified Javascript code in on our website. From the very first box, we encourage kids to modify and hack the projects to make the apps their own. Our goal is ultimately to teach kids to love coding, because coding is about making stuff, and making stuff is empowering and important. (Shout out to the machine shop!)

What might you work on during a typical week?
We’re a team of nine, so I wear a lot of hats. Right now, I bounce back and forth between operations and product. On the product side, I write the fun apps that kids build as they learn to code. Operationally, I handle all the logistics of making sure our customers receive their Bitsboxes every month—from working with box manufacturers and printing facilities to overseeing our fulfillment center and customer support team.

How has your Thayer background informed your approach to product development?
Thayer taught me how to deliver products. Startups (and students) have incredibly limited resources—time, money, connections, etc. We have a unique challenge at Bitsbox in that we’re still figuring out how to best teach coding. We’re constantly altering our product offering—number of apps, which concepts come when, what type of support to provide—while we’re still delivering boxes to subscribers who have been with us since the beginning. My Thayer education was invaluable in teaching me to identify the highest-priority problems to tackle.
 

Categories: Alumni News, On the Job

Tags: alumni, entrepreneurship

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