Startup Canada Podcast Ep.152: Breaking barriers in STEM with Vanessa Vakharia

vanessa varkeria

What does it look like to turn your struggles and frustrations into achievements?

For the math guru Vanessa Vakharia, the lessons learned from failing ultimately became what drove her to succeed.

“It started when I failed math, and for me personally, failing and going through the journey of being successful, math became a means to instill confidence and empowerment.”

Vakharia is the founder and director of The Math Guru, specializing in teenage engagement in mathematics education, with a focus on encouraging young women to pursue STEM-related fields.

Vakharia is reinventing media representations of women as they intersect with math, travelling globally to engage audiences with her workshop, “Imagining a world where Kim Kardashian loves math,” encouraging teenagers and teachers to re-interpret and re-invent traditional stereotypes of what it means to be a “math person.”

In this week’s #StartupPodcast, host Rivers Corbett talks to Vanessa about being a math hater and how she used this frustration to create an inspiring learning space that empowers young teenagers through math.

The Startup Canada Podcast Show is a production of Startup Canada, a grassroots, entrepreneur-led movement to bring together, celebrate, and give a voice to Canada’s entrepreneurship community. On the podcast, award-winning entrepreneur host Rivers Corbett speaks with the movers and shakers of Canada’s entrepreneurship community to give a glimpse into the future of business, and share insights on everything from social innovation to the future of work, investing, and why we need to think bigger to take our businesses global. Join Rivers Corbett for new episodes every Tuesday airing at 10 AM ET for lessons, trends, and opportunities in entrepreneurship from Vancouver to Fredericton; and Israel to Peru.

You can find every episode of The Startup Canada Podcast Show at


Startup Canada

Startup Canada is a grassroots network of entrepreneurs working together to build an environment for entrepreneurship in Canada.

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