This is the fourth installment in an interview series with the 2021 Target Forward Founders cohort. Participating companies are sharing details about their innovative companies in their own words. All interviews have been conducted by the Target Forward Founders Program Management team.
Meet In KidZ Co.
About the CEO/founder, Dr. Zabina Bhasin.
Dr. Zabina Bhasin is a South Asian American child psychiatrist, Cornell-educated diversity and inclusion (DEI) expert, and the founder of In KidZ Co., a company dedicated to helping parents and schools created globally conscious citizens through play, learning, and activity boxes that have been widely recognized in the media and parenting organizations. Dr. Zee, as she’s affectionately called, is a woman building a business – and movement – dedicated to stopping hate and teaching kids and families to learn about and celebrate our differences. As a child growing up Sikh and South Asian in a world that wasn’t always used to people who were immediately recognizable as different – from the way her family looked to their customs – she was bullied throughout school. This experience helps her empathize and impact others in a very special way. Based on the belief that cultural differences unite us rather than divide us, Dr. Zee creates engaging resources that make understanding DE&I simple for anyone. As a first-generation American, Dr. Bhasin grew up surrounded by diversity and inclusion. As a mom of two and a physician, Dr. Zee’s goal to make DEI & Belonging a normal and a daily part of life. It was not till she had children of her own, realized how few resources there were to help educate kids about the beauty of the different world cultures. As Dr. Zee saw, other parents struggled to navigate that delicate balance between traditional and Western lifestyles. She knew she had to shift her focus away from her career as a physician and hospital administrator. She lives by her mother’s motto & in KidZ mission, “We are more similar than we are different. Our differences make us unique, but they do not separate us.” Though just over a year old, Dr. Zee and the company’s dedication to diversity & inclusion have been celebrated regularly in the media, including Good Morning America, NBC, ABC, FOX, Red Tricycle, Today Parenting, & Huffington Post.
Dr. Zabina Bhasin: Our Company is missing the knowledge of mass retail, which may entail manufacturing, distribution, fulfillment, or sourcing products. We know what we know, but we need to learn what we don’t, and with this program, we know we are receiving knowledge from some of the best mentors. In KidZ needs to learn about retail channel distribution and create an action plan to grow and scale In KidZ Co.
Dr. Zabina Bhasin: While a few companies create wonderful products to teach geography with crafts and worldly toys, In KidZ focuses on developing globally conscious, culturally aware citizens through play, learning, and activity boxes. Our mission is to teach children to respect differences; our differences make us unique but do not separate us. In today’s world, we see more prejudice towards one another daily. Our mission is to create a better future for the next generation and show them through play that we can have a diverse world where we accept all people equally. We want to create a diverse, inclusive, and equitable society truly. We have come up with 5 ways to teach children; understand the problem, educate them and their families, work with ambassadors and experts, and actively create toys and products that engage children and provide resources to promote social equality. In Kidz focuses on all the parameters to promote growth within the child. We are building a business – and movement – dedicated to stopping hate and teaching kids and families to learn about and celebrate our differences. We have created social justice campaigns to Stop Hate just in time for Back to School 2021.
Dr. Zabina Bhasin: This is a wonderful opportunity to create a partnership with founders, mentors, and Target. We would like to learn how to grow In KidZ Co. into the leading company that promotes cultural awareness, across the globe. We need to learn how to be financially successful, without compromising on product quality and be able to stay focused on our mission.
About the Founders, Benito Salazar Jr. and Corina Zarate.
Corina Zarate is the co-founder of Remember Me, The Card Game, a conversation-starter game with the mission to get people to share more about themselves and have fun while doing it. Growing up, she was shy, creative, and an innovator – qualities that she still embraces today and what led her to create this game. “When I was in middle school, I always thought there was something wrong with me because I would see people having conversations, and I felt like I couldn’t do the same. I would overthink everything I was going to say, and I preferred to keep it all in.” Over the years, she experienced a lot of personal growth by purposely stepping out of her comfort zone and meeting new people. “I truly don’t think I will ever “arrive” at a place where I’ve had all the conversations and know everything there is to know about someone. That’s why this game means so much to me.” The card game takes interactions further than a usual conversation and the instructions create a space for players to learn random things about each other that would’ve otherwise been unnoticed. “My goal is that Remember Me is played in more homes and creates stronger connections between families and friends. We have a lot more about us to be discovered, and it’s a beautiful thing to see how telling our stories can bring us closer together.”
TT: Describe Remember Me, The Card Game in one sentence.
Benito & Corina: Remember Me is a card game for people to get to know each other better through genuine conversations.
Benito & Corina: We thought of and selected 200 question and action cards that allow people to share their story, perspective, and a piece of themselves. Our cards make players laugh, reflect, and empathize with others. But we’re not just a questions game; we’re an ice-breaker game that tests a player’s listening and memory skills; at the end of each round, the winner is the player who remembers the most responses correctly. The unique questions/action cards, the competitive element in our instructions, and the fact that you have to listen to win are mainly what makes us different. We’re focused on allowing groups of 4-6 people to get to know each other comfortably, respectfully, and in an unbiased way.
Benito & Corina: We’re a couple of historically under-represented founders with a product that will bring people together, like the old times, to talk about things they never really talk about. We’re beyond excited for the opportunity to work with, learn from, and connect with industry-disrupting leaders, Target decision-makers, and other founders in this program. We would love for this program to be a jumpstart into the wonderful retail world and see our game on the shelves at Target one day.