Dan Taglia was a senior photographer when his company sent him to cover a high-school robotics competition it has sponsored. “I was with my 12-year-old son and he asked if there was anything like this for kids his age,” Taglia recalls. “I checked it out, and there wasn’t.”
Taglia had experience writing curriculum as a college-level instructor, and he had been a Boy Scout leader for several years. “I took a week of my summer vacation and created a summer camp in Lego robotics at my church,” Taglia says. “I put out road signs and the class filled. The next summer, I did it again for two weeks.”
Taglia’s camp grew into an after-school program, and when he got laid off from his photography job, he seized the opportunity to develop the American Robotics Academy into a full-time business endeavor. Young robotics enthusiasts can choose from a variety of programs and scheduling options.
Taglia made an appointment with SCORE and met Irwin Miller and Anil Prasad, who advised him over the course of six years on all aspects of small business. “Ask them anything you want,” he advises would-be SCORE clients. “Don’t be shy. Their main concern is your concerns.”