We had the good fortune of connecting with Justin “Mr. Fascinate” Shaifer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justin “Mr. Fascinate”, every day, we about how much execution matters, but we think ideas matter as well. How did you come up with the idea for your business?
I majored in Marine and Environmental Science in college, and I ended up doing pretty well. I graduated with the highest GPA in my department. Despite my success, I felt a constant loneliness. In every internship, scholarship, or research opportunity I was presented with, I was almost always the only black person. Frustrated, I pivoted into a career in technology, only to experience the same lack of diversity.
Finally, I had this radical idea- that advocating for careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was meant to be a full-time career. Many of my colleagues considered themselves STEM advocates, but few if any made money doing so.
I finally concluded that building a brand around STEM advocacy, Mr. Fascinate, would enable me to partner with major companies and educational institutions and reach millions of students, educators and businesses across the world. I was able to use this knowledge to create an effective business model, and I continue to refine it over time.
I am excited for the future of Fascinate Sci LLC. As we continue to provide access to STEM education for hundreds of thousands!
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
The most unique part of my business is that it’s centered around creating a perception of STEM that young people can aspire to. I am most excited about future TV projects that are in cue, as I believe they will elevate my brand to new heights. I got to my current position in business by being extremely persistent and having a clearly defined vision for where I’d like to be and how my business was going to bring in revenue. To date, this is the hardest thing I’ve done- but that’s the great thing about building a brand! After you get through the hard part, it gets easier! I want the world to know that every kid in the world growing up today can have STEM as a real part of the future. STEM is no longer for the geeky and super-analytical among us- there are high-paying jobs for people with all varieties of skills and talents!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I’d take a friend to Santa Monica, show them some of the beaches out in Malibu, and probably take them on one of the touristy hikes like Runyon Canyon. I’d take them to a Mexican food truck and hopefully change their life with the food! I think it’s amazing how much (tasty) healthy food is appreciated in Los Angeles. I’ve lived in Chicago, New York City, and Washington DC, and this is definitely the most healthy I’ve ever eaten in my life!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to give major credit to the STEM Success Summit Team. This is a dynamic group of STEM superstars that all come from diverse backgrounds that have kept me motivated at both my lowest and highest moments in my business. They are business partners, allies, and most importantly, they are family!