Meeting Space

New Kent Robotics is excited to announce a partnership with New Elam Baptist Church! This wonderful assembly is opening its facilities for our FTC team to hold regular meetings. New Elam Baptist is a historic church minutes from the New Kent Courthouse on Cumberland Road. The meeting space they have offered is spacious, giving us room to spread out as needed during meetings. They have also offered several options for material storage between meetings. We are all excited to see what can be accomplished with the blessing of this partnership!

First Meeting

We held our first team meeting today, and it was AWESOME! We had 9 future engineers working on their first creation together, a little robot we named “Bambi” Before we left, everyone had a chance to drive it for just a little bit. What a great time we had!

Coach #2

New Kent Robotics is proud to announce the addition of coach #2 to our team, Coach Tim!

Originally from Long Island, NY (but don’t hold that against him) Tim Relyea is a Technical Support Engineer with ABB in Richmond, VA.  He earned his  Associate of Science from S.U.N.Y. Farmingdale, Farmingdale, NY, and Bachelor of Science,Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY.  Prior to school, he spent 4 years in the US Army where he jumped out of airplanes (perfectly good ones) and played with automatic weapons and high explosives.

Prior to ABB, Tim was a Customer Support Engineer in the Semiconductor industry installing and maintaining semiconductor capital equipment.  He also worked in the UPS industry (Uninterruptible Power Supplies) installing and maintaining Rotary UPS equipment, as well as Static Switches, Power Distribution Units and Remote Power Panels.

Tim’s son Caleb Relyea is a founding team member of New Kent Robotics.  He is entering the 7th Grade at New Kent Middle School.  When he is not building his world in Minecraft, he enjoys creating things with Legos (and pretty much anything else he can get his hands on), as well as creating games in Scratch.

Both Tim and Caleb are super excited to be a part of the New Kent Robotics team and are looking forward to the inaugural season!

Business matters

The past week has been quite busy, even if the items are not flashy.

First, we received our response from the Virginia State Corporation Commission.  They were responding to the Articles of Incorporation for New Kent Robotics which were filed on July 1, and we received our certificate.  We are officially a corporation authorized to transact business in Virginia!

Next, we applied for our EIN (Employer Identification Number) with the IRS.  Even though we do not have any employees, this is an important step with regards our 501c3 status.  I did have some trouble deciding on the correct “entity type” for New Kent Robotics, and in fact, the next day I was convinced I had made the wrong choice.  Luckily, a CPA friend assured me we filed the form correctly.  The response from the IRS was immediate, and we received our EIN: #84-2418665.

Armed with our business plan, our articles of incorporation, SCC certificate, and new EIN – I went to the bank to open a business checking account.  The folks at C&F could not have been any nicer or easier to work with!  Within a few days, I even received a debit card for purchases (of course, we need some money in the account first!)

Lastly, I have created an account with Stripe, a company I have previous experience with that can process online credit card transactions.  In my experience, some sponsors will be much more eager to support a robotics team if they have the convenience of donating with a credit card.  We will also be able to accept activity fees from families who want the convenience as well.  I am still working on the donations page, but should have it up very soon.

Again, none of this progress is flashy, but all of it is very important to being able to successfully carry out our mission.  We are still working on securing meeting space, and hopefully I will have an announcement about that on Friday.