Gitanjali Rao, America's top young scientist of 2017, nabs another $25,000 for lead-detection invention

Gitanjali Rao wowed the world when she was awarded $25,000 and the title of "America's top young scientist" in January for her invention, a lead-detection device inspired by the water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

Just three weeks later, the 11-year-old scientist has doubled her funding.

The 7th grader took to the stage at the 2018 MAKERS Conference on Tuesday to pitch the Tethys device and provide an update on her next steps, which include making her device more compact and partnering with Denver Water to perform tests requiring instrumentation like interference and false positives.

See photos of Gitanjali Rao and her invention, Tethys:

So impressed were members of the audience, that founder of Crisis Text Line Nancy Lubin and venture capitalist Ann Miura-Ko pulled Rao back on stage and urged her to ask for capital.

"You have all these people here! You forgot to ask for funding!" Miura-Ko said.

"She has a prototype that you saw. She has to go through a lot of experimentation. We are not starting until this room raises $25,000," Lubin continued, facing the crowd.

And it didn't take long. Shelley Zalis, CEO of The Female Quotient and MAKERS Board of Directors member, immediately sprung up and pledged the whole sum.

"I hope to make it commercially available in the next year so that it's in everybody's hands," Rao said one month ago.

Thanks to her new investor, the young founder is a step closer to her goal.

See the moment Rao raised $25,000 below: