Labbox | EdTech Investment Opportunity | Founder Interview
Before the business plan, financial forecast and investment rounds, there was an idea. What is the idea that fueled the founder of Labbox?
The business plan and financial forecast are a great guide when evaluating a business. However, if this is the first time you are hearing about a startup, it might be good to get some context first. From now on, we will announce every upcoming campaign with an introductory interview with the founder(s) that focuses on 4 key questions. This short but powerful article is meant to shed light on an upcoming investment opportunity via SeedBlink.
Today we are talking about Labbox, whose crowdinvesting campaign goes live on Thursday, September 16, at 10am EET.
Hi Arta! What's happening in EdTech? What are the key trends?
Parents today are looking for ways to engage their children in educational activities as much as possible. With the boom of smartphones, tablets and overall screen usage, the problems of how their children spend their time at home are becoming more difficult to solve. For many parents, it's hard to be creative on a daily basis and find the energy to think of new things to do with their kids at home.
STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) is trending in itself, and many parents (an estimated 90% of parents believe STEM skills are crucial for their children, based on the Nest Next .Gen. Reports) are aware of the need to expose children to STEM activities, and Labbox is at the heart of this trend. We are also capitalizing on the trend of parents preferring products with educational value, and we believe that because of Labbox's unique point of view, we are building a household brand that will be the go-to destination for STEM activities.
What problem is Labbox solving?
Labbox aims to introduce children to the real world of electronics and technology as early as possible. Based on our testing and general educational advice regarding child development, the best age to start engineering from an inventor's perspective is age 8. At this time, mathematical thinking is developing strongly and children have an understanding of basic mathematical functions that, when compared to how electronics work, have a similar level of difficulty (at least the basics). Engineering is applied math if you think about it, and electronics and engineering update math and teach how the world works from a unique perspective. By learning and practicing engineering activities, children not only begin to enjoy the magic of creation, but they also develop critical skills in the process. This form of thinking takes children far in life.
In today's job market, more and more engineers are needed in all technical disciplines. An estimated 75% of jobs in the next 10 years will require STEM skills. This is another strong argument that children still need to be exposed to these types of activities today.
The absurd thing about the whole education system in many countries is that the relationship between what is taught in school and reality is no longer true. Schools are still operating with a curriculum that is an iteration of a basic curriculum that was created decades ago and has never been reformed in a way that makes technology a core subject. I think it's critical today to teach kids how to be engineers because technology is becoming more advanced and is becoming an integral part of our daily lives. And raising a generation of children who are not familiar with the basics of engineering is really absurd and harmful to the new generation.
How did you come to found Labbox and what is your motivation?
Before we founded Labbox, Fiona and I were thinking about this problem, so we built one of the first STEM academies, jCoders Academy. In jCoders we developed curricula to teach kids how to create games, apps, electronic devices and design. We developed an experience that gives kids the skills they need to understand how technology is built and do it themselves. At jCoders, we have always been very happy with the tools we have had available to us as an educational institution to help kids get started with programming and design. A great example of this is tools that allow for block-based programming, which removes difficulties in syntax and allows logic to be developed. However, in the field of electronics, the companies that offer better tools have taken it too far. They have developed systems that are more like plug and play and do not give kids the opportunity to understand the basic concepts that make up electronics.
We created Labbox in response to the need for tools that focus on learning the fundamentals of technology, with an emphasis on electronics that encompasses mechanical, electronic, and programming experiences, and that give kids and parents a convenient entry point into this learning experience through our subscription service.
Labbox has developed the right tools to help kids learn technology!
The opportunity to transform children's lives today and guide them to skills that will allow them to maximize their potential in the future is something that drives us from our core beliefs. We are working on this problem because we believe that a solution on this front will help both parents and schools change many lives. Working on this front is not only challenging but extremely rewarding.
What makes Labbox so special? Why you in particular?
From the beginning, Labbox has been focused on building a solution that focuses on learning. While it's true that there are many electronic kits out there that promise to teach kids how to use technology, essentially these products just provide an assembly experience that does not involve a learning journey, and never explain to kids how these 'toys' and 'projects' work. While this can be fun, they end up feeling more like a magic trick than a learning experience and do not provide the sense of empowerment you get when you solve a problem. With Labbox, we have developed new tools, an entire library of electronics designed specifically for learning, and a curriculum that allows kids and parents with no prior experience to create electronics projects and take them to the next level. We solve the problem by starting from the first principles, so Labbox is a unique solution! I am excited to share that after testing our products with kids, we have seen accelerated experimentation and a clear understanding of electronics and engineering in kids as young as 8 years old.
Why us. We are a team that has the skills and experience to develop a very effective solution to help children learn how to engineer. We are engineers with a passion for engineering and education, and we have spent the last 6 years working with children. Our entrepreneurial thinking, engineering skills, design and extensive experience in education make us the right team to build a company that will hopefully change the lives of millions of children in the future.
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By Bianca Iulia Simion
PublishedSeptember 14, 2021