Sales pitches for products that aim to teach a new generation to learn to code arrive thick and fast in the inbox, these days. But one of the most polished entrants in this burgeoning space remains U.K. startup Kano, which Kickstarted its startup coding kit business at the end of 2013 — raising around $1.5 million from geeky parents to get the ball rolling.
On Monday May 4 at 10.45am, in just under two weeks’ time, Kano co-founder Alex Klein will join us on stage at Disrupt NY to discuss the challenges of building a startup that involves so many pieces — literally pieces of hardware, software and even paper-based media (including, yes, actual physical stickers) are involved — so we’ll be asking about the supply chain, team and management logistics that keep all that from coming unstuck.
Kano leverages the Raspberry Pi microcomputer as a hardware base on which to build — constructing a coding kit that extends beyond fun, colorful plug-and-play electronics into a gamified, child-friendly Linux-based learning software environment where kids are encouraged to learn and share programming skills. The whole kit and kaboodle if you will.
Plus Kano’s primary hardware component, the Pi, recently got a big upgrade so we’re curious to see how the team is responding to the Pi Foundation’s own product evolution.
Meanwhile Kano has its own platform — the Kano OS software stack that runs on the Pi hardware — which it needs must flesh out into a rich ecosystem populated with third-party apps if it’s going to keep users engaged over the longer term. More challenges there. And more questions.
Delivering a crowdfunded hardware product without significant delays is no mean feat either. Klein will likely have some tips to share and be able to talk about post-Kickstarter strategies for keeping momentum going. After all the wider goal is turning a nascent first-gen product into a self-sustaining business. So what happens after that comfy crowdfunding cushion has been spent?