In the last post, you read about how the idea of Robo Wunderkind was born. This blog post is about how we brought the idea to life. From Viennese makerspaces, to factories in Shenzhen, China, to classrooms in Berkeley, California, where we tested our products with kids – the road to a finished product is never easy. But with a clear vision, passionate drive, and a talented team, we can attest that the journey is a lot less bumpy! Here’s how we made it happen.
After our founders teamed up and agreed on the vision (to make coding, STEM, and tech literacy a staple in modern education), it was time to create a prototype for Robo Wunderkind. The team of three already had a few ideas in mind, but those ideas had to be carefully tested before going out there to the market.
There are several ways to create a product, but if you’re a young company without a large existing capital, you need support from the outside. Furthermore, unless you already have a factory and a production team, you need to find one that would be able to make your product according to the highest standards, and at good conditions.
Basically, we had nothing but an idea and passion – and it was time to figure out how to make it happen.
On one of the startup events where we pitched the idea of Robo Wunderkind, the well-known angel investor Semyon Dukach, whose venture fund helps immigrant founders kick start their businesses, advised us to take part in an accelerator program ( a program that helps emerging startups get ahead with mentorship, funding, or both). So we did. And a few weeks later, we were sitting on a plane to Shenzhen, China. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s the Silicon Valley of hardware. (No big deal, right?!)
The advantage of being a part of the HAX accelerator program was being located inside a district that dealt almost exclusively with the production of electronics. It was packed with factories and departments that were prototyping heaven for all enthusiasts. All those shiny components made us feel like kids in a candy store! It also meant we got to meet other startups teams and mentors who inspired us, advised us, and generally just propelled the mission further ahead. We were elated.
One of the lessons we learned is that it’s absolutely key to find a good factory and to get to know the people working in it to make sure you’re all on the same page and working to bring alive the same vision. It’s key to your hardware being a success, and so we spend a good amount of time looking for the perfect match. Once we found reliable partners, we were able to manufacture the first prototypes of Robo Wunderkind, and we held our invention in our arms for the first time. It was instant love, but we knew that we had to do more in order to make Robo Wunderkind become the product of our vision.
We knew the next step was to make sure everyone else falls in love with Robo Wunderkind as well.
We traveled to Berkeley, USA, where we tested Robo Wunderkind with kids at the School of the Madeleine. Watching how young students interacted with our robots and apps, seeing what they can achieve with them, and just overall their contagious curiosity made us sure we were on the right track.
Since then, we have tested both our physical product and our app rigorously in dozens of schools worldwide. Most of all, we needed to make sure that our products are doing what they’re meant to – teaching and making sure the aspect of fun would be an integral part of STEM education. That meant studying children and their developmental stages, making sure our tools were appropriate, and that they triggered the right brain activity while also being fun to play with. Testing our product was (and remains) one of the most important and rewarding parts of creating Robo Wunderkind, which was decisive in terms of the impact it does on children.
After we had a product we were ready to hit the market with, we decided to start a Kickstarter campaign to get enough funding. Although unsure about what to expect from our very first crowdfunding experience, in the end, we received support from backers from more than 60 countries. By the end of the campaign, we raised over 246 thousand dollars from people who believed in our mission and helped it become reality. During our Kickstarter campaign, we also got an incredible chance to pitch Robo Wunderkind at the TechCrunch Disrupt stage, as part of the Startup Battlefield competition in San Francisco. Getting there, having just an idea and a prototype in our hands, empowered us, opened our minds to many new ideas, and helped to raise funding – the attention of the biggest tech media was glued to this event.
With this incredible support, we were able to complete our first generation product and shipped the first pieces to our supporters in December 2017. Their feedback was immeasurable to the further development and optimization of Robo Wunderkind. Since then, two other generations have been created. We ran another Kickstarter campaign in 2019. Robo Wunderkind is now a reality and is being used successfully and with great acclaim in schools across Europe, the USA, Southeast Asia, and more. Plus, thousands of parents got Robo Wunderkind for their kids, either as gifts or as homeschooling tools.
Our mission is gaining traction.
Stay tuned for the next blog post to find out about how we grew our team, secured top partnerships, and what lies ahead of Robo Wunderkind.
Join us on our mission of bringing fun and creative tech education to classrooms and homes worldwide. Visit our blog to discover plenty of resources about education, and follow our social media channels to stay updated about the latest news.