4th January, 2017

Tech will Save Us!

By Matt J

Morning Bethany, thanks for meeting with us. We love what you guys are trying to achieve and I know our readers would like to hear more about what you do. Firstly...

Can you explain to our readers what the vision of Tech will Save Us is?

In 2012, I co-founded Technology Will Save Us, a business that instigates 21st century learning - in the classroom and around the kitchen table - through its well-designed DIY Gadget Kits for everyday life. It was based on a radical premise: what if kids could build the technology they use, and learn more about technology in the process? We created the (now iconic) kits and the most accessible, fun way for kids, families, and educators to learn, play, and invent with technology.

Our mission is to inspire the creative imagination of young people with hands on technology and to build the most accessible and entertaining brand for the creator generation. Being customer focussed and experience obsessed is at the centre of everything we do.

And where has that vision taken you so far?

For us, design means putting users at the centre of our product development process. All of our kits and digital tools are created with a user-centred process that involves kids and parents at every stage from ideation all the way through to home, park and play testing.This is especially true for our latest kit, The Mover. After testing our prototypes with over 300 kids, we learned that kids love technology that is portable, reactive and open-ended. This allows them to be engaged and active, while having fun.

We’re not a single product start-up, our kits are for everyone from 4-100. We make an ecosystem of kits and digital experiences that support a tech learning journey though different ages and abilities. We’re also more accessible and priced in a way that allows all kids to get hands on creating with technology, all of our competitors are priced at over £100, our kits start at £25.

We’ve been awarded some incredible recognitions, the Museum of Modern Art in New York acquired our Gamer Kit for their permanent collection ‘Humble Masterpieces’. We were selected as part of the permanent collection displayed in the newly built London Design Museum. We’ve won Gold Parents’ Choice awards for 2 of our best selling kits, the Gamer and Electro Dough kits. Our newest kit, the Mover Kit, has already won a D&AD Graphite Impact Pencil and a Fast Company innovation by design award. Our company was also recognised as the ‘Best Hardware Startup of the year (2016)’ at the Europas.

Bethany Koby

How do you feel that we can best empower young people to start taking on problems which might seem, at first, quite daunting to them?

Around 65% of children in school today will have a job that doesn’t currently exist, we want to equip them with all the tools they need to be prepared for these roles. The creative tech toy space finally offers kids the opportunity to make, code and invent with toys. Our aim is to spearhead this sector, Technology Will Save Us is dedicated to empowering kids with technology and unlocking their creative potential.

Our readers are generally tutors, teachers, educators and parents, many of whom might be intimidated themselves by the technologies their children use, or that are needed to teach them. What are your top tips for reluctant educators out there?

There are so many wonderful resources cropping up, we think empowering parents and educators to support the inner maker in kids is hugely important. Giving young people and adults access to real practitioners and entrepreneurs in tech is really transformative. Our kits are for people aged 4 - 100. We want Tech Will Save Us to be the gateway for millions of families to become creators of technology around the kitchen table, in a classroom, in a field, makerspace, after school club - anywhere and everywhere.

Finally, aside from yourselves are there any other sites or companies who you think are helping children to fully develop their potential in this area?

There are so many wonderful people working together in this space, people like Toca Boca, Cubetto and so many more! 

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