Build a strong team and don’t rush recruitment

TechSpaghetti: Hey Monster! English for Kids

Please introduce yourself and your TechSpaghetti to our readers!
We are co-founders Leah Hinton and Elliot Tabachnik, both from New Zealand.

How did you get the idea to TechSpaghetti?
Leah was teaching at a leading international school in Berlin when Elliot came along to a “red carpet screening” of some films made by children in her Digital Arts program. We got talking about using technology to make this sort of innovative education available to kids everywhere. Later that year we released a movie maker-app for kids that was quite successful, but when we analysed our users and their behaviours we realised people were actually using our movie-maker to teach their kids English! It was then that we pivoted into English language learning apps, and we have just released “Hey Monster” English for Kids”.

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
Resourcing has always been a big challenge. In the beginning Leah was teaching full time while Elliot worked full-time on TechSpaghetti. Then after that 9 to 5 day we would come together and work another 6 hours on the startup each day. It was very draining! As a two person founding team with teaching and business backgrounds we’ve had to upskill continuously. Elliot taught himself how to code and Leah taught herself mobile marketing.

Who is your target audience?
Our target audience are parents of non-English speaking 4 to 8 year old children.

What is the USP of your startup?
Most digital English language learning products are for preschoolers or adults. We fill the under-serviced 4 to 8 year old age range.
Our method is also something that sets us apart from other language learning apps. With “Hey Monster! English for Kids” children learn by participating in story creation. They learn words by interacting with them to make elements of a story, then experience the words in the context of the story they have helped make. It’s super creative and engaging for kids.
We have also built proprietary software that allows us to produce and deliver weekly subscription content without our users requiring app updates.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
At the moment we are part of the Axel Springer Plug and Play accelerator program, so our workday is suddenly very different. As well as our normal product development, marketing and content production activities, we are now juggling workshops and other accelerator activities in preparation for our seed round.

Where do you see yourself and your startup in five years?
Our goal is to be the global leader in digital English language learning for children.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Build a strong team and don’t rush recruitment.
To be effective founders and managers you need to upskill yourself in all areas of your business. You can learn anything from the internet – fill your own gaps.
Find effective and dedicated mentors early on.

Thank you Leah Hinton and Elliot Tabachnik for the Interview

Statements of the author and the interviewee do not necessarily represent the editors and the publisher opinion again.

Sabine Elsässer

Sabine Elsässer is founder and chief editor of the StartupValleyNews Magazine. She started her career at several international direct sale companys. Since 2007 she works main time as a journalist. While that time she learned more about the Startup Scene, what made her start her own Startup Magazine the StartupValleyNews.

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