Working in a start-up is dynamic

Wanderwatch combines the fun of interactive games with the good things of outdoor play

Please introduce yourself and your startup Wanderwatch to our readers!
Wanderwatch gets kids off the couch and back outdoors again. We do this with interactive outdoor play while combining the fun of interactive games with all the good aspects of outdoor play.
With the use of our innovative technology, outdoor play is fun, versatile, safe and meets the requirements of modern society. Research shows playing outdoors makes children smarter, healthier and happier.

Wanderwatch was founded by Anton de Nijs & Ellie Karssemakers.
Anton is the technical mastermind behind Wanderwatch. Ellie focuses on general management and marketing & sales.
They have a team with the best experts in their areas to support us. They both have an MBA, they have had serious careers before, also as an entrepreneur. Anton & Ellie are complementary and goal getters. And above all they are parents who understand the needs of other parents and we are passionate to make Wanderwatch a success.

How did you get the idea to Wanderwatch?
Actually, we got the idea from our own children. It was two years ago that I played outside with our children. And our son Jules was suddenly on the move and out of my sight. I got worried.
I think most parent recognise such a moment. Jules was soon back again. But it gave me the idea that with modern technology we could solve this problem.

I started exploring GPS trackers but I soon found out that there is no benefit for the child.
Next to that we experienced that children prefer all the interactive toys, like Ipads, videogames over outdoor play. We want to get them off the couch and get them outdoors.

And that is why we developed Wanderwatch as a whole new concept. We focus on benefits for children. Wanderwatch is fun for kids and provides piece of mind for parents.

We want to encourage all children to be like Jules, on the move!

How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
It is so much fun to start your own start-up and develop a solution that makes the world a bit better. The hardware- and software development required more time than estimated beforehand. The rollercoaster ride continues with the launch in The Netherlands end of last year and the launch in Austria this April.

Who is your target audience?
Our target group is children in the age of 5-11 years old and their parents.
We target B2C via retail, online retail and our own website. We also love to work with B2B. We do projects to get kids active with health institutions and big cities, we work with companies in kids leisure and we would like to expand to schools and day care organizations as well to kids hotels and museums.

What is the USP of your startup?
Wanderwatch is the first to introduce outdoor interactive play. Wanderwatch combines the fun of interactive games with the good things of outdoor play.

What is the fun of a GPS tracker? What is the fun of a steps counter? Not much. We believe play is the best motivator. There are numerous devices for kids on the market today, mostly focused on safety and health. Wanderwatch is the only device to focus on childhood development, safety and health in an integrated experience.

Added value for kids
Wanderwatch is more than a product. It’s a community, where children are challenged in the field of creativity, collaboration, communication, motor skills and much more. They learn vital skills such as creativity, collaboration, communication, move (motor skills) and decision making. Qualities that later in life are very important. Children are stimulated to go outside and play. Wanderwatch takes the fun of interactive indoor toys outdoors. Wanderwatch wants to physically activate children and reduce obesities and too much screen time.

Added value for Parents
For parents, we offer peace of mind and convenience, because they can always see where their children are and can communicate with them. This gives them a sense of control.

Can you describe a typical workday of you?
A typical workday starts with a cup of coffee at the kitchen table. Wanderwatch started off at the kitchen table and this table is still an important object in our office. With the team, we determine the priorities of the day and start to act upon it. We love to have good brainstorms and connect with customers regularly. It is hard work and we have lots of fun.

Where do you see yourself and your startup Wanderwatch in five years?
Our objective is to make children smarter, healthier and happier. We dream of a world where playgrounds are packed and children having fun with our Wanderwatch products. Where they can be imaginative as only a child can be, can learn communicative skills while playing with friends. Where they can play unstructured and discover the world on their own.
Parents have peace of mind and can let their children go. They always know where their children are, can communicate with them and have all kind of relevant information, like UV exposure.

What 3 tips would you give other Start-up founders on the way?
Working in a start-up is dynamic. One moment you are on top of the rollercoaster and the next moment you are at the bottom. Our credo is: persistence! And we stay sharp by doing reality checks with sparring partners, suppliers and most important our customers.
And above all, we believe that Wanderwatch is more than just a product. It is part of something much larger and more important. We want to give children a healthy and happy future.

More information you will find here

Thank you Ellie Karssemakers 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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