#Personal Stories

How This Teenaged Entrepreneur Designed A Learning Tool For Toddlers

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Teenager Avantika Kampani talks about her entrepreneurial experience and how she designed  her tool which aims to enhance a newborn’s capacity to learn. Here is her story:

My entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 13. My mentors helped me get into the nitty gritty and turn my conviction into a product. I learnt how to plan ahead, understood financial implications and feasibility plans and marketing strategies.

Living with my little cousin, I began to notice the way babies really looked at things around them. I also felt that learning for them was constant as there was so much stimulation they were exposed to. This led to research on early brain development only to find that from birth to age five, a child’s brain develops more than at any other time in life. The idea was to develop a single tool that would cover many areas of growth and yet be attractive, fun and easy to use and travel-friendly. This was where the concept of six- sections came about, and Seekh was well on its way to becoming a reality.

The concept behind the cards (6 sections, with 72 cards) was that babies learn from Day One and the learning needs to be holistic, intellectual and emotional. It was something I had seen work first-hand. Each section of my product was thoroughly researched and I did multiple mock-ups before I was sure of the product I wanted to put out. Every detail was thought through.

 First, was the fact that new born children are perhaps the freshest and most engaged learners. Their ability to grasp and to be awed by the learning process was astounding. This has been proved scientifically as well. So, I wanted my product to be something that was with them from the beginning then grew with them adding to the learning experiences.

Second, I believe that learning cannot happen in isolation. So, if it’s sensory or linguistic or even mathematical it is something that needs to happen simultaneously. Hence, we give the caregiver all tools in one place so they can take the lead from the child and introduce concepts as per the child’s engagement at the point.

Third, and perhaps most dear to me – I wanted to introduce Building Blocks which are actionable cards to be used by the caregiver whilst engaging with the child. It works on the concept that emotional intelligence is a very important focus point. Also, children pick up cues by observation and if we are mindful of our actions around the child it will give them a stronger, happier, more confident and secure start.

I developed the product under the guidance of my mentors at the Young Entrepreneurs Academy. I began speaking to early learning experts, doctors and child psychologists and launched Seekh in 2020.

The process of designing the first prototype was exhilarating and extremely detailed.

My first pitch was nerve wrecking for sure, but taught me to how to receive constructive criticism to benefit my product and myself as an entrepreneur.

The encouragement and help I have received has been enormous. I look forward to learning on the go myself, throughout my journey as a budding entrepreneur. Wherever this journey takes me, one thing I am sure of is that persistence and attention to detail are the essential part of the mix.

 I think the point that works most in my favour is that I did not let myself get in my own way. I never let self-doubt come in. My ability to manage time is sometimes tested but I think I am learning to prioritise the task at hand, and it is working.

The encouragement has ensured I never doubted that starting the company and keeping up with my schoolwork would not be possible. Most importantly the internet has allowed classrooms to reach our homes and the marketplace to be accessed from a screen. This has made things infinitely easier.

I think as a rising ninth grader, I am not too sure about the profession I shall finally pursue. However, I know that psychology, both social and developmental, interests me. I am an avid history student and art is my passion. I hope that in some way I can stitch these together and explore them further.

I believe I am at the very beginning of a long journey, what has worked for me is surrounding myself with positivity and saying yes. And allowing myself to step out of my comfort zone exploring opportunities that present themselves. Some may work and some may not, but one never knows till you try.

 Avantika Kampani is a 14-year old entrepreneur and founder of Seekh from DayOne. The views expressed are the author’s own.