Interview with Vikas Gupta, Founder and CEO, Play-i

Interview with Vikas Gupta, Founder and CEO, Play-i

EdTechReview has been extensively covering interesting players and cutting edge developments in Education Technology. In our quest to review every EdTech in the world, today we would like to present to you, one of the most innovative EdTech startups - Play-i.

Play-i is a team of parents, geeks, and entrepreneurs who are passionate about making programming fun and easy to learn for the next generation. The founding team includes senior veterans who’ve worked at Amazon, Google, frog design, and Apple

.• Vikas Gupta makes sure Play-i works for and reaches every child. He learned to program using GWBASIC when he was 14 years old and later went on to start a company that he sold to Google.

Mikal Greaves is designing the world’s most fun robot to play with. He honed his craft at frog design where he led product design and manufacturing for consumer electronics and toy products.

Saurabh Gupta is responsible for the nifty electronics hardware that brings the robot to life. Previously, he led the iPod software team at Apple for 6 years.

Imran Khan is responsible for both creating the buzz and getting the robots in every child’s hands. You can often find him learning to program from our robots.

They believe everybody in this country should learn how to program a computer because it teaches you how to think and the best way to bring programming to children is -- to let them play.

They launched Play-i to make programming fun for children as young as 5 years old, translating the research on tangible computing into products accessible to young children. We’re doing that by building robots that are fun to play with and engage every child, even a preschooler, by meeting them at their level of cognitive ability and motor skills.

Play-i is creating products that make programming fun and accessible for kids. The company is aiming to keep the price point low — very low. Unlike the personal robots we’ve seen to date, Play-i wants to keep its bots at under $100, making it a direct-to-consumer play. The Play-i team believes that learning should be tangible and fun, and that bossing hardware robots around is more interesting than, say, instructing an animated bot to draw a line. They believe tangible interaction is what grabs children, something that’s much more engaging for them beyond just having a software screen in front of them.

The company secured $1 million in seed funding from Google Ventures, Madrona Venture Group and individual private investors.

Watch the interview to know a lot more about an interesting edtech startup like Play-i.


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