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  • Writer's pictureJolie Radunich

This Shark Tank pitch can help you find the fun in technical edtech products

This is not a Hopscotch promo. But when I saw it on Shark Tank, I couldn't help but want to download the app. I'd never seen a coding platform with so much life.

As the popularity of kid's coding continues to rise, it's more important than ever for companies to capture their young consumers' attention with clever branding and games. A stock video of a kid smiling in front of a computer isn't going to cut it.

Just like users, people interested in working for companies like Hopscotch want to feel inspired and not intimidated by coding.

Here's how creativity can lure you into working for a company that makes technical edtech products.

Eye-catching marketing can engage unlikely employees

If your kid self saw an ad that said "create games and make money" you'd probably wonder, where do I sign up?

I'm not a coder. But from the rainbow-colored Hopscotch logo to the "learn to earn" messaging, the company just felt like one I'd want to be a part of.

In her pitch to the sharks, Samantha John shared that she founded her company after feeling like she didn't belong in the coding world. She made it her mission to fuse creativity into her product in order to make people WANT to become users.

So many people get turned off from learning to code because the learning environment feels intimidating. Coding isn't for everyone. But kids with the potential to hone this skill shouldn't be held back by a threatening atmosphere. The same goes for potential employees.

Branding can begin to make candidates feel comfortable, but this only goes so far. Here's how John kept the sharks locked in with Hopscotch.

Product experience makes a job candidate want to support it

John effortlessly destigmatized the dull, coldness associated with coding when she had the sharks demo a game. Creativity oozed out of their screens when they played kaleidocosmos.

Thanks to a kid user's coding skills, every doodle that Barbara, Kevin, Lori, Daymond, and Mark made on their iPad screens repeated itself 8 times. The results? Unique kaleidoscope images similar to the illusion device you probably played with as a kid.

Kaleidocosmos has been played over 2.2 million times and can now add Mr. Wonderful's drawing to its catalog, which he humorously named, "man's inhumanity against man."

Working on behalf of a technical edtech product can feel less concerning for job candidates when they're able to see the final impact of technical work.

Hopscotch is a coding app for kids, but I guarantee you not every employee is coding. Tech companies are businesses and need marketing, sales, and operations roles to stay alive.

Impress candidates by connecting to their kid selves

It turns out that studying geometry didn't help me break into edtech. Like everyone I know, so much of what I learned in school became irrelevant the moment I moved on to the next lesson. It didn't take graduating from school for me to realize this.

Kids know it. Telling them that typing their first line of code is their first step toward becoming a literate programmer may raise a few eyebrows.

But telling a kid they'll become one step closer to designing the business of their dreams, sounds much more meaningful. Samantha John weaved this into her pitch:

Did you ever run a lemonade stand or mow your neighbors lawn? Kids love running businesses because it's a way to make their own money and participate in the real world!

In the Hopscotch app, kids create their own games, stories, and art with kid-friendly programming languages. When they're done coding, they can turn their creations into currency by selling them to their peers to play. Kids are incentivized to build out their dreams and create quality products that are presentation-ready.

Similar to the impact of brand marketing and product experience, an edtech company mission that makes an adult break free of their technical anxiety and wants to use their product, is doing something right.

Bring technical edtech products to life

Have you ever been told to code? Have you ever suggested programming to someone else? Think about the images that pop up in your mind.

If you start to see lines and lines of indecipherable characters, you know that these images won't get many users, investors, and employees excited about the product.

Hooking potential employees with fun branding and integrating meaningful gaming lets a company like Hopscotch follow through on their promise of fun. It just might also inspire adults to channel their edtech kid and take a coding lesson or two.


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