Startups

Sinterklaas & startups: 8 Amsterdam-based tech startups helping kids learn while having fun – Silicon Canals


December is around the corner, and this means one thing in the Netherlands- the arrival of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas) and of course, the gifts too. 

Close to the heart of the children, Sinterklass can be recognized by his eye-catching red cape with red miter and his long white beard. If you are thinking about another white-bearded jollyman with the same red costume, well you better check out the difference here.

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Moving on, he arrives each year in mid-November on a steamboat filled with gifts and together with his helpers called ‘Piet’ (Peter).

“His annual arrival and parade in Amsterdam and the traditional festivities that follow are a real treat,” says IamAmsterdam.

With more than a kilometre of floats and boats, Amsterdam hosts the largest Saint Nicholas parade in the world.

Once Sint is in town, children lay out their shoes before bedtime, along with water (or wine) and a carrot for the horse, in the hopes that there will be a gift left there by morning.

The very good kids are usually rewarded with chocolate letters and marzipan while the naughty anxiously wait to see if they’ve been given coal, again.

This year, the feast of Saint Nicolas falls on 6 December, but luckily the evening of 5 December is the main gift-giving occasion.

Called ‘sinterklaasavond’ (Sinterklaas evening) or ‘pakjesavond’ (presents evening), Sint drops off a sack full of gifts on the doorstep before heading back to Spain.

Sounds exciting, isn’t it?

Just like Sinterklaas, there are numerous personalities in the name of “entrepreneur,” who genuinely cares about the well-being of children.

They don’t give gifts but offers services to inspire children to be a better person in all aspects. Myriads of tech startups are creating and optimising their services to make technology useful for children. 

Europe, particularly the Netherlands, is home to many startups that cater to the exciting lifestyles of children ranging from coding through games to offering personalised outfits for children. 

Here’s a list of eight Amsterdam-based startups that are helping kids learn while having fun using technology.

Image credits: LoCoMoGo

LoCoMoGo

Founder/s: Kibet Kipkemoi

Total funding: €115K

Learning should be joyful and science has proven that children learn best through play. And that’s what Amsterdam-based LoCoMoGo does. 

The company teaches kids aged 4-12 to code through its product – a toy train. As per the company’s claims, the toy train is the first non-robot toy to take kids from screen-less coding all the way up to real-world coding when they are a little older.

Diane Janknegt CEO of Wizenoze
Image credits:Wizenoze

Wizenoze

Founder/s: Diane Janknegt

Total funding: NA 

Wizenoze is an edtech company that aims to make information on the internet easier to find and understand for children. 

The company has developed an AI-powered readability analysis engine that makes online information meaningful and accessible for everyone, including children, teenagers, and people with lower literacy skills. 

Based out of Amsterdam, the company has international offices in London, UK, and New Delhi, India. 

Image credits: TekkieWorden

TekkieWorden 

Founder/s: NA

TekkieWorden is an online platform that helps people of any age or background learn and build a career in the tech sector. The Amsterdam-based company also offers a programme – TekkieWorden Trail, where people can get to know all jobs in IT step by step through interactive online training. The company is a part of TechConnect and the Amsterdam Economic Board. 

Image credits: Bundleboon

Bundleboon

Founder/s: Monique Janke and Nelli Jeloudar

Bundleboon is a curated shopping service tailored to suit the needs of the new generation of parents. This Amsterdam startup offers parents a collection of exclusive brands and personalised outfits that are uniquely styled for their children. 

Last year, the company received €500,000 from the well-known entrepreneur and investor Pieter Schoen in Dutch Dragons’ Den program.

Image credits: Nimbles

Nimbles

Founder/s: Danique Wiltink, Adine Tjeenk Willink

Nimbles is on a mission to make the market for additional and support education transparent and accessible. 

Students can use this platform to reach personal and educational growth by seeking additional help to do their homework, prepare for exams, and train in new skills. 

The tutors in the platform are screened and classified into a level based on their experience and education. 

Image credits: Yummygums

Yummygums

Founder/s: Micheal and Luuke

Yummygums is a vitamin startup that is vegan, free of all artificial additives, and produced with genuine and superior ingredients. ​​By offering vitamins in the form of attractive fruity gummies, Yummygums empowers consumers and kids alike to make a healthy habit more enjoyable and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Image credits: JetLearn

JetLearn

Founder/s: Jatin Luthra

JetLearn is an edtech company that provides live online coding and robotics classes to K12 students. In this platform, students work with instructors who are hand-selected for them and placed in courses based on their own aptitude, experience, and overall goals.

The company also offers personalised one-on-one attention and project-based learning where students can learn at their own pace with customisable projects in a structured learning environment.

Image credits: Hyko

Hyko

Founder/s – Andriy Shmyhelskyy

Hyko by CareToSave is on a mission to create a future where kids and adults are more conscious about their actions, energy consumption, and protection of nature. 

Hyko is a connected polar bear lamp with an app ecosystem that lets children learn colours, time, environment, and how to protect them. 

It was founded with the intention to save polar bears that are becoming an endangered species.

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