The finalists of the 2017 WT Innovation World Cup® Wanderwatch is one of the most disruptive innovators in the Wearable Technologies space. Founder Ellie Karssemakers shares their journey in the world of IoT and Wearable tech.
1. How did it all start?
Kids nowadays are glued to their screens. On average, they spend hours per day on screens and less than an hour on the outdoor play that makes children smarter, healthier and happier. Wanderwatch is the world’s first smartwatch for outdoor play that gamifies outdoors.
Children are being stimulated to play outdoors again by a smart combination of interactive games and all the good things of outdoor play. It is packed with features for kids like a camera, chat and of course a lot of games. Children get the interactive tools that ignite their fantasy and creativity, parents can always see where their children are and can instantly communicate with them. It enables parents to let go.
When the team of Wanderwatch started out with designing the smartwatch 2.5 years ago, they took the perspective of a GPS tracker. While great for parents they could not find any benefit for children. “Yet, most kids’ devices are focused on parent features only, like GPS trackers and steps counters. So, we asked ourselves why a child would wear a device like Wanderwatch?”
We re-imagined the GPS tracker from a child’s perspective. The missing ingredient is PLAY!”, says Ellie Karssemakers, founder of Wanderwatch, “We wanted a stand-alone smartwatch that would be 100% safe and so cool, so great and so easy that any child (5+) wants it.”
2. What are the key milestones you have reached so far?
Wanderwatch turned their vision into reality and launched in the Dutch market in October 2017 together with the biggest Dutch retailer. Wanderwatch is now available in more than 250 stores and in the Wanderwatch webshop.
Two angel investors stepped in and they are finalizing an equity round with a venture capitalist.
3. What were the biggest challenges you faced in your journey?
A startup is like a ride on a rollercoaster. 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 importantly our customers. The result is so rewarding!
4. What’s coming in the near future?
Wanderwatch is executing some very cool projects in the B2B market. Our presence at the CES In Las Vegas as part of the Dutch delegation headed by the Royal Prince of Orange was an amazing experience. “We are on the lookout for commercial opportunities in the US”, says Ellie. The sales channels will be expanded to online retail and Wanderwatch will be launched in the German-speaking countries in Europe.
5. Describe your experience in the IOT/WT Innovation World Cup® journey in a short sentence.
It was a great recognition for our work. The Innovation World Cup® gave us the opportunity to pitch on a giant stage, literally because it was a giant stage and more important we got the opportunity to meet very interesting people. We got some interesting sales leads!
6. What is cool about IoT?
It is 2018, everything is connected. We found out that the youngest family members were the only ones that are not connected these days.
7. Your three tips for up-coming IoT Startups.
- Be creative to tackle every single hurdle you will face along the way
- Have fun – work hard and have fun
Learn more about Wanderwatch on www.wanderwatch.com
Does this inspire you to become the next innovator of the year? Do you want to be a part of the right networks and make your innovation visible to the global stage? Participate in the 10th IOT/WT Innovation World Cup®! Register your solutions here!