Crowdfunding Goal Surpassed by More Than $40K
PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Nov 5, 2015) - VersaMe, the company building tools to improve child development, announced the release of its flagship product, the Starling -- the world's first education wearable for children ages 0-4. In just two weeks, the initial funding goal was surpassed by more than $40,000. And now they are announcing the close of a $2.5 million seed round with investment from Learn Capital, Stanford-StartX fund, and the family offices of Vincent Viola, Doug Cifu and Richard Dai.
Available today via pre-order, the Starling tracks words spoken and heard by a child during the most formative stages of development to drastically increase verbal engagement. The Starling syncs with a cell phone app and offers activities, encouragement, and prompts to help motivate parents. The Starling does not record anything that is said -- it simply counts words as they pass by.
Recent research shows that the number of words children are exposed to before the age of four is the greatest predictor of their future vocabulary, IQ and emotional well-being. The Starling encourages parents to talk more with their kids thanks to smart algorithms that track daily word count and ensure they never miss a chance to enrich their child's life.
"Parents, like myself, can profoundly affect a child's future through the simple act of talking to them," said VersaMe co-founder Chris Boggiano. "The Starling helps encourage and track a child's language development that will ultimately impact that child in school and for life."
Started by parents and driven by research, VersaMe was founded by brothers Chris and Jon Boggiano and Nicki Boyd. All three, recent Stanford Business School graduates, together realized that pairing the latest research with wearable technology can positively change parents' behavior and ultimately impact children's intelligence. VersaMe is focused on changing the notion that education starts with kindergarten, and on improving education for every child regardless of their background. In order to help close the word gap for all children, VersaMe has partnered with local non-profit Literacy Lab to provide Starlings to parents who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford them.
To pre-order or donate a Starling at the discounted price of $149 (will ship in April 2016), visit: http://www.versame.com/getstarling.