We’ve been keeping our eye on this edtech startup for a while and we really like what they have created, so we thought we’d share with you. FUZE Interactive’s first product is a hackable frisbee that teaches coding. We caught up with Kristy Sevy, FUZE Interactive’s co-founder and CEO, who told us more. (Be sure to watch the video at the end; it’s adorable.)
Describe Fuze Interactive.
FUZE Interactive is a S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Mathematics) learning company that teaches kids (and their parents!) high-level concepts in a way that’s as simple as 1-2-3: Build, Hack, Play.
What inspired you to start FUZE Interactive?
My oldest daughter Kenzie has always had a strong interest in all things S.T.E.M. She was asking about coding, robotics, and human cells. When I couldn’t answer her questions anymore, I did what I think any modern mom would do – I Googled it! I ended up searching for products that would satisfy her curiosity and give her the education she was asking for.
My months-long search left me frustrated. The products I brought into my home were either so dumbed-down they were closer to condescending than educational, or so high-level they even left me intimidated. There was nothing in between. Kenzie needed an advanced educational product to teach her things I didn’t know yet, and it had to be something that made learning alongside her comfortable for me too. Most importantly, it needed to ignite her passion instead of squelching her excitement.
Lucky for me, my brother Kyle is an entrepreneur. He loves product design, and is a manufacturing guru. He even teaches business people about startups. He’s teaching me the tools I need while we bring my vision to life. My brother is really the person who encouraged me to pursue FUZE.
Tell us about your Zubi Flyer and why you created it.
I have a background in Marriage and Family Therapy-Child Development, and know that when it comes to learning, hands-on, and physical play are always best. With that in mind, I wanted to create a product that maintained the hands-on and physical play elements all while teaching high-level concepts to people like myself (someone with zero background in anything S.T.E.M.).
We ultimately developed the Zubi Flyer, the first hackable frisbee. First users BUILD: Snap the cap into the flyer and use three screws to secure the PCB into the flyer cap. Then users HACK: Push buttons, or wave a magnet wand to hack into nine different light and sound games. The games that are included are: Hot Potato, Memory, Copy Cat, Pong, Catch the Light, RGB Light Art Hack, RGB Single Light Art Hack, Shortcut Hack, and Night Light Hack. Lastly users PLAY: Go outside and run, or users can connect Zubi to their computer and learn how to code the lights, buzzer, and games, or change the disc program entirely.
What value does Zubi Flyer have that makes it stand out against other educational tech in the space?
First, and most importantly the Zubi Flyer teaches REAL code in a fun and simple way. A lot of Edtech products teach concepts and principles of coding, but not actual code. As well, the Zubi flyer can scale with a child’s knowledge. From simply pushing buttons and waving the magnet wand to play fun games, to the most advanced programmer who could stack shields and entirely repurpose the printed circuit board, Zubi Flyer can be adapted to fit a wide range of skill and knowledge levels.
Where can we buy your product, when is it available, and what is the cost?
We are currently in production, and you can go to our website to pre-order at an early-bird price. We have also partnered with teachers and school districts on curriculum and special pricing.
Where do you see Fuze Interactive in the future? Do you have any specific ideas about future products or segments you would like to target?
For now we will focus a lot on online sales. We have also had amazing reach-out from educators, and have since created a 6 course curriculum. We have a few schools who have already bought in, and we were just asked to present at a local district meeting for future districtwide curriculum.
We definitely have a strong product roadmap, and we are so excited to start putting out an entire S.T.E.A.M. product line!
Do you have any advice to entrepreneurs starting a new tech company?
- I’m a regular mom. I don’t have a background in tech, and I don’t have a background in business. Don’t let your lack of competence stop you from pursuing your passions. You can still have confidence, and work hard to develop the competence needed.
- Your team is everything.
- Startup life is a beast. The lows are super low, and the highs are super high – there is no buffer. Try to keep yourself grounded. For me, my family keeps me grounded. As well, I choose to have an optimistic outlook. I think we too often live in a bilateral world: good/bad, success/failure, rich/poor, happy/sad. Instead I try to look at all my successes AND my failures as one catalyst for progression.
Learn more about FUZE Interactive by visiting their website and watching the video below.
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