Success stories behind tech's top founders: Kide Science

Harry Gooding, Director, Hays Enterprise Technology Practice - UK and Ireland

Last year we launched Tech Founders, a series of live events in which we explore the career stories behind some of the world’s most exciting tech founders. In each instalment, I meet a different entrepeneur to discuss how they got to where they are today, arrived at their business concept, and secured investment to build their business.
 

Making science lessons fun for children around the world

There's a popular saying about never working with children, but if you take the time to learn from them, then it makes it a lot easier to teach them effectively.
 
On Tuesday 8th March, I welcomed Sari Hurme-Mehtälä. Sari is Founder and CEO of Kide Science, a regional winner in the 2021 Super Connect for Good competition. The company came about following five years of research at the University of Helsinki, as Sari and her co-founders investigated the ways in which children like to learn. Their science lesson plans have since been used by over 100,000 children worldwide.
 
Watch our conversation in full below:
 
 
Alternatively, if you’d like to watch a specific part, you can use these timestamps to find the relevant question:
 
Why don't you tell us about yourself? 06:25
Sari explains that she comes from the business world rather than education, and how her two children are also Kide Scientists!
 
How did Kide Science start? 08:56
Sari tells us about how research led them to find out that curiosity in science is "killed by the complexity" of the subjects, and that starting interest in science at a young age was key.
 
Can you explain the school system in Finland? 12:50
Finland take an amazing approach to schooling and there are fundamental differences to how they approach education. Sari explained their unique situation and the benefits of their system.
 
Despite this system, there's still a problem with engaging children in STEM subjects. Is this a global issue? 15:32
Finland maybe towards the top, but globally, numbers are very low. Sari explained further about giving kids the motivation to learn, rather than putting pressure on them. 
 
What is Kide Science and what do you do? 20:38

Kide Science provides scalable lessons for parents and teachers, that can be taught in the classroom or at home. It is not a case of screen time. They are hands-on activities. 

What has surprised you about setting up Kide Science? 26:22
Sari talked about the importance of realising that you can't set a plan in stone and implement. Sari sets small milestones and celebrates them! 
 
Did the pandemic cause you to go online or did it just accelerate it? 29:11
Sari told me that Kide Science developed their platform to suit remote learning. She also explained that you don't need a science lab to use Kide Science!
 
Was it always the plan to have no screens for kids? 31:28
Kide Science has made books and TV shows to reach children. In every aspect though, the children get the guidance and then they do hands-on learning. Sari explains how it is all about engagement.
 
What does International Women's Day mean to you, and how does it feel being a female founder? 39:25
Sari told me that there is a lot of biases and difficulties for female founders, although she hasn't felt these personally. 
 
Do you have advice for people regarding women in tech? 44:19
Sari talked to me about the need for role models and how she hopes she is one herself. The more we see successful females making an impact, the more will follow.
 
What were the challenges coming from a business background and not an educational past? 45:07
Earlier in the show, Sari told us she had previously come from business. In this section, she explained that with the help of her co-founders, she bought her business skills to Kide Science to discover how they could scale it and turn a great idea into something global.
 

Have you found that having a background in marketing has helped? 47:38
Having a marketing, sales and communications background has certainly helped with trying to make the Kide Science mission clear.

How do you make sure that what Kide Science is doing, is values driven moving forward? 49:30
Sari told me that the field they're in makes it hard for them to do anything but good! Kide Science won an award at the Super Connect for Good competition by Empact Ventures.

If you could talk to yourself before Kide Science formally began, what advice would you give? 54:15
As a believer that every struggle or challenge teaches us something, Sari said this was a question she finds hard to answer! Her superpower is optimism.

What's next for Kide Science? 57:35
Sari wants to make life easier for teachers and parents, whilst giving them more opportunities to use Kide Science.

Did you enjoy this event? Watch other installments from our Tech Founders series here, including more interviews with Super Connect for Good winners.

 

Author

Harry Gooding
Director, Hays National Technology - UK&I

Harry Gooding is part of Hays Technology, working across our Enterprise Technology Practice and supporting new initiatives around skills development. After beginning his career in recruitment, he then worked in VC backed start-ups and scale-ups for six years across two different portfolios before joining Hays.

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