By Izzy Kim, VI Form
Penny the Penguin: Parents’ Best Helper!
This summer, I attended a tech + business program at MIT called LaunchX, formerly
known as MIT Launch. I was admitted as a “hacker,” with my specialities in app development and virtual reality. The ultimate goal of the camp was to create a start-up and pitch the business idea in four weeks. I worked with three other students and together we co-founded Ami. Ami has an ambitious vision of “keeping kids happy and healthy,” and we are taking a first shot at our vision with our pilot product Penny the Penguin. On the outside, Penny might seem like any other penguin plush. Yet, Penny is a kid’s best buddy and the parent’s best helper: Penny can speak parent-crafted messages through a phone-connected bluetooth speaker. Through these messages, children will adopt healthy habits, and parents will find parenting less of a difficulty and more of a joy. Busy parents who accidentally forget to remind kids to “brush their teeth” or “wash their hands” can simply set up a reminder on our accompanying app to have a message played specific times. We tested our products on families living in the greater Boston area, and so far, Penny has been successful in getting kids to accomplish tasks that they do not like to do, such as eating vegetables and brushing their teeth. Children responded that they viewed Penny as their friend and were hence more inclined to listen to Penny. Parents replied that Penny broke down the communication barrier that existed between adults and children and were happy to see their kids be more healthy and responsible.
Currently, we are in the process of manufacturing Penny so that more kids can have their favorite best friend. We are expected to launch our product in the U.S. market in November through our website www.ami4kidz.com and Amazon. Penny has caught the attention of many entrepreneurial experts and have appeared on StartupTVBoston hosted by a professor on entrepreneurial studies at Harvard. The team is also expected to appear on various TV shows in China and the U.S. including Shark Tank Season 10.
With Penny, parenting becomes a joy and love never ends. So, get your kid or your family member their own Penny today!
(Team picture, from left to right: Yvonne Hong, Izzy Kim, Laurie Stach (Program Director), Alex Lam, Yong Zhong, Navami Jain)
Video link to StartupTVBoston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FQlUmyaez4E
Link to company website: www.ami4kidz.com
Company social media info: Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter— @ami4kidz
LaunchX Website: http://www.launchx.com/
Izzy (Minjae) Kim is a VI Form boarding student from Seoul, South Korea. She is the co-founder and webmaster of Ami, loves software development, and is really passionate about documenting and promoting sacred places.