Startup Cabin Blog

Lessons from Codarica

Posted by Steve Ferris on 13 December 2014


The world is realizing that coding will be an essential skill in the next generation. The people who can create what they want and need will bring us a great wave of innovation and advancement. Codarica's passion is teaching the skill of coding to children. In episode 3 of our podcast, we talked with founders Lovisa Levin, Rosalyn Knapp and Sanna Nilsson about their time in the Disney accelerator, how they got started, and what they have done to get their first products developed.

Here is what they told us.

Disney has partnered with Tech Stars to select 11 companies to meet 150 mentors over 4 months. Most companies are kid connected. (see 2014 alumni here)


Europe vs USA: Observations they have made coming from Sweden to America.
  1. Their data heavy pitch that did great in Europ didn't go well. The Americans wanted to have more emotional impact with storytelling.
  2. Overworking is commonplace. In accelorators everywhere, the pace is face and you work long hours, but culturally, the work ethic differs. Swedes are time efficient, and want to have work and personal life in their own spaces. The idea is to be really efficient for 8-10 hours, then stop working and go live. They Codarica team observed Americans taking work life to the extremes.
The startup scene in the us is much bigger and extreme compared to Swedish startup scenes. Where they have attended great startup dinner events in Europe, they found themselves attending virtual reality dinners and mingling with famous startup people at an Enya concert.
There is not much data on computer science in schools, but from what they have been able to find is that only .7% of American students are enrolled in computer science courses.
Codarica enables children to be the storytellers of the future through coding. They have an ebook and a new app that teaches kids how to use HTML ansCSS to build their first website.
Because therewasn't a lot of data on their market, they had to talk to parents and teachers to know what the market wanted.
Codarica started from a project the founders created during their time at Hyper Island. They created an ebook for children about learning to code. It was the book they wished they had when they were young. Media and customers loved it so they were encouraged to pursue it further by entering as many startup competitions as possible. After some wins, they were convinced to start the company.
They approach the learning from from the angle of someone whodoesn't know any code at all. As they have recently learned coding themselves  in that last couple years, they have fresh perspective in what will face kids as they start to learn.They've taken theirexperience and spent time with kids to get their perspective. These two views make for a special learning approach for beginners.
The accelerator program is really going far beyond the basics of starting a business. They are working along side some of the best people in the industry to learn advanced analytics, strategy and using tons of spreadsheets to keep track of everything.
The biggest surprises in starting a business:
  1. It takes so much time to do the paper work to cover taxes, legal fees, stock options, employee agreements and everthing else.
  2. You need to learn all aspects of the company, and while you do learn fast, you always feel like you're clueless because there is a steady stream of new problems to solve.

Codarica favorite quotes:

  • "Just wing it."
  • "Stay hungry. Stay fighting."
  • "Fake it until you make it."

The vision for Codarica is to be in every home, school and institution to help the children of the world learn to code.

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