BrightFingers Inc. — Co-Op #2
New York, NY
Greetings Kickfurther community, and a special hello and thank you to the 29 Backers of our 1st Offer last year.
BrightFingers Inc. is growing, and we’re ready now to do a 2nd offer. The K-12 market (which is our current focus, before also courting parent buyers later this year) moves slowly, and takes time to develop. We had our share of engineering hiccups, and a few missing critical features that teachers educated us about.
Now we’re beyond that, emerging from our beta phase, and starting to sell faster. In six states schools have purchased BrightFingers sets for a whole computer lab. Teachers in 27 states and territories have purchased single sets to pilot. We have 160 new sales leads from this year’s national ISTE edtech trade show where we exhibited two weeks ago in Denver, right next door to Kickfurther’s Boulder hometown. We also have another DOE School Technology Summit coming up at the end of the month. Three NYC public schools for autistic students have done lab-wide installations, after we met their teachers at that same event last summer. And a month ago a NYC teacher was so inspired to have BrightFingers for her computer lab that she resorted to fundraising of her own, setting up a DonorsChoose project to get our learning system for her students.
We’re doing this 2nd offer to be able to get several initiatives under way in time for the new school year. We’re working to be able to support schools and districts that want to do large- and wide-area deployments, and we’re gearing up to do a port for Chromebooks (which enjoyed broad sales to schools last year, and which numerous schools have asked us about).
We’d like to invite you to help us as we sell some of our existing inventory. We waited several quarters so that we could be confident about meeting our projected timeline, now that our early wrinkles are behind us. We will also keep you posted, as we plan another factory order for later this year, and will come back to Kickfurther to help us fund that. (In that event we would most likely pay off this offer before its projected final Apr-’17 payout date.)
We’d like to thank the Kickfurther team once again, for being of considerable help as we’ve grown through and now start to grow out of our startup phase. Platforms like Kickfurther help us move much more quickly than we can if we had to rely exclusively on more traditional financing methods like angel investors and banks (both of which we have and will continue to make use of on our journey).
About BrightFingers Inc.
Work on BrightFingers began in Aug 2012. Software and hardware prototypes, customer testing, and a patent filing paved the way to a Kickstarter campaign in the Spring of 2013.
Product development with a factory in Taiwan started that Summer. Working samples arrived shortly after BrightFingers Inc. was incorporated in May of 2014, and in time to be exhibited at ISTE in Atlanta.
The inventory from the first production run arrived in CA in Feb of this year. Additional funding has come from angel investors ($135K), and a Kiva Zip campaign, in which BrightFingers was featured on their homepage and was the most popular profile for 96 hours.
BrightFingers Inc. is based in NYC, but geographically spread out, with team members in California, Massachusetts, the Netherlands, Taiwan, and Ottawa.
About the owner
Istvan Szent-Miklosy discovered an affinity for technology and startups rather late, only after having majored in Modern European History. BrightFingers Inc. is his third startup as a founder / cofounder; his first, Internet Business Center / dx.com, was one of the pioneers of Manhattan’s Silicon Alley in 1994, and his second, Telefirma, Inc, is an R&D company focusing on basic research in human-computer interaction.
BrightFingers grew out of his personal frustrations with trying to learn typing years ago. It is his first foray into both hardware and edtech, and he is delighted to be able to bring together his talents at taming technology with his lifelong passion for understanding how we learn. Having served as a judge at a CT STEM school’s Invention Convention earlier this spring, he finds it terribly rewarding to be able to share his passion for innovation with students, via a learning tool that is so immediate to their daily studies.
Here’s Istvan and a Partner as last years ISTE Conference
BrightFingers is an engaging multi-sensory way for students to learn computer keyboarding, combining a unique light-up keyboard with color-coded gloves and an app. It gives children a concrete learning experience, making it easier for them to learn touch typing.
BrightFingers eliminates hunting and pecking by showing you which keys to press — it lights up the next key to press on the keyboard, and indicates it on screen with a big donut. BrightFingers takes the guesswork out of the early learning experience, letting students concentrate on using the correct fingers and acquiring the muscle memory for these tricky fine-motor movements.
BrightFingers’ gloves are color-coded with the keys on the keyboard to show students which finger goes with which key — right at the point of contact. Together these features make for a fun learning experience. They provide the training wheels that simplify the early work of learning this complex skill.
BrightFingers currently works with Macs (OS X Lion / 10.7 or later) and PC’s (Windows 7 or later); iPad and Chromebook versions are planned for later this year. For more product information and ordering, please visit www.brightfingers.com.