Clarence Tan held onto his startup Edcoda longer than he should have, the founder admitted, but his pivot to a new edtech learning app, Boddle, should prove a more filling fit for users.
“Boddle has a much better underlying vision and mission, as well as being better in terms of how it would work in the market,” the startup founder and CEO said. “I wish I had failed faster and just said, alright let’s just drop Edcoda and restart.”
Boddle — set to launch in late June — broadens the scope of Edcoda, which delivered a high-quality educational game called Coda Quest. The app uses bottle cap imagery connecting to the idea of “filling up” with knowledge, and the transparency of bottles to convey the importance of what’s within.
“We really want to make sure that in the app we portray to kids that what really matters is what’s on the inside,” Tan said.
Boddle ties learning opportunities and online courses together to convey the importance of lifelong learning as compared to educational competition, he said.
“You can learn anything you want,” Tan added. “Our goal is that kids see learning as an engaging, interesting thing as compared to books and homework. So we’re trying to gamify that whole experience.”
Through the app, kids create their Boddle characters and complete courses to receive points and accessories for their digital homes, he said. The game also includes a management platform for teachers to pull reports and customize classrooms, as well as eventually upload their own material.
Boddle is partnering up with companies that deliver on-site learning activities and offer digital merit badges correlating to in-game rewards, Tan said, as well creating their own worksheets with randomized rewards scannable upon completion.
“That ties in our vision of really engaging kids and learning from every aspect,” he said.
Tan’s passion for education stems from his first experience creating an educational game and watching the reaction it received, he said. He also credits Kansas City’s supportive community for his successes throughout Edcoda and now Boddle.
“The area has helped for sure. I find that in Kansas City people are much more willing to help and collaborate whether or not they can help directly,” Tan said.