Startland News is continuing its segment to highlight area entrepreneurs’ efforts to accelerate their businesses. This is an opportunity for entrepreneurs — like Leka CEO Ladislas de Toldi — to share their stories to gain a little help from their supporters. If you or your startup is running a crowdfunding campaign, let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org
Who are you?
Ladislas de Toldi, CEO and co-founder of Leka. Marine Couteau is also a co-founder. Leka is now in the Sprint Mobile Accelerator program, led by Techstars.
What does Leka do?
We’ve built a robotic smart toy set on changing the way children with developmental disorders learn, play and progress. With Leka, parents, caregivers and therapists can use the device as a teaching tool to play a variety of games, engaging children educationally, socially and emotionally. It’s the first tool of its kind that will be available for everyday families as other robots on the market are only available for therapists and cost thousands of dollars. Leka allows families to complement existing therapy plans — not replace them — in the home and further foster family harmony between children and their parents, siblings and grandparents.
How’s it work?
As Leka itself is equipped with sensors, it’ll track how a child interacts with the device, monitoring how Leka is touched and manipulated, the amount of time spent on activities and reaction time to specific instructions. This data is then uploaded to a cloud-based platform shared by parents, caregivers and therapists, offering keen insight into how a child is using and progressing with the device.
How much do you hope to raise?
The goal of the Indiegogo campaign is to raise $60,000 for Leka’s product development.
What do you plan to use the funds for?
The raised funds will go towards finishing touches in our developmental process to make Leka an accessible educational tool for families with special needs children everywhere.
How are you differentiating your campaign or bringing attention to it?
We’re offering some early bird specials to our initial backers, allowing them to secure their own Leka device at $390. Beyond that we’ll be accepting pre-orders throughout the campaign for $490, with other special offerings such as free lifetime access to our monitoring platform and our first apps.
Is there anything quirky with your campaign?
We have launched a referral program to get people more engaged. When you subscribe to our email list, you get a personal link that you can share with your friends, family and colleagues. The more people that subscribe, the more of a discount you receive during the campaign for pre-orders. If you reach 100 subscribers through your specific link, you win a free Leka! As of now, two Lekas have already been claimed and five others are in good positions to do the same!
Any advice for others launching a crowdfunding campaign?
A crowdfunding campaign doesn’t start when the page goes live on launch day — it starts far earlier than that! There’s a lot of strategy that goes into a well thought-out crowdfunding project behind the scenes — such as tapping into an established network for support, determining your target audience and the best method to reach them for awareness. You can’t approach a crowdfunding campaign and assume everything happens on cruise control once the page is live — it’s much more involved than that!
Learn more about Leka with this video: