More than 70,000 Texas students soon will be singing and dancing along to Healthy Hip Hop’s children’s music platform after the Kansas City startup finalized a $500,000 contract in the Lone Star State, said Roy Scott.
“It’s a huge deal for us,” the Healthy Hip Hop co-founder said of the Dallas Independent School District agreement. “It’s our biggest contract to-date, and we’ve been working on securing that for a couple of years now.”
The $500,000 bid is only half of Healthy Hip Hop’s official request for proposal, Scott explained.
“We gave them a 50-percent discount for being early adopters,” he noted. “Our contract is on an annual renewable basis; so once they renew, it will translate to our full [million-dollar] bid. Also, we can now show how this process works and it will be easier for us to duplicate it in other school districts.”
With the contract, every student and teacher in the district will receive a license for the Healthy Hip Hop website and mobile app, as well as professional development materials.
Click here to explore Healthy Hip Hop and its whole-child focus.
“We do professional development based around bringing culture to the classroom through using Healthy Hip Hop and additional resources around social [and] emotional learning, movement and mindfulness,” Scott said. “It’s important we provide those resources to make sure all the teachers are engaged and know how to be successful with using Healthy Hip Hop in the classroom settings.”
Healthy Hip Hop — now led by Scott and Wes Smith, COO and “Chief Panda” — plans to use the funds from the contract to continue advancing its technology, Scott said.
A full launch of the Healthy Hip Hop app is expected this summer. The platform debuted its beta version of the app in January 2020 and has since been collecting consumer feedback for the official launch.
“This Q2 is going to be really critical for us because we’re still gathering data and gathering feedback in order to really improve our user experience and see what customers are willing to pay for,” Scott shared. “Once the official application is launched, we will be able to start taking subscription payments for our content and additional features.”
The new iteration of the application is expected to include a cleaner and more intuitive user experience, Scott said.
“Most of the interaction we’ve seen so far on the app has been parents and teachers streaming music, so [the updated version] will get users to that quickly,” he noted. “From there, kids can still create these Tik Tok-style dance challenges in a secure environment.”
As the application continues to scale, generate revenue and provide more consumer feedback, the Healthy Hip Hop team will use that data to develop new and innovative features, Scott stated.
Meet the Drapers
Along with working to get its technology into school districts, Healthy Hip Hop launched a crowdfunding campaign through Republic in late February.
“With our Republic campaign, everyday people can contribute and have an opportunity to have a small ownership stake in Healthy Hip Hop,” Scott said. “I thought this opportunity was cool because it allows the people who support us to invest and actually have ownership at an early stage in our company.”
Healthy Hip Hop has raised $9,413 of its $25,000 minimum goal as of March 17. Investing is set to close May 1, 2021. If the company does not raise $25,000 by May 1, those who invested will be refunded the pledged funds, according to Republic’s website.
Shortly after setting up the Republic campaign, Health Hip Hop received an email from the Republic team inviting Scott to pitch the company on “Meet the Drapers” — a Silicon Valley-based show that follows the themes of “Shark Tank.”
“It was a bit of a redemption after getting trashed by ‘Shark Tank,’ being able to bounce back and going on ‘Meet the Drapers,’” he shared. “It was a great opportunity.”
Click here to watch the Meet the Drapers’ episode featuring Healthy Hip Hop.
Although the Drapers did not invest in Healthy Hip Hop, the experience provided great exposure — with the show generating more than a million views on YouTube, Scott noted.
“Being on the show put our business in front of some key people who are potential ambassadors and some private investors,” Scott said. “We are going to continue sharing our story, why Healthy Hip Hop is so important and how we can get to our North Star — which is to become an urban Disney.”
This story is possible thanks to support from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, a private, nonpartisan foundation that works together with communities in education and entrepreneurship to create uncommon solutions and empower people to shape their futures and be successful.