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Chef Koochooloo

Teaching to kid how to eat healthy

USA, California
Market: Education, training
Stage of the project: Prototype or product is ready

Date of last change: 29.02.2020
Min investment
$  50.000
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Total required
$ 1.000.000
Rating
equalizer из 1000
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Idea

AI-empowered educational platform utilizing an integrated pedagogical strategy focused on children’s healthy eating, social-emotional intelligence, and sustainability consciousness to aid teachers in elementary schools to teach the subjects of (STEAM) science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in a gamified, gender and culturally sensitive manner.

Current Status

We already have a first version of the product on sale providing the software and the teacher to schools. We had up to 30 schools as customers and now we are focusing on upgrading our software to have the ability to scale larger in the future.

Market

The niche market we are targeting is K-5 elementary schools, and we will be initially focusing our market penetration efforts on schools in the states of California, Philadelphia, Massachusetts, New York, and Texas. Across the US, there are approximately 98,000 public and private elementary schools, serving around 35.6M elementary school students, with expenditures by K-12 schools on technology growing at approximately 8% per year.
We also target home-schooling parents with market size of 1.8 million students in the USA.
Finally, around the world, there are around 650 million students in elementary schools.

Problem or Opportunity

Globally, the number of overweight children is estimated to be over 41 million. Overweight children are likely to stay obese into adulthood and develop noncommunicable diseases. Societies that are transitioning to westernized lifestyles are experiencing substantial increases in its prevalence. You can’t tackle hunger and the paradox of the obesity crisis among hungry children without educating children on healthy eating, and how the food system is being increasingly set up in harmful ways. It is the parent's responsibility to teach children healthy eating habits, but the demographics that suffer most from obesity are often children of working-class immigrants, whose parents are working more than 2 jobs to make ends meet. Existing solutions such as Toca Boca kitchen games and a number of community cooking programs try to spark kids’ imagination and introduce kids to cooking, but the field of dietary behavior has received little attention in terms of educational game design. The focus of commercially available games is placed largely on entertainment. Teachers understand the need for teaching nutrition to children and want to step in, but their time and budget in the classroom are limited, and their priority as an educator is to ensure children are succeeding in school subjects. By aligning nutrition and sustainability subjects (which are not mandatory in elementary schools) with math and science learning (which is mandatory), we have presented a way for teachers to obtain the budget and approval needed from Districts and Principals to fund our project and make time in the classroom for teaching these valuable lessons.

Solution (product or service)

Chef Koochooloo is a supplemental educational technological platform, aligned with national math, literacy and science standards, that teaches kids Global Competency and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) through cooking healthy international recipes.

Competitors

Competition in the Education Space. Kahoot! is a game-based learning platform used by teachers in their classrooms to create mini-games (a series of multiple-choice questions) that students can answer on their tablets or laptops. The class plays along, in a “quiz show” format allowing the teacher to see which students understand the material. Kahoot! has been adopted by approximately 20M elementary schools in the US, with 1 billion users over the past four years (Singer, 2016; Jan Kamps, 2017).
Dreambox Math, offered by Dreambox Learning is an educational technology tool that contains a variety of interactive online math tools that are aligned with the common core. Each student’s progress, strengths, and weaknesses are tracked, providing individualized user experience. Dreambox Learning has an approximate Net Asset Value of $2.3M and is used by over 1.5M students, and more than 75,000 K-6 teachers (GSV Capital, 2017; Fricke, 2015).
Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organization that provides free educational content including video lessons and supplemental practice exercises with an associated mobile app. Lessons for a variety of STEM fields and levels are available, and many exercises are aligned with NGSS and common core standards. Khan Academy has had widespread success: reaching 31M registered students, 1M registered teachers and has 15M site visits per month across 190 countries (Kashyap, 2016).
Though these apps and programs help teachers to track student progress and some gamify STEAM content, none are linked to real hands-on classroom activities and experimentation. While reading fr om a screen, or doing quizzes on a laptop may be more engaging than reading from a textbook or doing work on paper, none take the extra step of exposing students tangible hands-on experiments, which have been found to be most effective at increasing student interest in the STEM fields (Holstermann, Grube, & Bögeholz, 2009).
One potential competitor that does include a hands-on experimentation component is the Full Option Science System (FOSS). FOSS is a research-based science curriculum for grades K-6 with a focus on inquiry-based and hands-on learning. FOSS provides packaged NGSS aligned modules that contain material kits, teacher guides, student readings, and journals with a website for additional activities. FOSS does not have an app, cooking modules, or a student login or profile option; meaning it is used primarily by teachers and does not allow for students to use it outside of the classroom. Module prices vary by topic, but cost around $1,000 for a classroom kit, and include all of the materials needed to cover one topic (e.g. electromagnetic force, solids and liquids, air and weather).
In the afterschool program and home use cooking program field: Radish Kids is a potential competitor. Radish is a monthly subscription club wh ere kids receive a kit each month with lesson plans and activities related to math, science, geography, history, and culture. They also have a kit for a 9-week school program available. However, the program does not have an associated app, and does not have NGSS and CCSS aligned activities, nor does it Link Recipes, STEAM concepts, and nutrition through machine learning and automation to deliver customized curriculum, track and monitor progress, and measure outcomes.

Advantages or differentiators

Despite the relative success of digital games improving self-management and healthy behavior, the field of nutrition and dietary behavior has received little attention in terms of game design. The focus of commercially available games is placed largely on entertainment.
Our solution is the only cooking learning app for children to provide all in one, STEAM content with NGSS & CCSS, hands-on interactive experience, school sale, health and nutrition aspect, adaptive learning feature, and customized lessons.
As the field of classroom educational technology is rapidly expanding, we anticipate that there will be other competitors over the next few years. However, given that we are the first to market in the segment, we will have the strategic advantage of having relationships with schools, our presence in classrooms, and our ability to address various pain points of our target market, as illustrated in Table C. Additionally, another strategic advantage is that as part of our team, we have Dr. Michael Brenner, a professor of applied mathematics and applied physics at Harvard University, who has developed a popular class "Science and Cooking.” As we grow, we plan to continue to attract thought leaders in the segment to continue to provide the best product and experience for the students.

Finance

During our customer discovery interviews, we learned that 60% of educators work in schools where they have a budget of at least $10 per student for enrichment or/and STEAM. Many teachers indicated that they would want the convenience of ordering all of the required ingredients for a lesson with the click of a button, and would purchase a portable cooking kit for in-class use. As a result of these findings, we decided to create a tiered pricing plan. As shown in the table below, the first tier, the Bronze plan, includes only our software application, priced at $7/student/year. The Silver plan bundles the app with ingredient delivery and a cooking kit for $25/student/year, and that is the plan we believe will be chosen by the majority of schools. The Gold Plan, which would be available in major metropolitan areas of Northern California, also includes the added in-class instructor for a series of 20 class sessions per year, priced at $25/student/session (Average $380/student/series of classes).
We are attending an exponential growth of sales in the next 5 years with our new software giving us the ability to scale larger. According to our customer's number goal, we suppose our sales could reach $30M in 5 years.

Business model

Our business model is a B2B model that includes direct sales to schools, learning centers, and homeschooling parents. Our end-users are K-5 students and teachers, along with parents who want to guide their students through homework or the homeschooling version of the app. The decision-makers/purchasers are parents and district administrators, who are the actual customers responsible for establishing budgets and approving school expenditures. We will sell the app to decision-makers both directly, through our website, and through listing our app on an educational distribution platform like Google Classroom, Clever, or Education.com. These are learning management systems that charge various app and content companies a placement fee, so that they can offer their solution to various schools throughout the United States.
Our business model also includes suppliers. We will be sourcing a portion of our product offering (i.e., supplies like recipe ingredients and cooking kits) from online retailers such as Amazon and Instacart, who will serve as our suppliers. When users purchase a bundle that includes ingredients and/or a cooking kit, we will facilitate the purchase and delivery of the supplies through the online retailer website, whereby our customers will bear the delivery fees. This model allows us to earn revenue either through cost savings (derived from Chef Koochooloo negotiating bulk pricing with the retailers), or through commission revenue (derived from enrolling in an affiliate program, whereby each sale of ingredients generates roughly 3% commission revenue).

Money will be spent on

We are planning to use the investment to finalize our software with the highest quality and to develop our sales and marketing activity.

Offer for investor

We offer to investors safe notes (3 million price cap_20% discount).

Team or Management

Risks

We currently offer our solution as a software and service. With the funding we received from NSF, we hope to eliminate the service part of our solution and sell the software and curriculum, on a yearly subscription model, so that we can scale quickly and largely. The biggest risk we foresee is that schools don’t welcome the new pivot, due to fear of using and adopting a new technology on their own. How we plan to overcome this risk is by doing extensive customer interviews in March, followed by customer training and onboarding sessions. We just learned that we have been accepted into the NSF ICorp program which will start this Monday, and through their guidance we will be speaking to 15 customers, learning detailed insights on how to best shape our new product to ensure software only sales. In order to accelerate sales, we wish to work with a distributor. We plan to reach 15+ in August, but there is a good chance we are not able to onboard even one. On a different note, even if one of the distributors talks to us and does not feel like we are well-positioned yet for them to take us as a partner, if they write a letter for NSF stating their opinion on what features needs to be improved, NSF will award us an additional grant of $150,000 to make those changes and make our product attractive enough for a distribution partner to adopt.

Won the competition and other awards

Won National Science Foundation Phase II award.

Invention/Patent

The intellectual property status of the technology is composed of a patent on Interactive Culinary Game Applications (US Patent Number 9,728,098 B2 issued in August 2017) and a trademark (US Trademark Number 5,646,378 issued in January 2019). We plan to pursue a systematic patenting strategy that covers any further versions of the game as well as the associated algorithms.

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Idea
Current Status
Market
Problem or Opportunity
Solution (product or service)
Competitors
Advantages or differentiators
Finance
Invested in previous rounds, $
Business model
Money will be spent on
Offer for investor
Team or Management
Mentors & Advisors
Lead investor
Risks
Incubation/Acceleration programs accomplishment
Won the competition and other awards
Invention/Patent
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