StarTime courts investors to build global online kids edutainment platform
Kids edutainment business StarTime is entering a new phase of growth, and for the first time is seeking outside investment through equity crowdfunding to help fund its burgeoning online platform.
The successful kid’s edutainment business, founded in 2008 by husband and wife duo Lindsay and Jo Moss, is poised to take advantage of the exploding revolution in online learning, an industry that is expected to hit USD $1 Trillion by 2027, according to Global Market Insights.
The new online platform will help drive a transformation that began during the pandemic.
“We did what any creative problem solvers would do and pivoted to offering more online content. But I think we’ve pushed Zoom to its limits. We used it to create an interactive TV show-style event, with hundreds of kids per session and now it’s time for something of our own,” CEO Lindsay Moss said.
StarTime offers a STEAM education curriculum, which according to the Institute for Arts Integration and STEAM, is “an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue and critical thinking.”
To date, StarTime has reached more than 55,000 children across Australia, Malaysia, US and New Zealand through its in-person and online workshops taught by a cadre of world-class artists and performers, including television personalities, a Tropfest winner, a NIDA Acting graduate, a Captain Starlight, a Bell Shakespeare Player, an AACTA award winner and others with equally stellar credentials.
“This is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor with a business that is passionate about its mission, has a clear roadmap for growth and is well positioned to succeed in a world where methods of communication and education are rapidly changing,” Mr Moss said.
“When we teach kids that the key to thriving lies in facing challenges head on, with perseverance and creativity, we aren’t just saying that. At StarTime, we really do practice what we preach,” he continued.
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Since beefing up their online offering 18 months ago, an additional 3,000 families have made more than 20,000 workshop bookings.
The Mosses believe this is a great time to invest in an established business that is solving the much-needed challenge of reintroducing STEAM-directed learning to children during a time when the demand for such approaches is expected to explode.
A large part of this success was StarTime’s strategic move to build relationships with blue-chip organisations like NAB, Unilever, Ernst & Young and Camp Australia – offering holiday workshops for children of these organisations’ employees. StarTime has a dozen such relationships.
The online workshops are proving to be a hit with parents who keep enrolling their children into the workshops over and over again.
“My daughter absolutely loved these sessions. I had been super-stressed trying to homeschool and manage a very busy work schedule, and these were some of the few occasions I didn’t feel completely torn in leaving her in front of the screen. I could hear squeals of delight and giggles coming from the lounge as I was working in the office and was able to work guilt-free for a few precious hours,” one parent wrote to StarTime.
The money StarTime raises during this round of funding will be used to build a global edutainment platform that will not only replace Zoom for online workshops, but will also support StarTime’s in-school programs.
StarTime also has partnerships with 290 schools throughout Australia, which includes Sydney’s prestigious Reddam House. Reddam House recently skyrocketed to become one of the top 10 schools in NSW, in part because of its philosophy of encouraging student collaboration over competition, a philosophy StarTime also shares.
“What we’ve found is that face-to-face learning informs our online workshops and vice versa. So we’re not just building a platform for our content, but we’re building a true marketplace where learning can thrive,” Mr Moss explained.
The functionality of the platform that will drive this hybrid approach will far surpass what’s offered by other national providers and will position StarTime to compete globally.
There are plans for a live-streaming video chat, private meeting rooms, an upload and share facility, a wide variety of interactive content, gamification elements, pre-recorded content, moderated chat rooms and more.
“The plan is to have a world-class platform that lives up to the world-class quality of our content, which we’ve cultivated over the past 14 years,” Mr Moss said.
The idea for StarTime was borne out of the Moss’ first-hand experience with the power of creative problem solving – and their passion for giving children the tools they need to become creative problem solvers themselves.
COO Jo Moss recalls growing up “painfully shy,” but being able to overcome it little by little through sport and other creative pursuits.
“Helping children develop their confidence has always been my passion. It brings tingles up my spine and tears to my eyes to see StarTime kids on stage, so proud of themselves and embracing their moment to shine,” Mrs Moss said.
Lindsay Moss has spent the last 20 years working in acting and other creative pursuits. He said it’s especially rewarding working with children.
“When you see a child come into a drama class and achieve something they didn’t expect to achieve, there’s a renewed sense of confidence they get from it. Unlike adults, they don’t need to be proven that time and time again. Once they experience a breakthrough, they’re off and running,” Mr Moss said.
Anyone interested in investing in StarTime and getting in on the ground floor has until 29 October 2021 to submit an Expression of Interest at https://www.fundsition.com/investment/startime/
FUNDSITION, which is a licensed equity crowdfunding platform.