“You know what’s the best investment you can make in your child’s education?” asks Tucoola founder Eli Porat. “It’s not college. It’s preschool. Studies show kids who get the best education at that age go on to earn the most money and have the biggest houses.”
As a native New Yorker I’m familiar with tales of parents spending tens of thousands of dollars to get their children ready for kindergarten. It seems kind of sick, but it’s certainly a very big market opportunity.
Tucoola’s premise is fairly simple. It offers a wealth of fun online games that children can play for training in everything from spelling to math to spatial intelligence. Parents who register can track their kids’ progress and see where their strengths and weaknesses are.
In an onstage presentation at DEMO Spring 2012 in Santa Clara, Calif. today, Porat walked the audience through Tucoola’s site, which, in addition to educational games for kids, includes games for moms and dads and an area for the entire family.
“Baby Einstein can’t give you feedback on how well your kid did this week to the next, because they don’t have that data. We can help parents understand their kids’ educational needs and adapt the program to fit that,” said Porat.
Tucoola received $350,000 in angel funding back in 2009. With no outbound marketing, Porat says the site has signed up tens of thousands of users and attracted 300,000 visitors in the last month.
Porat is a mechanical engineer by training and worked at Intel building semi-conductors, but he says he has the neccessary experience to design educational games and software. “Father to six, grandfather to four, I understand how children learn.”
Tucoola is one of 80 companies chosen by VentureBeat to launch at the DEMO Spring 2012 event taking place this week in Silicon Valley. After we make our selections, the chosen companies pay a fee to present. Our coverage of them remains objective.