Building Better Learning Tools By Learning From Your Customers


We recently hosted a conversation between Chris Cochella, Founder & Co-Owner at Brackitz, and Marilyn Gorman, Lean Startup Co. Faculty Lead, focused on how the desire to find better engineering toys for his son turned into an idea to create a toy to help promote STEAM learning in young children.

In Chris and Marilyn’s conversation, they discuss:
– What problem drove Chris to start Brackitz.
– The process Chris went through to test his early assumptions with his customers (teachers and students).
– The importance of letting your curiosity fuel you.

And much, much more…


Like many new product beginnings, the idea behind Brackitz came out of a personal need. After he started a science program at his kids’ elementary school, Chris Cochella, founder and co-owner of Brackitz toys, realized that there wasn’t a lot of hands-on science or engineering tools available for young children. To Chris, this was a problem.

Right now, the National Science Foundation says that the declining interest in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) is a national concern. As Chris was looking more into the issue, he discovered that spatial play and spatial reasoning is a very strong predictor of STEAM related things, including degree attainment and math skill development in children ages three to four.

In a world where kids are increasingly on digital devices, how do we get them to willingly put those devices down and start playing more with their hands?

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