What Kid Would Not Want His or Her Own Robot and This NYC Startup Makes it Happen


Robot Factory

Kids are digital natives, and Tinybop has just the thing for when the little natives get restless.

Tinybop builds elegant, educational iOS apps made to spark kids’ natural curiosity. They’re apps that empower kids to learn and create by diving into big ideas, testing how things work, and making connections about the world they live in.

The first series of apps, The Explorer’s Library, includes The Human Body, a working model in which the heart beats, guts gurgle, and eyes see; Plants, interactive dioramas of the earth’s biomes; and Homes, an adventure into unique households around the world.

They’ve just released their second series, Digital Toys — in which kids build, play with, and collect their own creations — launched in April 2015 with The Robot Factory.

Head of Product – and former kid – Youngna Park tells us more about these apps, which do hit #1 in the app store.

Tell us about the product.

Tinybop builds educational iOS apps to spark the curiosity of kids around the globe. Our apps—The Human Body, Plants, Homes, and The Robot Factory—empower kids to learn and create by diving into big ideas, testing how things work, and making connections about the world they live in.

How is it different?

We put kids’ curiosity and imaginations at the heart of our process and take a unique approach to teaching global subjects: it’s non-didactic: we stray away from text, and we emphasize exploration. Our apps are built from the idea that kids learn best by trying things out from themselves, so we embrace open play. The more kids explore, the more they’ll discover and learn.

What market are you attacking and how big is it?

Kids and Education apps is a multi-billion dollar global market. It’s the global market of kids’ educational products.

What is the business model?


Youngna Park

Our model is to build a series of paid, high quality apps for iOS. We look at the lifetime value of the customer and focus on building brand equity with them. Our focus is on building a series, rather than single hits.

What inspired the business?

Our apps are inspired from the books, toys, and games of our own childhoods, coupled with the frustration of the educational app landscape. Kids are growing up as digital natives, but the quality of options on iPhones and iPads, particularly in the educational space, still has a long way to grow. We hope to change this by providing rich apps that reward a deep dive.

What are the milestones that you plan to achieve within six months?

We’re releasing several more titles this year that expand on both of our app series, The Explorer’s Library and Digital Toys.

If you could be put in touch with one investor in the New York community who would it be and why?

It’d always be great to talk to Fred Wilson, because he’s the founder of CSNYC (NYC Foundation for Computer Science Education) and we have a lot of overlapping interests.

Why did you launch in New York?

Our founding team was based in New York and we had a lot of support from the New York VC, startup, design, and education communities.

Where is your favorite outdoor bar in the city for a drink when it is actually warm out?

The backyard at Doris, in Clinton Hill/Bed-Stuy.


About the author: AlleyWatch

AlleyWatch is the destination for startup news; opinions and reviews; investment and product information; events reported, experienced, seen, heard and overheard here in New York. But it’s who we are that makes us different: we’re the writers and the entrepreneurs; the investors and the mentors; the lawyers and the marketers; the realtors and the recruiters – the people who work in the industry.

You are seconds away from signing up for the hottest list in New York Tech!

Join the millions and keep up with the stories shaping entrepreneurship. Sign up today.