As part of the Arrow Certification Program, Arrow Electronics gives Flash Funding to qualified Indiegogo campaigners with Arrow Certified Technology. Over $1.7 million has been awarded since the beginning of the partnership, and ActivePuzzle is the first winner of 2019. You can qualify for a chance to win Flash Funding by joining the Arrow Certification Program.
For eight years, Meir Sela had been searching for an easy way to teach young children the principles of robotics, but he always came across scientific language barriers. Electronics, mechanics, and computer languages were just too difficult for kids to learn with.
Finally, Sela realized that all children can speak one language fluently—the language of puzzles. Working with the ActivePuzzle team, Sela has tapped into the power of puzzles to help children intuitively discover the principles of robotics.
ActivePuzzle: Not Just Another Robot Building Game
ActivePuzzle is a game that lets kids build robots out of puzzle pieces without any complex coding needed. Each of the game’s puzzle blocks serves a different, vital function. For example, one block stores the battery that powers the robot, while another holds a proximity sensor that allows it to discern objects in front of it.
Kids can play with the pieces, joining them where they fit naturally to find the correct match. Amazingly, these simple puzzle pieces can combine to create items like a maze runner, a wake-up alarm, a smart fan, and more. As they work through the fun process, kids learn critical robotics, logic, problem solving, and spatial cognition skills.
Founder Sela notes that “It’s true that there are many robot building block games out there, but I was looking for something else.” Ultimately, the educator and computer engineer has found a way to join learning and fun in a delightful way—a way that has appealed to hundreds of backers.
“One of the Best Things”: Crowdfunding For ActivePuzzle
Because of the Indiegogo experience, Sela has become a steadfast advocate for crowdfunding.
“Crowdfunding is one of the best things that has happened to the startup industry in the last decade,” he said. Sela found that there were three main benefits to crowdfunding:
- Buzz: ”People around the world get to know your product and brand in a short time.”
- Preproduction-payment: “This was crucial for our business cash flow.”
- Community and feedback: “These are two crucial things for founders.”
Sela also lauded Indiegogo’s “awesome ecosystem of entrepreneurs and backers all around the world who actively support innovative projects.” Because ActivePuzzle is located in Tel Aviv, Israel, this strong international community was particularly important. Sela notes that he received personal support from Indiegogo representatives when setting up their project, and the simple funding integration with his foreign bank made a huge difference.
ActivePuzzle launched on Indiegogo with a cheerful, short video that captured the playful yet educational nature of their product. It featured a young girl playing with ActivePuzzle pieces.
With help from this powerful video, ActivePuzzle’s educational mission and ingenious design attracted attention from both press and backers. Active Puzzle was featured by places like Digital Journal, Mental Floss, Flipboard, ABC8, Medium, and Make. The company has raised over $50,000 from nearly 500 backers via crowdfunding.
Currently, ActivePuzzle is in the mass production process, which includes plastic molding and injection, printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing, PCB assembly, packaging, and documentation. They have also started the fulfillment process, which includes collecting backers’ shipping details, letting them customize add-ons, and planning transportation for the final products.
Arrow Expertise In Action
The creation process wasn’t all fun and games for Sela and his team. As is usual with especially creative innovations, ActivePuzzle was challenged early on.
“We faced several prototyping issues,” Sela said, “but we got personal support from Arrow experts. They helped us select the right electronic components for our requirements.” Sela noted that throughout the manufacturing process, the Arrow Electronics Bill Of Materials (BOM) quote was “by far the most comprehensive and most reasonably priced.”
Sela contacted Arrow Electronics right when he needed help, and they were able to answer and solve the prototyping problem quickly. Sela recommended, “From my experience, the only thing I would suggest is to contact Arrow as early as possible during your design and production process, so that your BOM schedule matches Arrow quotation lead times.”
After Sela’s great experience, Arrow Electronics has won a passionate fan. “If you’re a founder and your product includes electronics, I see no reason why you wouldn’t want to use the awesome Arrow services and support,” he said. “You get the best consultants for your design and BOM; you get the most trusted and well-priced part supply; and you get listed and promoted within Arrow’s community. In my view, it’s a win-win-win situation.”
A Word to Fellow Entrepreneurs
Sela, ever the advocate for education, did want to pass on some advice. As he said, “I would recommend that entrepreneurs use the Arrow services as they work on electronic design and BOM part purchasing. No one else I know provides such professional and comprehensive support—and for free. Purchasing from Arrow will also save your business money; they have the best prices for mass production.”
Ultimately, Sela said that “As entrepreneurs you get the best of all worlds. Joining the Arrow Certification Program gets you promotion, free electronic design and part consultation, great prices for BOM parts, and, finally, the chance to win a cash prize!”
Flash Funding: ActivePuzzle Wins $25,000 from Arrow
ActivePuzzle is officially the latest Indiegogo campaign to win Flash Funding from Arrow, and the ActivePuzzle team is very excited about the extra $25,000 they have to support their project.
“We couldn’t ask for a better time to receive it,” Sela said, “just when we have so many expenses with production and fulfillment.”
Flash Funding winners are chosen from eligible campaigns in the Arrow Certification Program. In addition to funding opportunities, the program offers product discounts, engineering consultations, manufacturing support, supply chain management, and marketing opportunities. Learn more and join the program now!