The problem our project solves

EU countries are gradually starting to end lockdowns but social distancing may last for 1-2 years.

Daycares and schools are still closed. Parents need to take care of their kids and work in parallel alongside managing the family and household. This affects 65 Million households in the EU.

Parents are experiencing a lot of pressure. Fulfilling many parallel tasks in a fully satisfying manner poses unknown challenges and leads to mental stress. Parents do not find time to do sports and relax. In Europe there are 79 million children under 15 years that are out of school at the moment. Kids miss their routines, their grandparents, friends and classmates. And while they live without external social contacts, parents at home can only give them a limited amount of attention.

Many people might have more time for various reasons: Grandparents might be in retirement, isolated from their families and miss a contribution to the family life. Members of your family, friends or the parents of your kid’s friends might be being laid off or working reduced hours. Other small business owners in your neighborhood are not able to run one’s own business since it is closed.

As society we are facing even more challenges: Across all EU countries there are 55M jobs at risk. Two third of the jobs are at risk are in small medium enterprises (SME). Many businesses will not survive this crisis. Local small medium business and freelancers need to transform their business and offerings to generate new revenue streams.

In summary, a large and important group of employees are affected by the challenge of managing job and family in parallel. Without a solution to take care of our future generation, they are not able to fully carry on their job, but we need their power to overcome economic effects and manage the crisis in the best manner. On the other hand, certain groups of people suddenly have more time and are searching for a new purpose or think about transforming their business in terms of new offerings or services.

The solution we bring to the table

We want to enable live-moments of togetherness, purpose and joy for the whole family.

Playworks is a live (in the moment) platform for families to create purposeful moments of education through a network of family members, friends, other parents and local experts (e.g. your yoga teacher). To bring people together, learn something new, support working parents, give purpose to the elderly and support small businesses.

The main touchpoint is the TV that turns the living room into a place of excitement, connectivity and joy.

Kids learn a lot from social interactions. There are many things they need to know in life, that a classical curriculum does not cover or does not have the time to devote much time on. The concept is built around sessions stretching from more active fine motor skills (e.g. how to build a LEGO castle, how to handicraft a telescope), or more gross motor skills (e.g. kids yoga or dancing) to more passive consumption, training listening and comprehension skills (e.g. listening to a fairytale read by grandma).

Sessions can be designed by parents, friends, or even small businesses and experts (e.g. the yoga teacher) via a smart phone or tablet app. The platform provides a good mix of inspiration sessions in a gamified way. The scheduling of family members activities is managed by the parents in line with their work schedule (e.g. important video call).

Depending on the family member and age the amount of sessions as well as the content varies. For Kids, the amount of potential sessions with people they know is higher. Relationships need time to grow, trust develops over time. We believe the connection and intimacy between people that know each other is much higher which is key to open up in order to learn something new. To support working parents, we need the power of family members and friends, that kids know and trust. The platform can create a win – win – win situation for kids, parents and people currently having more time (e.g. grandparents) or looking for extending their business to new offerings.

The solution’s impact to the crisis

Benefits for the family: Create moments of togetherness, Bring joy, fun, emotion, optimism for the whole family

Benefits for Kids: Use of time in an exciting and useful way and learn from others. Adding social competencies. Learn new additional skills for life next to traditional schooling.

Benefits for parents: Better management of the parallel responsibility for work and family. Gain qualitative time to focus on their work without feeling guilty Find relief and mental balance

Benefits for grandparents: Give purpose and meaning to grandparents, let them join and support. Stay connected to your family.

Benefits for other family members, friends and other parents: Share the caretaking of your kids with others. Use the time (laid off, working reduced hours) to support your community Stay connected.

Benefits for small local business owners: Offer new services and live courses and gain some additional money

The value of our solution after the crisis

This live platform will still be highly relevant and valuable after the crisis.

The platform is all about intensifying social connections and about linking learning and feeling. It is a sustainable solution for a problem, that the crisis didn´t cause but that became very apparent through the crisis.

Our traditional curriculum does not offer the full spectrum of things worth and useful to learn. Like: experiences, tips, advice and hearty emotional connections kids need. There are plenty of things we can learn from family members living abroad or in other cities or districts.

Potentially the current situation will lead to a changing work / life balance increasingly blending those two sides of our lives. Parents working from home while looking after their kids could easily become common after the crisis. Also, single parents could benefit from the platform. A new pricing model could enable a day pass.

Companies could use the platform to offer sessions (e.g. yoga) to their employees. This is cheaper than a real teacher but still more unique and interactive (the yoga teacher can give real time advice) than a pre-recorded yoga session.

The platform can be used for social entertainment. Imagine having your friends over and jointly taking a live cooking session with a famous chef? A new pricing model could enable a single session purchase. Families can use the platform on the weekends to get inspired and take courses together using a day pass.

Technical Solution

Why not a mobile/ smart TV app? Mobile and smart TV app development is platform specific which makes the development cost high. Also, the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store take 30% off in-app purchases and subscriptions.

Why a progressive web app? A web app is not platform specific and can be accessed by almost all devices: mobile devices, computer and smart TV’s. It is built using Javascript, CSS and HTML5. It’s quicker, easier and cheaper to build.

Live Video Streaming Live Video Streaming services are extremely challenging and costly to build from scratch. Playworks will be built with third-party Live Video Streaming API’s such as Zoom or other solution providers. On the other hand, we can seek for collaboration with local tech startups or companies that work on this topic, such as Jitsi Meet in Munich.

Why not a smart TV app? Smart TV native apps require platform specific development. Moreover, many smart TV manufactures do not support USB webcams and microphones or require a complicated process with third-party cam apps.

Casting/Mirroring from other devices Casting or mirroring from mobile devices or laptops is generally easy with Apple Mirroring Screen or Android Chromecast functions and the usage of camera and microphone will not be an issue.

Business Model & Evaluation

Key Partners

  • Conferencing Tool Tech provider, e.g. Jitsi Meet in Munich
  • Design firm, e.g. Designworks
  • Local or State Department for Family, Education and Digital Transformation
  • Country’s Small Medium Enterprise
  • Association for contacts and advice
  • Local Pilot Content Creators in Art,Fitness, Education and Food, etc.

Key Activities

  • Business Evaluation
  • Setting Up the Company
  • Design and Development
  • Marketing off- and online
  • Setting pilot content creation
  • IT and Business Maintenance

Key Resources

  • Human Resources: Development,
  • Design, IT, Marketing
  • Financial: Government funding,venture capital, bank loan
  • Local Business Connection

Value Proposition

  • Value to Family: Connecting family members and close circles together emotionally, especially during lockdown and social distancing
  • Value to Viewer: Create engaging learning or activity sessions for viewers through small group (<10 viewer) live stream session with local content creators with unique expertise
  • Value to SME and individual contributor: Helping local SME or individual professionals with expertise suffering from the Corona crisis to transform their traditional business offerings to new services to generate new revenue stream (e.g. bakery - baking class, writer - storytelling, carpenter - woodwork, artist - painting, etc)

Customer Relationship

  • Network and community building
  • Private calls for pilot content creators
  • Trust & Safety
  • General Content Supervision
  • Parent Content Control
  • Rating & Review

Channels

  • Use and Purchase Channel: Mobile App - Scheduling and Streaming (Smart TV - Live Streaming and Viewing)
  • Distribution Channel: App Stores
  • Marketing Channel: Website, Social Media, Local Newspaper, Local Association Magazine, Physical Poster in the community, Ministry of Educations, local schools and the business, Phone calls with

Customer Segments:

  • Viewer or Participants: Family (kids, parents, grand parents) Anyone who’s interested in learning or doing new things.
  • Moderators: If a kid is the viewer, parents will be the one to set up schedules or overlook all content she/he consumes.
  • Content Creator: Local Small Medium Enterprise, Local Individuals with some expertise (bakers, cook, carpenter, hairdresser, artist, educator, musician, theater player, scriptwriter, yoga instructors, fitness trainer, career coach, etc.)

Cost Structure:

  • Platform Design: 50K
  • MVP WebApp Development: 50-100 K
  • Development & Maintainance: 80-320K/year
  • Office Rent: 10-40K/year
  • Live Stream API: 50-200/classroom/year
  • Payment API: 2.9%+0.3€/time
  • Marketing cost: 3-7% of total revenue
  • Content cost: 80% of subscription

Revenue Streams:

  • In App Purchase
  • Monthly Subscription - 0-50€/pp
  • Session Material Package - 0-15€/session/pp
  • Voluntary Tips - 0-5€/session/pp
  • Sponsorship and advertising from local business
  • Government funding’s for Family, Education or Digital Transformation
  • Venture Capital

Financial Value

  • For SME and Individual Contributor: The average income of cooks, bakers, carpenters, artists, yoga instructors, music teachers in Europe is 10-30€/h, according to Payscale. With Playworks, they could receive 10-30€/session plus tips and material package cut, making it 200-400 euro a month (10-15h). It’s a good additional income during lockdown and social distancing, especially when they experience reduced income.
  • For Family: Before Corona crisis, research shows Germans spend averagely 50€/month alone on gym and fitness trainers. Families with kids spend much more money on their extracurricular activities such as sports, art, music, e.g. Brits spent more than 130€/month/kid on this. Now, people can use Playworks paid live session with just 25 or 50 euro to enjoy learning and leisure activities online. Plus, the online session with family and friends are free.
  • For Playworks: Based on the financial estimation, after the initial development phase, most of the cost are variable cost such as API use, scale of maintenance. Playworks will take 15-20% of the subscription revenue together with the sponsorship and funding’s to pay for maintenance and further development.

In all, Playworks is financially meaningful to all parties during the lockdown and social distancing time and the business model has good chance to sustain after the Corona crisis with potential modification to the pricing model. (See PDF with Business Canvas and Business Evaluation)

What we have done during the weekend

Playworks was created within 3 days.

We started with an open brainstorming and shared our initial ideas within the team. Out of a wide portfolio of ideas in different topic fields we picked on in the area Remote Working & Education.

We dived deeper into researching some facts and figures to gain a better understanding of the size of the target group, devices different age groups use as well as learning behaviors.We discussed the specific scenarios and potential usage of this platform to narrow it down and define the concept and user groups.

We explored the name for our product, created a visual style and initial presentation deck. We started developing the interaction concept and user experience for our ecosystem of devices, explored the business model canvas and pricing models as well as the technical setup and feasibility. We received great help from developers that we are very thankful for. We created an initial prototype showcasing the user interface and interactions between the participants. All content is part of a short movie we created in the end.

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