At Girls in Tech Helsinki we believe that the best way of encouraging more women into the tech sector and entrepreneurship is by showing role models. And with this objective in mind, we paid a little visit to Lisa Gerkens, co-founder and in charge of the product development of LeeLuu, a Finnish startup focusing on soft interactive nightlight for kids.
1. How did you come up with the idea of Leeluu?
We started working on LeeLuu Nightlights originally in Aalto University, School of Arts, Design and Architecture. Designing solutions to help people in life changing situations. Starting to sleep in your own room as a child is such a situation for children but also their parents. Our goal is to empower children to overcome their nighttime fears.
2. What is the innovative part in Leeluu ?
We wanted children to be able to interact directly with the toy as one would, for example with a pet, designing a product that will become the child’s companion. To create this magical experience we developed our own textile sensor technology. These sensors can sense touch, its nature and pressure in one structure. Patents on this technology are pending.
3. Who are the team behind Leeluu and how did you find each other?
At Leeluu we are 4 founders from Finland, Sweden and Germany. We have a very strong background in design and focus on developing products together with their future users. We have met in Aalto University and have worked together previously in various combinations.
4. At the moment yo are also raising money through crowdfunding, can you tell us a little bit about the process of preparing and running a crowdfunding campaign?
Of course! We launched our crowdfunding campaign in Indigogo at the end of April and we are very happy to announce that we reached our goal of 50K few days ago. Our campaign is still active since we decided to give people, that missed the campaign, the chance to still buy a LeeLuu so don’t hesitate to take a look!
Preparing for a crowdfunding campaign requires time and effort: You don’t only need to created all the content necessary but also building up your community and get the manufacturing ready.
Running a campaign is quite a big challenge and requires constant attention. Customers have to be taken care of daily and the work with the press is time consuming. Crowdfunding is a great way to proof sales but the work necessary to put in is quite significant. We are very thankful for having such an awesome community that helped us immensely by sharing and promoting themselves. For that, THANK YOU!
5. What are the next steps for LeeLuu?
Many things! For instance developing our technology further but first of all: Delivering LeeLuus to all our great Backers!
From right to left LeeLuu Lab’s founders: Hanna Markgren, Lisa Gerkens, Heni Salovuori and Emmi Pouta.
Interview by Jaana.