14th May, Prishtina / Skopje – South Central Ventures is adding an Ed-tech Startup Labbox to its portfolio. The Kosovo based startup closed a seed investment to help the company bring its unique STEM kits to the market. Labbox’ products are fun educational experience, based on proprietary curriculum, allowing children to learn technology through a series of STEM challenges. This is SCV’s first investment in Kosovo based start-up, providing the funding for getting the first batch of products to the market.
Labbox solves a very important problem that impacts the way kids learn technology. It is aiming to shift their mindset from being afraid of making mistakes towards encouraging experimentation and teaching them how to learn from mistakes. Labbox’ novel approach brings in focus learning through creative storytelling and encourages children to try and solve the challenges by themselves, rather than simply give them instructions.
It makes the STEM concepts easier to grasp for children, by offering hardware that provides feedback to kids through a color coded language, so they can learn and troubleshoot on their own. Labbox’ unique approach to learning has caught the attention of many educators worldwide, and has already been piloted in the public education system in Kosovo. Labbox was a Gold Medal winner in the Startup Games in London last year, Finalist in SLUSH – one of the biggest startup events in Helsinki, and is a virtually incubated team in Innovation Centre Kosovo (ICK).
The founders – sister duo Arta and Fiona Shehu – started LabBox in 2018 in the classroom of their coding academy for kids JCoders Academy. With the help of their pool of skilled collaborators and hundreds of hours testing different components and curriculums with their students, Labbox was born. Today Labbox is a team of highly skilled and experienced people in electronics, programming, and certified educators in the field of STEM education. They are among the first in the region to become STEM certified from AdvancEd, the biggest American accreditation agency.
“How our kids spend their time with technology will define their approach and their concepts in the long term. Labbox not only provides the necessary experience to learn, but also shifts kids mindset to being more open to learning from their mistakes, which is an important mindset that builds a generation of problem solvers that are empowered to find solutions for the problems of our world,” said Arta Shehu Zaimi, the CEO and co-founder of Labbox.
Tatjana Zabasu Mikuž, SCV Managing Partner, adds: “I am always looking for inspiring founders, with great domain knowledge, who are addressing the challenges of today’s world. Having the opportunity to work with a creative and knowledgeable team with a mission to better prepare our children for the future challenges, such as Labbox, is really exciting and I am happy we are supporting them on this mission.”
About South Central Ventures
With offices in Belgrade, Zagreb and Skopje, South Central Ventures (SCV), through Enterprise Innovation Fund (ENIF), is focused on tech companies in the Western Balkans. The €40m fund is dedicated primarily to early stage and growth investments. Within the fund’s ‘seed pocket’, €1,5 million is allocated for investments of up to €100k per company. The majority of the fund is allocated for early stage and growth investments of up to €3m per company. These investments are intended to fuel the international business expansion and growth of the most promising tech startups that can show traction and prove their potential to “make it big”.