Priyanka Raha is the Founder & CEO of PopSmartKids Inc. After spending 15 years in tech, she decided to set out on her own. Her new venture would be both mission-driven and deeply personal: PopSmartKids takes Priyanka’s passion for “the human factor in technology,” as she puts it, and builds collaborative apps for kids, parents, and educators.
Building connections for digital natives
“It all started at home,” says Priyanka. Her sons, ages 8 and 4, love to build and create. “But when they are either watching or doing something on the screen, it just seems like a black hole. It seems like they are not coming by and showing what they have done, what they have learned.” With PopSmartKids, Priyanka hopes to harness screen time into something positive and productive. Instead of that “black hole,” could kids find something to be proud of? Could screen time actually help parents forge deeper connections with their children?
Preparing kids with creativity and collaboration
PopSmartKids’ first release is a collaborative storytelling app—not just because it’s fun (although it is), but because it’s a valuable skill kids can carry with them for the rest of their lives.
“In my career I have consistently seen the lack of some bringing it all together,” explains Priyanka. Storytelling doesn’t just have to be about writing picture books; it can help kids better understand a science experiment, or anything else that requires “connecting the dots.”
A crucial community
Priyanka is all about creating connections—not just with kids, but with other small business owners. When she quit her corporate job, it was hard going suddenly from having co-workers to working completely on her own, driving from coffee shop to coffee shop for meetings and getting as much work done as she could in between. After visiting ATLAS for the first time, Priyanka fell in love with the open space, and found a team of other entrepreneurs who were eager to collaborate, whether to brainstorm ideas or promote each other’s work. Not only has ATLAS given her a place to get the job done, it’s given her the community of colleagues she’s been missing since setting out on her own.
“I was telling my husband how ATLAS promotes my vision and my company on social channels. He said “Oh, so they are not just a coworking space.” That sums it up for me.”
Priyanka works in ATLAS’ Lounge a couple days a week. She enjoys the flexibly afforded by the quarter time plan – a home base without a full-time commitment.
Next year, Priyanka hopes to build a second app with a similar mission: a platform to showcase kids’ talent. Perhaps ATLAS can help you showcase yours.