Durham, N.C. — Amit Pradhan’s wife was doing what a lot of us do as we try to fill up our children’s school breaks with fun and educational camps: Relying on Google and online reviews, along with recommendations from friends, to find something her son, now 8, would enjoy.
Pradhan wondered why there wasn’t a better way – so he created one. Durham-based KidCircle, now available on smartphones and tablets, provides parents a simple way to find, register, pay and track their children’s activities all from one platform.
KidCircle launched in August and is free for parents to use. Activity providers pay to use the app and can take advantage of its simplified operational process, which also includes other IT services such as website design, development and hosting
Pradhan has more than 15 years of experience in the field of IT and software development, starting as a software engineer and moving up to lead a development team and manage software development as senior development manager at Fidelity Investments. I checked in with Pradhan to learn more about KidCircle. Here’s a Q&A:
Go Ask Mom: Was there an aha moment that led to KidCircle? What sparked the idea?
Amit Pradhan: Back in January 2017, when my son was on a track-out break, I watched my wife struggle with camp planning. It took her an hour or two to get to one activity that my son might enjoy. It involved Google search, calling the provider, contacting friends to get their opinions and finally running a search for reviews before deciding on an activity. During this time, she had trouble accessing all this information on her smart phone because many vendor sites were not mobile friendly. As we talked with other parents, we found that they shared our frustrations – confusing websites, iffy reviews, and incomplete information were the top complaints.
So we reached out to the activity providers, who were also frustrated with bad activity aggregators, unverifiable Google reviews and, overall, a lack of a unified platform for them to confidently promote their activities. At that point, KidCircle was born.
GAM: How does KidCircle work?
AP: For parents, they can download the application on their mobile devices via Apple App Store and Google Play. After that, they can set up their kids’ profiles to get started. Using the app, they can see activities nearby based on kids’ age, topics of interest, and upcoming school holidays. The activities from various providers show up for parents based on their profile information. All the profile data is securely kept in their mobile phones for future use to save time during sign up in an activity.
GAM: How do providers sign on to be a part of it?
AP: For activity providers, they can sign up via KidCircle.com. Once they have account created, they can use the iPad app to login and start using the platform. Any activities created via iPad gets displayed to their website as well as Parent KidCircle app. They can also use this iPad to communicate with parents and share photos while session is going on.
GAM: As you got ready for the launch, what’s been your biggest challenge?
AP: My biggest challenge is to reach out and onboard activity providers faster.
GAM: What are your hopes for the future of KidCircle?
AP: Our vision is to use the most innovative technologies to create an amazing space where parents can discover, filter, organize, plan and sign up for activities. We dream of a time when parents can utilize artificial intelligence to its full extent to provide amazing experiences for their kids. I would like to grow this solution so that kids of all ages benefit to achieve success.
Go Ask Mom features local parents and their projects, activities, businesses and passions every Monday.
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