Google Meet is what our team uses to host our meetings; for a remote team, that communication is just so key.
Edna Martinson and Clarence Tan, co-founders of Boddle Learning, know that kids learn best when they’re having fun. They started the edtech company in 2018, releasing an app in 2020 that builds skills for K-6 students while engaging them with interactive games. Avatars with transparent “bottle” heads fill up as students earn knowledge points, and can be emptied “to power amazing things in the game”–showing even the youngest users that education has the potential to create change. “We want to help kids, especially those struggling to keep up, regain their spark for learning,” Edna says. “The more confident kids are, the more they comprehend.” Boddle’s 17-person team of education and software experts work mostly remotely. They use Google Workspace tools like Calendar to stay organized, Google Meet to communicate, and Jamboard, a digital whiteboard, to brainstorm. “We love having Jamboard open during virtual meetings as we ideate and work out projects,” says Edna.
Boddle has nearly four million registered students from all U.S. states, with a growing number of international users. Free tiers keep it accessible to everyone, or users can pay for additional features. Games have expanded from just math to language arts–with more subjects to come. Boddle received a $100,000 cash award and hands-on support from the Google for Startups Black Founders Fund in 2021, which they used to develop an Android app, and create diagnostic testing so that teachers can place students at appropriate levels. They plan to add games for grades 7-8 soon, along with the ability for teachers and educational partners to submit content. Boddle enjoys 250 percent year-over-year user growth, but it’s the impact they’re having that really adds up for their team. Says Edna, “When teachers and parents talk about kids who dreaded math, and now they’re really excited–that’s the reason we do this.”