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Daniel Alich: Making Learning About Technology Fun and Inspire New Ideas and Inventions

The DuinoKit company was started by a teacher to help teach about Coding and Electronics. We strive to make learning about technology fun and inspire new ideas and inventions.

Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education is gaining momentum and we want to encourage the future generation to “Inspire and Invent”.

Tell us about yourself?

I am a career educator with a background and passion for electronics and entrepreneurship. While in college, I worked with a custom electronics business and helped manufacture custom devices for the travel/tourism giants in the Orlando area. I also worked in manufacturing for Lockheed Martin manufacturing and performing site installs for US military tactical training units.

If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?

We were transitioning our business/sales model towards schools and groups. When Covid-19 basically shut down STEM education. We were not prepared to build on individual sales and online instruction for DuinoKits at that time. We are now finalizing and developing a complete online classroom learning system for individuals and groups than can also be used in a classroom environment.

What problem does your business solve?

DuinoKits help to flatten the learning curve for introductory electronics and coding. We developed a proprietary approach for plug-and-play circuit development in a non-consumable learning kit. We are also developing an online classroom learning system to help guide teachers and classrooms of kids that may not be 100% comfortable teaching their STEM curriculum.

What is the inspiration behind your business?

Several years after graduating high school, one of my former students returned and was very excited to tell me about a weather monitoring device she made in her Jr. level college course that was launched in a weather balloon to record data. The technology being used in her college course is readily available and many students in grades 8-12. I had to wonder why the school I taught at did not offer these electives much earlier then the traditional college instruction. After all, this technology was at my home and my pre-teen kids tinker with it on a regular basis. It is easy to learn and develop ideas at a very young age.

After an epic failure trying to teach an introductory electronics course, I looked for an easier way to flatten the learning curve and make a non-consumable learning kit. My goal was to make learning about electronics accessible to groups and individuals in a fun hands-on environment. Back in to 80’s and 90’s I learned basic electronics on Radio Shack kits and these are now outdated and nearly impossible to find. I modernized this concept ro include modern, programmable microprocessors and make a link to real computer programming available to a home or school user.

What is your magic sauce?

There is virtually no competition with kit manufacturing. We are also working very hard to develop the educational/tutorial aspect of learning Arduino based electronics. Working many years as a teacher I have a good understanding of teaching pedagogy and assessment methodologies. I also understand how/why kids learn and use these concepts in our kits and tutorials.

What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?

We want the develop and promote the DuinoKit learning system to be the premier learning kit for groups and individuals. We are very active in the Maker movement and are looking for contacts to increase our reach into schools and home learning environments. I hope to provide a fun, challenging curriculum for the beginner and also provide a rapid prototyping system applicable to seasoned Makers and new inventors/tinkerers.

We are seeking strategic partners to help grow the brand, business and promote our products online as well as develop and strengthen our online resources.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?

International manufacturing and finding more US based support for manufacturing. Other than manufacturing, marketing has been difficult to finance and make connections into schools and organizations. It is difficult to meet with the key decision makers in schools and explain our products.

Growing a technology product in rural NC has also been challenging. Our area has great exposure for travel, tourism and heritage crafts. Electronics and coding and difficult to promote in our rural area.

How do people get involved/buy into your vision?

We would love to have people share and talk about their inventions and what they have learned on DuinoKits on social media. Positive reviews from individuals knowledgeable about electronics and coding would be helpful to gain exposure. We are also looking for sharing of personal Arduino projects linking them to DuinoKit.

We are seeking strategic partners to help expand exposure and also help with lessons and tutorials to develop and strengthen our online curriculum.

Funding for large-scale production would help with juggling supply/demand and also help step up marketing and development.

Written by Mark Smith

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