SAM Labs teaches coding, engineering, and DIY through award-winning technology kits and educational app. Kids learn complex skills of the future through easy-to-use tech. Check out the complete interview of Joachim Horn, CEO-SAM Labs for Mindbowser Expert Series :
What was the idea behind SAM Labs ?
SAM Labs creates wireless electronics kits that allow users to build their own smart inventions using hardware, software and apps through the Internet of Things (IoT). SAM Labs was founded in April 2014 by a group of graduates from Imperial College London led by Joachim Horn, Founder and CEO.
Tell us about your target market
The highly engaging SAM kits, are used by children to invent quirky, wondrous projects, without capping open-ended play and their creativity. SAM is currently used in schools, homes, and makerspaces around the globe.
What kind of technologies and innovation you use at SAM Labs ?
SAM bolsters engineering skills, providing children (of all ages) with the essential tools to explore digital inventorship. Learn how electronic circuits and logic gates are built by experimenting with connections and settings in the SAM Internet of Things (IoT) app. Easily erase or reconnect any circuit through the intuitive interface to quickly iterate and generate different results.
SAM uses multiple innovative technologies to help turn students into future technologists and engineers. The gamified app and fun, little blocks make learning turn into play. By turning learning into a fun experience, a child’s learning is accelerated.
With SAM, you’re allowing for fun to enter a learning environment through a multidimensional approach. SAM blocks work like a recipe: Cook up any invention by simply connecting the dots in the easy-to-use app, SAM Space, and test these connections across physical, wireless SAM blocks in real life. Connections are then customisable with the addition of software blocks, spanning from Logic gates to Log files, to elements like Twitter and Facebook. Master software connections on screen, but cap screen time by bolstering tangible building skills through hardware and creativity. All of these elements are the ingredients to a successful learning session, masked by playfulness.
What are your learnings throughout the journey?
Nobody will remember (or blame you for) your failures, everybody will celebrate your successes. You just have to go for it and make it happen. I remember when Kevin and I launched the project on Kickstarter in October of 2014. We had no idea what SAM would, could, and is becoming.
We started with a crowdfunded idea and had no idea that people really wanted SAM. After wrestling with suppliers, developers, designers, customer service enquiries and more, SAM has grown into a team of determined individuals who all share a mutual appreciation to constantly develop and innovate SAM, keeping our customers happy and inspired. We just raised $4.5m this April to better SAM both internally and externally through our products. Currently, SAM is part of the Intel Education Accelerator in California. We’re always reaching out for new opportunities and building bridges with anyone we can to build a healthy environment for SAM to habituate.
What is your one advice to IOT / proximity solutions
No matter how good your idea, no matter how much backing you’ve got, you start out as a small fish at the mercy of suppliers, competitors, and customers. Stay agile, stay tactical, and surround yourself with an amazing team that shares the same end goal.