Betweened Pitches at Startup Battlefield | TechCrunch Disrupt 2023

Last one this concludes start of Battlefield for the the preliminary Rounds but tomorrow you need to come Back for the finals we're going to have Five companies well four to six Companies come back and present to you Guys again to a whole new set of Judges With a new uh pic format as well so Please make sure you come back tomorrow But tonight at 7 I think it's uh I'm Going to get in trouble because I think It's 900 p.m. and we're going To announce the finalist so look for That tonight but before that we have one More com Coming to you from San Jose California Is between presenting for between is Carla Engel bre bring them on out big Round of Applause I'm Carla Angel bre CEO and Founder between where we're building Mindful responsible social media for Kids and Families when someone turns 16 you don't Just hand them the keys to the car and Expect that they magically know how to Drive you have to teach them nor should We give kids social media just because The privacy laws say that they're now Old enough to engage with it because Social media has some challenges like Predatory algorithms addictive Behavioral Loops that reinforce toxic Mindsets strangers and creepers not the

Minecraft kind sliding into DMS uh compromised personal Data and inappropriate videos and Messaging and naturally kids lying about Their age to gain access to these Platforms that are not made for Them now I know this is a mom of a 12-year-old who's sitting right here Moms talk about showing our daughters What we can Do but what I've learned about this Generation that there's 35 million of Them in the us alone never mind globally Whose needs are not being met they're Exposed to inappropriate content their Messaging needs are not met the Incumbents have left a soft spot in the Market for for products for kids and on Top of that these kids drive a trillion Dollars in purchasing in the us Alone uh in direct and indirect decision Making and the brands that market to Kids lack ways to engage with them and Their spaces for reaching parents is Crowded and noisy now I know this as a Parent but I also know this as a Developer so I work in children's media And I do this for a very specific reason When I was in college I was a victim of Gun violence I was shot by somebody who Was 17 years old and it set me on a path Of really thinking about how does Somebody end up there and one of the Answers for me was really about media

And this put me on a path to Understanding impact work with Highlights for children PBS Kids Sesame Street I have a Doctorate in Education And from that working on impact that Drove me to thinking about scale and at Netflix when we launch bander snatch we Launch globally day and date on a Thousand supported Platforms in 32 Languages so I've spent 25 years Understanding how to balance scale and Impact and education and entertainment And that's what leads me to the work I Do today because today's kids don't Remember a time where notifications Weren't blooping and bleeping at us 247 They need to be taught how to engage and How to disengage with technology just Like we teach them to read to add and Subtract to think critically even how we Teach them to drive that is why we're Building between social media doesn't Have to be bad when it's leveraged as Part of a balanced social media diet or Balanced media diet even between is a Platform that will support kids digital L literacy While providing the entertainment and Education the interaction that they Crave between features kid-friendly Versions of the Creator tools that we See on major platforms and all those Dance challenges hamster videos magic Tricks that kids create and share that

Taps into essential developmental pieces Of navigating emotions and Self-expression and we really encourage Creating together because whether you're Creating with friends with siblings with Your parents that creating together not Only heightens the learning and the Skills that are learned through that but It also deepens emotional bonds now we Also allow kids to connect through their Profiles we guide them to have authentic Profiles so and we guide them to be Socially and emotionally appropriate in Their communication so the only trolls That exist here are ones that we Intentionally introduce as part of our Guided Curriculum now just as you wouldn't ask Somebody to uh drive a U-Haul in Parallel parket in Manhattan before They've learned to parallel park in a You know nice quiet Suburban side street We provide parental tools that can be Turned on and off because kids shouldn't Have access to all of the tools right Off the bat so in this way parents can Customize the platform for the age and Stage of their child and for their Personal preferences and then we work With them through our guided curriculum To decide when is the right time to Introduce new tools to these Kids now let's see some videos go to Demo we are so pleased to introduce and

Debut the beta of between here today on The tech crunch Stage are you ready for a dance party Have a dance party Party Museum so as you scroll through Between you'll see all kinds of content Whether it's funny dance videos Inspirational moments educational Moments craft ideas all kinds of things And that all of that content is there For the kids and it is curated and Moderated by experts by adults trained In developmental psychology and in our Editorial guidelines to ensure that Everything that is on the platform is Appropriate for kids intermixed with the Content are moments to pause encouraging Kids and their parents to stop and be Thoughtful about how they're engaging With social media this can range from Tips through to interactive moments like Our troll training and all of this is Done with verified parental consent Ensuring that we're privacy compliant Around the world Back to slides Please now we're intentionally starting With content for our beta because this Addresses a major pain point for parents Age appropriate content but it also Ensures that between is engaging from The start allowing us to jump start Network effects and data required to Build a social graph as we launch our

Beta we'll begin doing good Old-fashioned networking with parents And leveraging brand Partnerships so That we continue to grow between as our Social features come online we'll Introduce an invitation system for kids To connect with their friends We began bootstrapping between two and a Half months ago and since then a truly Stunning group of advisers have already Rallied around us together we represent A dedication to leveraging the best of Big Tech and marrying that with impact Of driving Global impact in education Around the World we are uh now fundraising to hire Our initial team to launch the full Featured product and began iterating our Way to a Global familyfriendly Network now between this how we course Correct social media for kids around the World ensuring that the millions of kids My daughter included grow up thoughtful And practice in all that they do Statistically speaking all of you have Kids in your life in one way or another So our beta is ready please spread the Word and come play with us on between Thank You Carlo that was very good let's start With frederi so thank you so much for Building that this is much needed and I'm glad that this product is com to Life I wanted to understand your goto

Market in terms of acquisition channels I like the brand partnership angle but What's going to be what what do you see In terms of acquisition CAC organic Growth Etc all the good things so part Of this is we're two and a half months In so we're figuring a lot of it out and Thank you for having us on the stage to Help grow a bit too um but really we're Thinking about this as um really we need To get out there and start talking to Kids talking to parents get it in their Hands and understand the network pieces One one of the things we definitely see Are kids are um there's the kids who Spend their time together during the day But then they're in a lot of activities Like Club supports and Scout and Scouts Summer camps are another great example Where they come home and they want to Connect with these kids that they don't See every day so we're looking to get Into those sorts of opportunities to Start I'm not going to wait until next Summer camps you know to to grow but Those kinds of moments where the kids Are a little bit disconnected cousins Are a great example too great I love That we'll go to Rebecca and then Marin Thanks so much for sharing and Especially the personal angle of the Story um so traditionally social Platforms have monetized via engagement Right and this addictive nature that the

Experience tends to cultivate so how do You think about treading that fine line Between driving engagement that's needed For retention y that again veers on Ace And an addictive behavior versus your Mission around empowerment and and Building these healthy behaviors yeah so Um abstaining from social media and Abstaining from ad advertising is not an Option for us right um everyone needs to Teach their kids in the grocery store That candy is in the aisle uh as you Check out because that is a moment of Weakness where you can grab things right So to me having advertising not only is Practical from a revenue standpoint but It's also part of how we continue to Help kids understand the world that they Operate in to the challenge though of Balancing it um there's a couple of Different ways we're thinking about it So I tend to think you know there's sort Of the drive to more minutes per day More minutes per day I anchor more Toward visits per month that if we were Able to create an effective platform That is you know an episodes worth of Content a day kids spend four to six Hours a day on media if they're spending 20 to 30 minutes on between but they're Doing that repeatedly over multiple days That not only gives us advertising Opportunities it gives us balance in how Much they're engaging with media and it

Also gives us the opportunity to Continue to reach them from a revenue Standpoint but balance that those two Thanks thanks Mar um thank you so much for your Presentation I'm a mother of three Daughters and I'm terrified of social Media right um so I think it there's it Really resonates with me um my question Is how how do you moderate this platform Yes so it's it's slightly terrifying There's a lot you know and at scale Suddenly there's a lot of content to Moderate so right now it's entirely Human um because we're learning we're Building the skills but we are setting Up to be able to collect the data so That we can leverage machine learning to Do that initial pass right there's a lot That it can take out of the way then we Can have humans adults come in to do That next PATH and then another piece That we're going to experiment with is Actually leveraging older kids as Moderators so you know again like if my Daughter were to see something she's 12 And she's going to find a rogue FW right Kind of thing I'm okay with that and That's also part of her participating Kind of like a junior edditor Participating and thinking about like How do I contribute to this community And make it stronger so we'll look at The ways to be able to scale it that way

Interesting Sam uh thank you so much um Two things that come to mind uh really Cool that your daughter's in the Audience I'm sure super proud Um no it's awesome uh and then Incredible progress in just two and a Half months so congratulations uh I I'm Not on Facebook or Instagram I do have Like a LinkedIn but generally speaking Like not very active in social media can You tell us a little bit about the Competitive landscape um there's Obviously Facebook Instagram and some of Those and then what's to prevent um one Of the larger companies like Facebook um If this when this really starts taking Off uh just creating sort of like a kids Addition um with their distribution and Brand yeah so it's really clear that the The big guys are not trusted so even Facebook meta whatever they were called At the time in 2021 attempted to do this With Instagram kids and it was a very Public shut down of that they do not Have the trust you can see with Tik Tok Getting banned in various places there's A lot of commentary they just do not Have the trust so there is an Opportunity for smaller companies to Come in who can build the trust this is One of the things in my background of Like I have that to be able to build That trust the smaller companies that Have tried in this space have failed to

Get scale and that escape velocity so They've built lovely businesses of about 3 to eight million monthly active users I believe you know in talking with those Folks and kind of looking at it that Really um that cold start growth problem Is suffering in my case I'm really Thinking about this is like come for the Tool of the content stay for the network Those other companies have really Focused on the network and they have not Build the componentized aspect of things To really be able to um engage with the Parents and and age up the experience Over Time any last Questions thank you very much give her a Round of Applause That's it that's it for startup Battlefield for today but you need to Come back tomorrow for the finals and We'll see you then thank you so much


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