Amsterdam-based startup WizeNoze received 1.75 million euros of funding from the Dutch Innovation Fund of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and unknown angel investors to make the internet a “friendlier place for children.”
WizeNoze developed a search engine that gives children access to age-specific content online. “It allows them to discover information easily and interact with content adapted to their reading and competence level.” A young child is for example provided with more pictures and less text.
And this is necessary because over 78 percent of Dutch children aged between 2 and 6, and almost every child above 8 years old, makes use of the internet. “When searching for information online, children find content that is too difficult to understand”, say the people behind WizeNoze.
StartupJuncture earlier named WizeNoze one of the best new Dutch startups presented at the Websummit 2014.
The company was founded in 2013 by former Microsoft executive, Diane Janknegt and Theo Huibers, managing partner of Thaesis and Professor at the University of Twente.
WizeNoze distributes its technology to schools and homes via hardware companies, education publishers, and other providers. The Steve Jobs School, founded by researcher Maurice de Hond, is among the first to use the so-called Junior Search Engine on the schools devices after the summer.
WizeNoze also noted a shortage of age-specific content online. They are now also working on a tool that allows editors to semi-automatically translate a text for adults into age-specific text for children.
Organisations such as hospitals and museums may use it to create an easier to read grammatical structure or easier choice of vocabulary.
Photo by Pieter van Marion (creative commons via Flickr)