Today, about 1 in 10 pre-schoolers already have vision problems that will affect their ability to learn. However, at this young age most children don’t know what glasses do or that they have poor eyesight. A team of DFA students at Stanford have made it their mission to make the eyesight experience delightful for children through their startup – Pair Eyewear.
Pair Eyewear makes wearing prescription glasses fun and engaging for children. They design customizable frames that allow children to quickly and easily change the look of their glasses anytime, anywhere. They believe glasses can be more than a static medical device or fashion accessory. Glasses can be a canvas on which children can express their evolving interests and growing personalities.
In Fall 2015, they took a giant step forward with Cardinal Ventures, a startup incubator at Stanford run by students, for students. This allows students to stay in school and still gain experience in entrepreneurship.
The team has kept their core concept of customizable eyewear since participating at the San Mateo Maker Faire in Spring 2015. While there, they showed their product to over 2,000 children and parents, interacting and getting feedback from their main users. This provided the foundation to build on at Cardinal Ventures, where they focused on defining their roles and figuring out how they’ll get their products into the hands of users.
“By the end of the 10 weeks, this program helps you have a business plan,” said Sophia Edelstein, head of Marketing and PR. With workshops and lectures every week, the team developed every aspect of their business plan, whether it was defining their target market or planning distribution. They were also paired with many mentors from different industries that provided them expertise in their respective fields.
“We’re really excited to start getting funding and continue going into product development,” Sophia said, looking forward to when they’ll work at Pair Eyewear full-time. Next quarter, they’ll take part in Lean Launchpad, a class typically for Masters students that provides hands-on experience of what it’s like to work at a startup. We’re excited to see kids everywhere empowered to take ownership of their eyesight experience!