Readwell is an EdTech, subscription-based app that offers high-quality middle grade adventure stories for children. Their library is curated with care by librarians, educators, and scholars, including customizable reading lists and unlimited audiobook content. With education and a love of reading in mind, Readwell aims to deliver the new classic.
Founder Kate Clairmont, a graduate student in English, was inspired to create this platform while researching her dissertation on fairy tales. "So much high-quality, enriching, and thought-provoking children's literature exists just out of its target audience's reach,” said Clairmont.
Keenly aware that children primarily rely on screens for education and entertainment, she was intrigued by the idea of designing a screen-based platform that encourages a love of reading and increases currently falling literacy rates. “I was inspired to build a platform which connects children with great books through an affordable, intuitive, and most importantly fun experience. I like creating and building things, so the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to bring this idea to life,” said Clairmont.
When Clairmont was accepted into the eLab Summer Accelerator program, her first task was to build a team. Her past entrepreneurial experiences taught her the importance of gathering well-rounded, talented, and energetic collaborators. She sought out students who understood her vision and matched her commitment to designing a platform that encourages children to build a positive relationship with literature.
Let’s meet her team.
Aaliyah Sayed is a rising sophomore serving as the team’s full-stack app developer. She is studying computer science as well as entrepreneurship. Her technical expertise and engagement with the entrepreneurial community on campus are a perfect combination for moving Readwell forward.
Sayed is a member of Prospect Student Ventures (PSV). This Keller initiative provides venture capital grants and mentorship to graduate and undergraduate student entrepreneurs to foster business creation on campus. PSV has given her an understanding of the venture capital world and startup pitch experience.
Lara Katz is heading up digital marketing and research. Currently, she is concentrating on determining and understanding Readwell’s competition and exploring and identifying their audience. A rising junior in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing, she will also be writing content for the app. As an avid reader throughout her childhood, Katz is eager to bring a valuable, useful product to the public.
Bringing the artistic eye to the team is Charlotte Leane. As the front-end developer, graphic designer, illustrator, and writer, this rising junior in English and Computer Science will wear many hats over the summer. Leane is designing engaging content that enhances the storytelling and gives users a delightful experience that nurtures lifelong readers.
Sierra Stern, a rising junior in English, Creative Writing, and Cognitive Science, is taking up the content strategy role. Her skillsets are the perfect combination to work with their stakeholders (parents, children, and contributors) to create content that meets their needs and is consistent with the company’s mission.
Although the team is just wrapping up the second full week in the accelerator, they have learned several valuable lessons already. By working closely with their team advisors, they have made a few adjustments and pivots that are helping to strengthen their business structure.
Clairmont is thankful for the guidance and support she and the team are receiving from all their mentors. But notes some sage advice from Keller lecturer and venture capitalist Joy Marcus (shown with Clairmont in photo on left) who continually encourages them to keep an open mind about the process but to always remain true to their vision.
Be sure to attend our end of program Demo Days to hear Readwell pitch their business solution plan. The eLab Summer Accelerator is a 10-week immersive program providing the tools and resources students need to develop and launch their own startup.