We asked Kindu CEO and co-founder, Zach Merritt, about building an app that helps teachers connect with their students' families through a reimagined classroom website. Zach is a data scientist by trade. After witnessing his fiancé set up her class website, he wanted to build something better. He choose Bubble because the no-code platform enables him to combine his data skills with Bubble's no-code workflows to build a fully functional website.
Tell us about your app and what it does.
Kindu helps teachers connect with their students’ families through a reimagined classroom website. It’s basically a private Facebook group on steroids built from the ground up to serve the classroom. Teachers and parents can easily post announcements, photos, files, Google docs, links, digital permission slips, and events with sign-up sheets.
I initially built Kindu for my fiancé who’s the most amazing Kindergarten teacher you’ve ever seen (she’s truly a magician). I saw her juggling a clunky classroom website, endless parent emails, and countless files and thought, in the most trite fashion, “there’s got to be a better way.” So, her and I built Kindu. Once we launched Kindu for her school, it caught on like wildfire and I knew we stumbled onto something big.
It’s honestly been so incredible to see the impact Kindu can have in a classroom, especially during COVID-19. For example, every Kindu has a “Bulletin Board” (our version of a class feed). Parents across the globe have been using it to post pictures of their kids, share tips on remote learning, and generally lean on one another. I know my fiancé misses being with her kiddos more than anything and the Bulletin Board gives her the opportunity to connect with her students and their families.
How does your app work?
Teachers can create a class Kindu in minutes and then invite their students’ parents and families. Every Kindu has 4 main sections:
🏠 Home - This is the jumping off point for your class Kindu. You can see events, photos, and access the "Bulletin Board." By default, the Bulletin Board is open to everyone to post. Teachers and parents can post announcements, questions, files, and fun photos. If you'd like you can change your Kindu settings so only the teacher can post the Bulletin Board.
🗓️ Events - You can post class events and sign up sheets for class supplies, volunteer roles, and time slots for parent conferences.
📷 Photos - You can share class photos and create shared albums. By default, parents can also post photos and create albums (but you can disable this in class settings).
📒 Binder - You can use as a digital binder of useful videos, Google documents, class resources, files, newsletters, and more! Teachers have been primarily using this to share additional practice resources and weekly newsletters.
Tell us a little about your background and how you discovered no-code tools like Bubble.
I’m a data scientist by trade. I went to UCLA for undergrad and UC Berkeley for grad school to study data science. I love statistics and machine learning and thought my life path as a data scientist was set.
After witnessing my fiancé set up and use her class website, I was honestly just curious to see if I could build something better. There’s so much incredible technology out there and I knew how to write data science code, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I geared up and bought my first React 101 book - I was ready to go. Then, I happened to see some Tweets about Bubble and started poking around. I remember the emotion well - I truly thought I discovered some deep secret, it was incredible. I fell in love with Bubble and Bubble fell in love with me.
Why did you build your app on Bubble?
Bubble and I are just a match made in heaven. I understand data and data processes really well, I just don’t know web development. So, being able to use Bubble’s workflow and data features has been incredible and very inline with how I think about data systems. Bubble and I think in the same way.
What are your future plans for your app?
We have very ambitious goals for Kindu. My dream is to take Kindu public. I think about ringing the Nasdaq bell every day. In the long term, I hope Kindu can serve every classroom with a suite of unified EdTech tools centered around community, communication, content, and curriculum (one app to rule them all sort of thing). In the short term, we’re going to continue making Kindu better, with more integrations, and will be launching a mobile app in early 2021.
Learn more about Kindu: Twitter
Bubble is a leader in the no-code movement. Bubble offers a powerful point-and-click web editor and cloud hosting platform that allows users to build fully customizable web applications and workflows, ranging from simple prototypes to complex marketplaces, SaaS products, and more. Over 500,000 users are currently building and launching businesses on Bubble - many have gone on to participate in top accelerator programs, such as Y Combinator, and even raise $365M in venture funding. Bubble is more than just a product. We are a strong community of builders and entrepreneurs that are united by the belief that everyone should be able to create technology.