To what lengths should an organization go to save more than 5,000 hours of employee time, plus more than $50,000? Since the invention of PikMyKid, schools around the world have been asking this very question.
“We’ve designed a comprehensive dismissal solution,” explained PikMyKid’s chief technical officer, Jonathan Elliott. “It allows parents to make changes to the children’s dismissal schedule given certain parameters from the school. There’s also the other component that the schools use … essentially, when somebody makes a change anywhere, you see it propagate on all the other devices.”
Elliott has led the development of PikMyKid’s cloud-based solution, which streamlines the school dismissal process, shortening the hour-or-more wait many parents are accustomed to when picking up their student. Parents are notified if there are any schedule changes and if their student has been picked up.
“The net effect is that we’re eliminating old systems that weren’t necessarily efficient … if you ever drive around a school during dismissal time, you’ll see that there are a lot of traffic and congestion problems,” said Elliott.
PikMyKid integrates seamlessly with the technology many schools and parents already have. With just a computer, mobile device and Wi-Fi connection, schools can update schedules and send messages in real time that parents can view in the PikMyKid mobile application.
Elliott looks forward to improving and enhancing PikMyKid’s technology as it continues to grow.
“I like building things from scratch,” he said. “By staying in startups, it allows you to stay in that initial 18– to 24-month period where things are exciting and they’re growing … it’s a different lifestyle.”
This isn’t the first time Elliott has experienced the excitement of entrepreneurship. Persuaded by his interests in video games and software development to study technology, Elliott graduated with a degree in computer science and information systems from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in South Africa. In 2003, he visited the U.S. for what was supposed to be a two-week vacation, but became a permanent move. By chance, the only American he knew lived in St. Petersburg, Florida. That’s where Elliott found his first job and has been “startup hopping” ever since.
“[Florida] may not have what the West Coast has in terms of concentration of talent due to the big software companies, but we have good, quality startups here and we’re building real products that are going to be in real people’s hands.”
A partner of the University of South Florida Student Innovation Incubator and participant in the Tampa Bay WaVE Accelerator, PikMyKid has already secured nearly $2 million in seed funding from Florida Angel Nexus and other investors. The service debuted in a Tampa school this year and is expected to be in nearly 100 schools around the world by 2017.