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Early childhood education eLearning framework, leveraging novel technology for a whole new way of learning music.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Pomelody 2.0 (Early childhood education eLearning framework, leveraging novel technology for a whole new way of learning music.)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2018-07-31

According to the European Commission, only ten EU countries have reached the ‘Barcelona target’ of 33% of children under 3 years old participation in early childhood education (ECE). On top of the low attendance, according to Research & Issues in Music Education most of early childhood educators (ECEs) are NOT trained to awaken children to music. This stands to reason, as music learning consists of specific knowledge that can be acquired only through medium-to long-term training. Many applied research projects have problematized early childhood music practice, seeking to change and improve it. However, the often referred to “gap” between research and practice remains a continuing challenge.

Pomelody is the world’s only eLearning platform for comprehensive, professional and guided music education for infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers. Pomelody eLearning web application is a comprehensive set of interactive music education tools, consisting of family music making online classes, animated games and lectures with embedded music theory, animated musical stories for kids, as well as unique Pomelody songs collections. Our original content is created by a team of award winning music composers, in collaboration with child behaviourists, educators and psychologists. Pomelody covers a rich spectrum of music styles, tonality, beats and sound qualities, based on original musical compositions and traditional material adapted specifically for comprehensive musical development of children.

The main objective of the Phase 1 SME Instrument Feasibility Study was to determine if Pomelody 2.0 is a viable and sustainable business opportunity from both the technical and economic perspective. Specifically, we wanted to carry out an in-depth market study, perform partner search to support us with further development, as well as perform a thorough technical feasibility analysis. As a result, we have prepared a detailed product roadmap and an elaborated business plan and strategy moving forward.
Our detailed feasibility study covered following Tasks:

Task 1: Assessment of technical viability and refinements;
Comprehensive assessment of the technical viability and further refinements required to achieve final commercial version of Pomelody 2.0 was done, results of which were used to generate a comprehensive Work Plan for SME Instrument Phase 2 project.

Task 2: Partner Search;
Partnerships and cooperation with external parties represent an integral part in the project and are therefore critical for the success in meeting our goals. We view our collaborators as a strategic partners whose roles go beyond simply providing a contract or technical support. To that end, as part of the Feasibly Study we have performed due diligence on several potential commercial and technical partners, which has resulted in a secured VC investment round and entered into preliminary partnerships with a three technical software development houses to support our internal technical resources moving forward.

Task 3: Business Model Assessment;
We have revisited, refined and piloted a business model and pricing strategy that is a hybrid of freemium and subscription models, with monthly and yearly subscription plans. The freemium model enables Pomelody to be uniquely positioned in the market by providing our platform at the zero entry cost possible, while capturing a wide audience and converting users to subscriptions with rich features and functionality.

Task 4: Risk Analysis;
Pomelody has conducted a comprehensive risk analysis using a standard risk management framework, to identify and mitigate the main risks in a most cost-effective manner. We grouped risks into market, competition, technology and operations, financial, legal and regulatory categories, all of which were carefully analysed in terms of severity and probability. Mitigation measures and counteractions were then devised.

Task 5: “Freedom to Operate” analysis
We have performed the Freedom-to-Operate and Intellectual Property analysis supported by external law office, with the conclusion that none of the technical methodologies and know-how applied in Pomelody 2.0 solution fall within the scope of patent claims of similar nature, which define the scope of their actual or potential protection on the grounds of patent law.

Task 6: Work Plan for Phase 2;
We have built a detailed and comprehensive Work Plan towards SME Instrument Phase 2 following the 2018 SME Instrument Phase 2 template, specifically technological and commercial Work Packages.

Task 7: Elaborated Business Plan;
We have identified market trends in the early childhood music education industry, market segmentation and opportunities. Overall, this segment was thoroughly surveyed with an elaborated market study. Further development and Work Plan, market entry strategy and commercialization were carefully planned out. IPR analysis was performed with an external law firm, financial projections were simulated, together resulting in a strong Business Plan.
The proposed Pomelody 2.0 is a framework, built on the back-end of the Pomelody music platform, that gathers information related to the performance and interaction of kids as they consume the Pomelody musical content via our mobile application, which includes games, learning videos, musical stories, etc. Our software monitors multiple parameters to gather and extract information on children’s learning and developmental progress. The result is a unique and engaging music education platform that can provide meaningful data on children’s cognitive learning abilities, track progress and maximize children’s learning performance.

SME Instrument Phase 1 confirmed that the Pomelody 2.0 project is feasible technologically and has significant commercial and practical value. Based on the Feasibility Study and updated business plan prepared we conclude that the project will continue and focus on the objectives that were already defined and detailed, including first draft Work Plan for Phase 2. To that end we have begun the process of preparing a SME Instrument Phase 2 proposal, which we will submit in early 2019.
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