Emerging leaders

Once upon a time, a startup was born

Before launching an online educational library for children, Kaja Kulinicz, a violinist by education, performed in symphony concerts all over Europe. In 2015 she decided to start an online educational fairy tale library for children. Today, the online library called Loloki.pl consists of almost 250 illustrated audiobooks dedicated to very young children. The stories, such as „How Bees Make Honey” or „Animal’s Alphabet” is an attractive way to present the world to the very young generation. With W Insight, Kaja shares her path to entrepreneurship and managing different responsibilities in a small team.

Flip Szumowski: For the past few years you’ve been developing Loloki.pl, an online platform with audiobooks for children. Where does this idea come from?

Kaja Kulinicz: Today children are using tablets and smartphones more often and at a younger age. No matter how hard we try, we are unable to reverse or stop this process. Also, the Internet is full of inappropriate, ill-prepared, harmful or besotting games and applications. So since children already have access to new media, why don’t we show them that they can learn or broaden their horizons using phones and tablets? Books are not the first thing that children reach out to these days, but they will never stop learning the content itself. So let’s make this content wise and reader-friendly. The knowledge is easily acquired via fun channels.  

When the idea about starting Loloki appeared, it took me 20 seconds to make a decision to go for it. I realized it brings a lot of opportunities and I was super excited. I knew that being part of it wouldn’t limit me in any way – I could work the way I wanted, feel fulfilled in many ways and learn thousands of new things on my own. I’m not the only author of Loloki. From the very beginning, I’ve worked with Agnieszka Jagodzinska and Krzysiek Jagodzinski. 

KK1
Kaja Kulinicz (Photo: Jarosław Skuza)

Were you aware of how much work it would take to build this company?

We did know that this project would require a lot of effort and hard work. At first, we thought that the three of us and a few friendly people would be enough to make this happen and that we had all the skills needed. As we went, we realized that the initial plan was only the tip of the iceberg. In the first three years, I had to learn new skills and sometimes try things that I had no idea about. The mobile app we created and which has been available for use for more than a year now, gives me a lot of satisfaction. However, for me personally, the very process of making it through all the challenges is equally important. I learned so much about new technologies, did so many creative things and felt rewarded because overcoming the challenges myself was definitely worth the effort – not to mention the quality of the end product.

What would be your advice to the people who would like to start something new?

The easiest would be: just do it, act on it and observe what’s going on. Planning for an indefinite period of time and hypothetically weighing options, risks, problems that most probably are never going to materialize – is like being a traveler who never left their room. The direction clarifies as you go; new ideas, new turns, crossroads are visible when you approach them… not from a distance. In my case, it was not about following a detailed plan. It was more about doing one thing after another, navigating in the chaos with my eyes fixed on the goal. I couldn’t be happier with the results. I am sure this is just one of many projects of this kind.

Kaja Kulinicz was interviewed by Filip Szumowski, a W Insight guest contributor. 

Read his introduction to the interview here. 

Edited by: Joanna Socha, Phyllis Budka

Translated by: Aga Kopec

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