Children are increasingly playing on electronic devices at home rather than having fun in playgrounds. Due to lack of exercise and unhealthy diets, more and more suffer from obesity. EU funding has helped Bulgarian firm Playground Energy to develop playgrounds that turn kinetic energy from play into sound and light. This encourages children to move more and live healthier lives.
Playground Energy develops interactive playgrounds that use children’s energy to motivate them to play, learn and be healthy. Investment in the company totals €350,000, of which €225,000 is from venture capital fund Eleven, backed by the European Investment Bank. Founders Hristo Alexiev and Ilian Milinov started the project almost as a joke.
While in a rocking chair in a cafe, Ilian wanted to charge the battery of his phone using the chair’s movement. Hristo saw potential in the idea and today it has become reality. Children can use their own kinetic energy to turn on fountains and lights and create sounds at Playground Energy playgrounds.
“We are pleased to have Bulgarian products both on our market, and on the global market. With the help of investment from Eleven we managed to create a new industry with Bulgarian partners, materials and intellectual labour,” says Hristo.