Avantika Kampani, 16-year-old entrepreneur & Founder of CHECK IN

Avantika Kampani

Interview with Avantika Kampani, 16-year-old entrepreneur & Founder of CHECK IN

It began when 16-year-old Avantika observed the struggles of her and her generation in terms of discussing their emotions and traced this back to the lack of opportunities and importance given to these conversations with children.

This drove her to explore a fun way of approaching this meaningful dialogue. The vision coupled with thorough research gave birth to CHECK IN, a card game that enables kids and adults to talk about feelings and identify them. 

Every kid should be given the opportunities that enable them to share their feelings as openly as they want and CHECK IN envisions doing that.

It allows children to recognise emotions in themselves and explore ways of coping with feelings. It also aids language development and encourages kids’ imaginations.

Avantika has grown up in a generation where she herself along with her friends and peers have faced trouble being able to articulate and moreover understand their emotions themselves.

This is why she wants to encourage communication, conversation and self-awareness about one’s feelings from a young age.

CHECK IN introduces emotions to kids through 8 characters associated with 8 colours named Angry Akhil, Scared Sarika, Tired Tarun, Happy Harshita, Sad Simran, Excited Ester, Frustrated Freddy and Silly Milly.

The pack of cards include 28 cards of What Makes Me, these cards help express what evokes a particular emotion.

28 cards of What I Can Do, these cards enable the child to identify how to tackle feelings, each of these allows the players to score 5 points when they answer. 

The last set of cards is 20 Silly Time cards that encourage players to let off some energy on silly activities.

Each Silly Time activity gives a bonus of ten points to the player. This reinforces the fact that sometimes the best memories in life are made when we are being silly! 

As an added variation of an emotion set, a What Makes Me and What I can do card of the same emotion or colour gives the player +10 points.

This also gives trading opportunities amongst the players. The motive of the game is to play till you reach 100 and the number of players can be anywhere between 2 to 6.

The set of cards consists of a total of 76 cards, which are conceptualised by Avantika Kampani and illustrated by Shawn D’souza. 

Avantika Kampani started Day One Learning Solutions in 2020 at the age of 14 with Seekh, a learning tool that enhances a newborn child’s capacity to learn, and simultaneously makes them fall in love with learning.

Now with CHECK IN, Avantika aims to encourage conversations about emotions and feelings through a fun game that is targeted at ages 4-99.

Currently, Avantika is a bright and curious student at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai.

Talking about CHECK IN she says, “It’s not what happens to us, but our response to what happens to us that makes all the difference. Let’s have meaningful conversations that equip us to be happier and healthier.” 

Meet these eight wonderful characters through CHECK IN as you navigate and learn to express yourselves and understand your kids better!

Tell us a little about yourself and a little about your entrepreneurial journey

Avantika Kampani: I am currently a student at Dhirubhai Ambani International School, Mumbai. My entrepreneurial journey began in 2020 with Seekh followed by CHECK IN in 2022 under Day One Learning Solutions.

I share an ardent interest in the study of the mind, feelings and human reactions and that has always been the starting point of my explorations.

It is something I shall pursue going forward as well and thus use that knowledge to introduce several more products that help enhance child and infant development under Day One.

Can you tell us about your background and how you got interested in this industry?

Avantika Kampani: As mentioned earlier, the study of the human mind has always been of great interest to me. My first product, Seekh, is a learning tool that will enhance a newborn child’s capacity to learn, and simultaneously make them fall in love with learning.

Seekh consists of 6 sections, containing a variety of learning, and interactive flashcards each one helping the child’s brain grow, as well as giving some tips on how to strengthen the child’s character from Day One.

The latest product, CHECK IN was a result of a personal experience. It initially started with conversations about my feelings with family and friends.

A lot of these conversations were reflections on how I felt and my not being able to identify or adequately express my emotions.

However, as time has progressed, I have gotten better at this but I have also realised that being able to talk about feelings is a vital conversation skill to develop really early on.

CHECK IN makes a pointed and organised effort towards social-emotional growth. It is for children aged 5 and over.

It has a three-pronged approach to identifying feelings, being able to name the feeling and lastly being able to come up with ways to engage and deal with that feeling. 

The pack of cards include 3 types of cards – What Makes Me, these cards helps express what evokes a particular emotion, What I Can Do, these cards enable the child to identify how to tackle feelings, and lastly the Silly Time cards which encourage players to let off some energy on silly activities.

CHECK IN has a special focus on honest sharing with a scoring pattern that has no negative marking so the race is really to share more.

The Silly cards are special as they allow the players to have some fun. Being silly has always had a negative connotation and I envision turning that around because it’s always great to have time off, to goof off, to be able to lose your inhibitions and be yourself. In fact, it actually comes with bonus points in the game!

What inspired you to start your own venture

Avantika Kampani: Day One began with a vision to introduce learning tools that aid in the mental and emotional growth of the child from day one.

How does your startup differentiate itself from other players in the market?

Avantika Kampani: With Day One, I aim to use my experience, and observation and introduce tools that strengthen the child’s mental and emotional growth through fun and relatable elements.  And every product under Day One aims to do that.

With the latest, CHECK IN, I aim to bring meaningful conversations about feelings and emotions to the foreground.

This game introduces emotions through 8 characters and 8 colours – Angry Akhil, Scared Sarika, Tired Tarun, Happy Harshita, Sad Simran, Excited Ester, Frustrated Freddy and Silly Milly.

These eight children are children we have seen in our classrooms, parks, sports grounds, amusement parks and even at parties.

We have been like these children at different points in our lives. They are a part of all of us as we are of them.

As a woman founder, can you speak to any unique challenges or opportunities you’ve faced in starting and growing a company in this industry?

Avantika Kampani: Being a student, managing both school and Day One has been a constantly evolving situation, especially with my board exams just around the corner.

However, I feel balancing both has taught me to be organised, to plan ahead, to seek help when I need it and to understand that sometimes I am going to feel stretched and that is ok as well. I have to credit my family and teachers for helping me keep the balance going.

What are your success tips for young and aspiring entrepreneurs

Avantika Kampani: I believe in big dreams and then even bigger efforts to make those dreams come true and my mantra is to work hard and be graceful and meet each setback with a stronger comeback.

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