Finalist for the 2017 WISE Toy Award
Elena is an entrepreneur and consultant in the world of smart materials, wearables and IoT. Former MIT Media Lab Researcher and Alumni of Central Saint Martins MA Material Futures.
Her products bring science closer to people as they become part of our everyday life. In particular her toy line ZippyKit is aimed to bridge gender gaps in STEM subjects by pointing out that this time it is the boys who need to catch up and start learning about textiles for the future of soft electronics and sensors; a field of engineering that requires those stereotypically male vs female subjects (textiles and electronics) to be combined in one for the development of soft robotics, smart interiors, cars, architecture, health devices, wearables, fashion, and more.
ZippyKit teaches exactly that, how to create your on plush toys that are interactive. Both girls and boys can create a new friend that becomes alive, an simple experience that opens up a child’s brain to the endless possibilities for the invention of soft technologies.
Elena believes in the inquisitive quest of developing toys that teach children to code, we are forgetting that someone has to design the machines that we then code. And that this is a much more important pillar as in the future we will code machines simply via verbal commands.
Elena has over a decade of research in the field having won awards in design and innovation yearly, being featured in international books and press as well as presenting at global conferences such as TEDx and EmTech by MIT Technology Review.