“We hear from parents that their kids are literally putting down their iPads and running to the mailbox to get their package. They are incredibly engaged.”
That’s how children respond when their monthly Little Passports envelope arrives, says Co-founder and Co-CEO Amy Norman.
What’s in that generously sized envelope? Your six year old might get a letter from imaginary pen pals Sam and Sophia about their adventures traveling to Brazil on a magic scooter and rescuing an endangered monkey by hiding in an amethyst mine. A miniature amethyst completes the illusion that this package has truly come straight from Brazil, plus additional games and activities. Each month the location changes, and children are inspired to learn about a new place.
In this age of online everything, Little Passports remembers that, as Norman puts it, “kids learn by touching and feeling.”
Founded in 2008 with a prototype and a pilot of 50 families, and launched in 2009, Little Passports grew slowly at first. In 2013, it was still making only $1-$1.5 million in revenue; this year Norman predicts they’ll break $30 million.
Karl Ulrich knows that this is a familiar story, and reminds founders that growth is often exponential—perseverance is one of the key attributes of any successful entrepreneur.
Speaking of perseverance: find out how many investors Norman had to meet with to raise an angel round for Little Passports (that first investor, by the way, was LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner W’92), and how they’re keeping a trust-based, family-friendly culture even while scaling (hint: the whole company works from home two days each week!).
Ultimately, Norman has grand ambitions: “We are looking to build the next great children’s brand, across multi-media.”