Pop Print uses receipt printers to affordably publish short stories, language learning material and other printed resources. The idea is to print the learning material on receipts at retail stores, like Shoprite, Pick n Pay and Woolworths, and later we plan on putting printers in classrooms for kids to use.
From experience tutoring high school kids and later conducting interviews with them, we found that many high schoolers still struggle with basic problems and ideas because the core concepts weren’t properly understood in the foundation phase – grades 1 to 6. The main reason: the language barrier. Try learning maths in a foreign language (for many SA kids this is English) and you’ll see why.
So, seeing as reading is a great way to not only learn a language but also for young kids to spend time together with family, we thought to try create a vending machine that prints and binds books for about ~R20 per story. Unfortunately, a machine like that would be very difficult and expensive to build and maintain so we switched to a much cheaper, compact and mechanically reliable solution – printing on receipt paper.
Why receipt printers? They don’t use ink – they actually work by heating the paper, so maintaining them is simple and using them is insanely cheap; a 20cm long short story on 80mm wide paper costs about R0.03 in material costs. Compare that to the R50 to R150 that a short story costs anywhere else. Modern technology means that they also don’t fade away as they used to.
…we switched to a much cheaper, compact and mechanically reliable solution – printing on receipt paper.
We want to first partner with retail stores and use their existing printers to supply stories and puzzles to the children of their customers, and later put printers into schools for super easy access.
Currently, our biggest challenges are software development, getting funding for prototyping and securing partnerships with retailers.
Our biggest success is probably the “UCT Upstarts Idea Auction” – an evening where we, along with 7 other student startups. We pitched our ideas to a room full of people and received offers of support. Click To Tweet
That’s where we crossed paths with Tatenda! Aside from that we’ve mostly been making incremental progress – refining our business every day, bit by bit.
If you’d like to support our initiative in some way, or even just get some more info, contact us via email at PopPrintEducation@gmail.com or via our Facebook page at facebook.com/PopPrintEducation