When not proposing to build an $ 18 billion underwater tunnel between the Finnish capital Helsinki and Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, Peter Vesterbacka, who rose to fame for making the Angry Birds mobile game the one of the most recognizable franchises on the planet, is an advocate for better education.
Vesterbacka’s new project, Big Bang Legends, is an app that aims to teach children as young as five years old about particle physics using gamification in a way they wouldn’t even know they are learning it. To do this, his company Lightneer hired educators from the University of Oxford and even scientists from CERN. For India, which is struggling to provide quality education to millions of students in remote areas, Vesterbacka suggests that the country adopt a more open system similar to its home country, Finland, did. However, he cautions against the country’s adoption of child-rearing methods in the United States.
“I always ask people if they want to follow the American dream or the Finnish reality. If the Finnish way is not suitable, come up with your own (way of educating children). There is no excuse for refusing the education to anyone looking for it and we really need to make sure that such opportunities are created by any means possible, ”said Vesterbacka.
His passion for plugging in the educational methods of his homeland is not deep. He explains that what Finland has done is that it has been able to turn teaching into one of the sought-after professions in the country, making sure there is no shortage of talent.
In India, one of the biggest concerns has been to deploy enough quality teachers, and making the profession more in demand will certainly help.
Vesterbacka explains that the reason he chose education as his focus area over another billion dollar game was his passion for pedagogy and says he’s engaged with a number of institutes around the world, especially in China, as an entrepreneurship mentor. Moreover, he believes education is also a huge market, especially in India, but entrepreneurs should not just depend on government help.
“Remember that any startup takes time to evolve if you’re worried about feedback. It can be more difficult if it depends on government agencies. The direct-to-consumer approach works much better in education because the entrepreneur has more control and does not depend on a third organization, ”he adds.
Besides underwater tunnels and education, startups are the third great passion of the Finn, who founded an organization called Slush that wants to organize the biggest tech events in the world. His most valuable information for entrepreneurs? “If you want to create a great product, you really have to get the best resources. It’s not a choice between one or the other, ”says Vesterbacka.