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From idea to reality: How Maria Mihova is changing children's entertainment with Edutain Attractions

In the modern world of digital entertainment, traditional KATERUSHKI have lost the attention of children and young people. Maria Mihova, founder of Edutain Attractions, aims to change that. With an innovative approach combining fun, activity and learning in one, as well as many years of experience in the entertainment industry, Maria creates not just KATERUSHKI, but spaces of knowledge and development.

This article reveals the journey of a mother and entrepreneur who turned her passion and vision for a better future for children into a successful business model that challenges young minds to think, move and learn through play. Read about the company's early steps, the challenges and lessons along the way, and how Edutain Attractions is becoming the benchmark for quality, value-added children's entertainment.

Maria, what inspired you to create Edutain Attractions and what is your personal story behind your career as an entrepreneur?

What inspired me in the first place was my children. At this point my big boy is 8 and my little boy is 5.

With the first child and the first Lego games, I realized that it would be great to have toys that combine the following elements:

  • be structurally sound enough to be used as monkey bars

  • and at the same time children can learn something from this climbing frame - a facility with a message for children :)

This was the birth of Edutain Attractions , as the concept was not yet quite clear.

Also, at that time I was already working in the entertainment business as a salesman for a company that designs and builds attractions around the world. This experience led me to the conclusion that the way the whole world is entertained (I'm talking mainly about the developed part of the planet) is through passive entertainment - people ride the roller coaster and "have fun". They also ride all sorts of other similar rigs that are either scary or you just don't understand what's going on at all, but it's supposed to be fun.

Here the first concept of the business, which covers several elements, was also clarified. Fun with activities is occasionally found, but nowhere is there a combination of all three elements:

  • Entertainment

  • Activity

  • Knowledge/Thought/Learning

Thus was born the first version of Edutain Attractions that managed to implement all three key pillars of entertainment aimed at children.

I truly believe that children are the most important part of this planet and our focus towards them should be directed not towards a consumerist lifestyle, but towards a life that implements reason, thought, logic and all the qualities that would be necessary for a a new, wonderful, enthusiastic generation that will take the planet to another level. Our legacy to be the best possible version of ourselves.

What were the first steps and what did you face on the way to creating your company?

After the second motherhood, I rushed to deal with this business - a little naively I thought that things were easy and fast :). Probably like any entrepreneur who has started something, whatever it is.

The first step was to form a team necessary for the activity, namely:

  • Engineer

  • Product Manager

  • Designer

  • A creative director to draft the first concepts

We created a site and launched the activity. This is the most important part of a business - to start!

After adapting the strategy with more realistic parameters suitable for the local level, we created a concept of attractions that are suitable for Bulgaria and acceptable to the market as a price range.

We have adapted the ideas to be suitable for hotels, restaurants, municipal squares, private houses or gated communities.

It turned out that Bulgaria is still developing in this direction. Hotel tourism aimed at families with children is quite a profitable strategy, and the available models such as playgrounds are too unattractive and boring.

Are there personal interests and hobbies that have inspired you to create some of the attractions at Edutain Attractions?

The inspiration comes mainly from the children, but also from the question I have always asked myself: "What can I improve in the world around me, so that I can make this world better". Everyone has the opportunity to do something about this, and even the smallest improvement is a step forward.

What role do your education and professional experience play in the development of your company?

The idea for this business came to me from the company where I worked.

By education, I have a BA in Sociology from Sofia University with German and English, something that has nothing to do with my activity, but my idea of education has changed radically in the last 15 years.

1st: Education is something that continues throughout our lives.

2nd: If I had known what I would be doing later in life, I would have enrolled in a different major, for example, the one I was accepted into the first time at the Chemical and Technical University. But now I have the opportunity to enroll in all kinds of courses to further develop my professional portfolio.

3rd: The role of the entrepreneur is to bring specialists together so that a final product is created, not to be a narrow specialist in one field. Elon Musk didn't know how to build a rocket, but he found the best specialists to make it a reality.

4th: What qualities have I developed along the way:

  • creativity that sets us apart from all other playground companies. We provide a different and unique solution for each client;

  • Endless curiosity and a natural desire to break down any topic that concerns business, and not only, to the smallest particles - the best quality I could develop for myself.

What partnerships or collaborations are you most proud of within your business and how do they contribute to the success of Edutain Attractions?

The formation of a team of engineer, product manager and designer is the most valuable thing in our company. In addition to having original and different ideas that have a very good return from a business point of view, we can execute them with quality and precision.

The contacts I have been able to build give me the opportunity to grow my business by building new projects, which is most valuable to my business, but also by gaining experience in relationships and applying different approaches to clients.

What are the most valuable lessons you've learned as an entrepreneur and founder of Edutain Attractions?

  • Persistence and consistency;

  • Creativity;

  • Mobility and adaptability when talking with clients and when implementing projects;

  • Precision as an element in execution;

  • Attention to detail - skimping on materials or subcontracting companies always leads to poor performance and wrong decisions;

  • Bad decisions are, unfortunately, the most valuable lessons.


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