Discover Benelux | Issue 16 | April 2015

Page 23

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Discover Benelux | Special Theme | I am Dutch, Female & Successful

Growing up online: making the internet child-ready TEXT: MYRIAM GWYNNED DIJCK | PHOTOS: WIZENOZE

More and more children are using the internet every day, but is the web really fit for them? Many sites are irrelevant, unsuitable, unreliable or just too difficult. Dutch entrepreneur Diane Janknegt is trying to turn this around with her innovative tech start-up WizeNoze. The idea for WizeNoze arose when she saw her own children struggle to comprehend the internet. With a passion to make a positive impact in the world, she cofounded WizeNoze in 2013. Now, a year and a half later, the company counts ten members of staff across the world and it has released its products in Dutch. The English versions will follow by the end of 2015. She adds: “Our idea is absolutely unique in the world.” WizeNoze offers two products. The first is their content editor, which helps businesses to analyse whether a text is suited for children and – if not, to make it suitable for a selected age group. “Our content

editor is partly automated to highlight complicated words and sentence structures. Then a writer or editor can turn the text into something a child of a certain age will understand,” Janknegt explains. The second is their educational search engine aimed at organisations such as news portals, publishers and schools which allows children to find the right information online. She says: “The problem is that search engines are made for adults, and even with filters, content is often not relevant or too hard to read. With the WizeNoze search engine, a child selects their age and the site directs them to the right information. If they are six, mostly images will come up. At ten, there will be more text and then at 14 the writing will become more complex.” Janknegt started working in IT when she was hired by Microsoft – at the time just a small enterprise. Immediately she was captivated by the speed and dynamism of

technology, and how it can make a big impact on the world. “At Microsoft I experienced how you can use technology to accomplish a goal.” As a female entrepreneur in the predominantly male technology world, Janknegt is keen to encourage other women to follow in her footsteps. “I use technology to make my dream and vision a reality – more women should realise technology is not just endless coding, it is more a tool that helps you realise your passion.”

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