ANIMATION WORLD MAGAZINE - ISSUE 5.11 - FEBRUARY 2001
eKIDS: Everyone Wants a Piece of the PIE
by Gregory Singer
What you'll find on eKIDS Internet's main page. © SilverTech Inc.
When folks think of cartoons and animation, almost universally we think of kids. Once in my wanderings I came across a T-shirt on a toddler which read: "I am not a target audience." However quaint or poignant such a message may be, the fact remains that animation and children are closely associated -- if not always in our marketing schemata, then certainly in our collective cultural imagination.
The "eKIDS Internet" is the fledgling and ambitious enterprise of SilverTech, Inc., and it aims to be, as it explains self-promotionally, "The place where kids click with kids."
El St. John, founder and CEO. In her first endeavor using PIE technology, she created eKIDS Internet, the world's first private Internet network for kids featuring its own browser and search engine. Photo courtesy of and © SilverTech Inc.
Founded in 1997 by former telecommunications executive El St. John, San Francisco-based SilverTech officially and globally launched its operations in February 2000. At the gleeful age of 67, El St. John has an extensive and varied background, from runway modeling and race car driving, to advertising, marketing and documentary filmmaking. At technology conferences and meetings -- standing out among the stereotypically youthful, predominantly male crowd -- St. John offers a compelling and unique vision among founders of Internet start-ups. St. John has, first and foremost, a passion for kids, and she wants to create a place for children to be safe and secure as they experience the online world. St. John says, "There must be a way for people to take advantage of the ease, accessibility and convenience of the Internet within a safe, protected microcosm."
During the past three years, in collaboration with her husband, a physicist at Intel Corporation, St. John has devoted her energy and resources to pioneering this effort, in developing her company's patented Private Internet Engine (PIE).
Greg Boegner, Vice President, Business Development, is responsible for identifying and acquiring content for eKIDS Internet, representing the company at various trade shows and conferences, as well as leading marketing, advertising and public relations efforts, and business affairs. Photo courtesy of and © SilverTech Inc.
Greg Boegner, Vice President of Business Development for SilverTech, and a former media producer for NASA's Johnson Space Center, explains, "This is proprietary technology that uses encryption from end to end; it starts where the connection meets a user's computer, encrypts the lines all the way into our servers, where there is layer upon layer of firewalls."
St. John adds, "The PIE technology provides a service which is flexible and virtually impenetrable, offering the primary benefits of the Internet without the public risks." In creating safe and secure online environments, the technology can be applied to other industries and businesses; military, legal and medical professions, as well as government, financial and educational institutions.
SilverTech must have hit upon the right electronic nerve, because they have already raised $10 million in seed money from angel investors, and received substantial pecuniary and hardware investments from such companies as Hewlett-Packard and Cisco, which provides all of their servers and networking infrastructure. Other strategic partnerships have been established with AboveNet, Ask Jeeves and Headbone Interactive.
Easy as PIE
The eKIDS network, therefore, is the inaugural effort of SilverTech's PIE technology. Install their software on your computer, register and you're tapped in. It's that simple.
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