“Effective Executives” Series with Beantown Bedding Founders, Kirsten Lambert & Joan Ripple

Here at PerkettPR, we are not only avid Red Sox fans, but many of our employees are proud to call Beantown our “home.”  This week’s interview is with the founders of a  local Massachusetts-based company, Beantown Bedding. Beantown Bedding, LLC was founded in December 2011 by Joan Ripple and Kirsten Lambert, two mothers of college students. The company is located in Hingham, MA, a suburb of Boston (“Beantown”).

The concept behind Beantown Bedding was to offer a solution to busy college students who had little time to launder their sheets.  Beantown Bedding developed a line of linens made from a fiber called Tencel, derived from Eucalyptus trees, which you can simply toss into a compost bin or trash can when they’re dirty. The sheets are both compostable and biodegradable and available for purchase on their website and at Amazon.com.

We caught up with the founders and asked them more about where the idea came from and what they have planned next.

 

Please tell us a little bit about Beantown Bedding and where the idea came from.

We met when our oldest children began dating in high school.  When they each went off to college, we quickly learned that they, like most college students, just didn’t take time to wash their sheets.  The health and hygiene implications were simply gross.  We wanted to find a way for them to have clean sheets without the hassle of laundering. Essentially, we decided to rethink laundry.  We joked about sending them the rolls of paper sheets found in a doctor’s office.

 

We decided to take the idea seriously and began searching for material that would be both comfortable and disposable in an environmentally responsible manner.  Easier said than done!  We identified the material we liked, organized focus groups with students and mothers, and began to explore sources of supply. Once we had a product, we conducted product testing with students from 22 universities over a two-month period.  The findings indicated we had a winner.

 

When you were researching what type of materials to use in your products, where did you turn for information and how long did the process take?

The better part of a year was spent researching the market, fabrics, and supply options. Initially, our secondary research focused on sustainable textiles through sources such as fiber and fabric manufacturers, trade organizations and publications,  trade shows and published white papers and articles.  Our first fabric choice didn’t perform well in the qualitative research stage, so we continued the search until we discovered a fiber called TENCEL®, which offered the properties we wanted… softness, strength, and compostability. Lenzing, the manufacturer of TENCEL®, was instrumental in helping us establish our supply chain and has been tremendously supportive as we’ve grown. In fact, they recently hosted us as part of their Innovation Platform at the Home Textiles Sourcing Expo in New York City.

 

How did your previous education or career prepare you to be a business owner?

While we both have degrees and backgrounds in business, we feel it’s the versatile skills we learned as mothers and volunteer leaders in our communities which best prepared us for our entrepreneurial duties.  Like all entrepreneurs, we wear many hats and must be resourceful. Joan’s Management and Human Resources background nicely complement Kirsten’s marketing and research experience. For everything else, we either learn quickly, consult with experts, or cover the gaps with outsourcing.

 

One extremely valuable resource was the team of graduate students from Stanford University who worked on our business as a class project this past spring.  After presenting our pitch at a competition for startup companies at Stanford last April, we were selected by one of the teams. It was one of many tremendous opportunities we’ve had in bringing bedsox to market.

 

You are passionate about the environment and sustainability especially with your product offerings. What else are you passionate about?

Yes, sustainability is a central theme in our messaging and we’re delighted to have just received USDA certification as 100% Biobased®.   That said, we really love college kids!  Their energy, enthusiasm, work ethic, and desire to make a difference in the world is inspiring.  Our own college kids are the basis for our story, but we’ve worked closely with many others as we’ve researched and gotten to know our primary target market.

 

Our dogs are also an integral part of our story. Since our earliest conversations about the concept, the local dog park has been the venue for many of our strategy sessions. We each have yellow Labrador Retrievers – Fenway and Sunshine, who receive an undue amount of attention since we sent our youngest children off to college. (For the record, the younger kids also dated!)

 

What is next for Beantown Bedding in 2013?

College kids aren’t the only time-starved consumers who can enjoy the convenience of laundry-free linens. We will soon roll out additional sizes of sheet sets to serve markets such as overnight camps, vacation homes and travel.   Though the retail launch was only weeks ago, via our ecommerce site (www.BeantownBedding.com) and Amazon, our wholesale business took off before we received our first inventory.   Universities nationwide began purchasing bedsox this summer for their overnight conferences and events.  As a result, our next steps are to generate awareness for bedsox in both the retail and business sectors.  Fortunately, Beantown Bedding has received quite a bit of media attention in recent weeks to convince consumers to rethink laundry.

 

“Effective Executive” Series with Shelli Trung, Founder of 3Six5Dates.com

This week’s “Effective Executive” interview is with Shelli Trung, Founder of reality date-a-thon website, 3six5dates.com. The social experiment follows the adventures of four women in four international cities, all going on about 100 dates each, within one year. Shelli was recently listed as one of Australia’s Top 10 female startup entrepreneurs, and is frequently quoted in the media on Marketing and Branding for startups. She is currently located in New York, discussing partnership opportunities to grow 3six5dates – including turning the dating stories into comics and animations.

 

How did you come up with the concept of 3six5dates?

I had set myself a goal at the age of 25 to have started my own business by the age of 30. With this in mind, I started researching the range of businesses that would suit the lifestyle I wanted. I knew I wanted to create something fun that would not tie me to a specific location. I love storytelling and was specifically inspired when watching Nora Ephron’s “Julie and Julia,” which is about a woman who cooks through all of Julia Child’s recipes in one year while simultaneously blogging about it. I combined this curiosity with the gap that I felt the TV series “Sex and the City” left behind when it finished up. I didn’t want the voice of the mature, professional, single woman to fade into the background. 3six5dates is an attempt to fill that gap in some way.

As someone who is passionate about female entrepreneurship, can you provide some ways that women can empower themselves and embrace entrepreneurship?

Regardless of whether you are male or female, going out on your own is exciting but can also be scary. Historically, women have let men lead the charge. However, I am seeing more and more women stepping up to the challenge, which is uplifting.

Women need to recognise that their unique talents – such as being excellent relationship builders, natural multi-taskers and the simple fact that women make more purchasing decisions than men – to be great assets to starting a business. The key thing that has really made the difference for me, is to go out and get your support system if you are not surrounded by other entrepreneurs. I certainly wasn’t when I started! But it is this single reason alone that has sustained me through the tougher moments – and there will be plenty of those. Learning to ask for help is another key factor. Women tend to think they can do it all – but they should realise that they don’t have to! Burning out is the fast track to wanting to give up!

Can you tell our audience about any obstacles you faced when creating your Company and how you overcame those obstacles?

At one stage, we were trying to work on 10 projects at the one time and not completing any of them. It was definitely a lack of focus – trying to do too much and accomplishing nothing. We instead now concentrate on – and are committed to delivering – three larger project outcomes every quarter.

How do you manage your busy team of volunteers and what tools have you found to be effective on a day-to-day basis?

I can work pretty much anywhere there is an internet connection. Being a virtual team does come with its unique challenges. We make use of a lot of online tools – many of them free.

We run all our meetings and training through Skype, which allows us to share one another’s computer screens – extremely useful for design work.

All our files are shared on Dropbox and we are also heavy users of Evernote to keep track of tasks. To minimize the number of emails we send one another, we have a 3six5dates private group to relay any team announcements.

Most of my team, including myself, have their emails feed into their phones which has been a great time saver.

As the sole founder of your Company, how do you keep up with the everyday demands?

I have a wonderful team who are very supportive and make me feel like a superstar so I don’t feel like a solo founder!

I think running any business effectively and ensuring you are leading and driving the vision – as opposed to working ‘in’ it – requires that you automate and delegate as much as possible.  This means equipping, empowering and trusting your team once they are trained.

What is next  for you for the remainder of 2012?

3six5dates has spent the last six months developing strategic partnerships with dating organizations in the US. We have and will continue to roll out cross-promotional activities with them, including comics and animations.

In addition, I am working on launching another startup in Australia called MenuHub with a good friend and co-founder. As the name suggests, it is food-related and early testing has shown extremely positive results so far. I am excited about this new challenge!

The rest of the year looks to be full of possibilities!

 

“Venture Capital Insiders” with Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital Partners

Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of interviewing many industry influencers with whom we have relationships – media, entrepreneurs, analysts and more – and we’re excited to expand further with our new “Venture Capital Insiders” series. Jeff Bussgang of Flybridge Capital Partners did us the honor of kicking things off.

Jeff is a General Partner at Flybridge Capital Partners, whose investment interests and entrepreneurial experiences cross consumer, Internet commerce, marketing services, software and mobile start-ups. Jeff currently represents the Firm on the boards of Cartera Commerce, ClickSquared, DataXu, i4cp, Plastiq,  SavingStar, SimpleTuition, tracx, and is a Board Observer at  ZestFinance.  He was previously a Director at Brontes Technologies (acquired by 3M), BzzAgent (acquired by Tesco), Convoke Systems, go2Media, oneforty (acquired by HubSpot), PanGo Networks (merged with InnerWireless), Ready Financial (merged with AccountNow), and Transpera (acquired by Tremor Video).

Jeff’s book on venture capital and entrepreneurship, Mastering the VC Game, is an insider’s guide for entrepreneurs on financing and company-building. The book has been hailed by the Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, TechCrunch and The Financial Times as an essential guide for entrepreneurs.

Jeff serves as a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School and teaches a class on entrepreneurship and lean start-ups called Launching Technology Ventures.  He has co-authored three HBS cases that are taught in “Founder’s Dilemma” (Curt Schilling’s Next Pitch) and “Launching Technology Ventures” (Foursquare and Predictive BioSciences).  Jeff is also the co-author of “Ruling The Net,” a 1996 Harvard Business Review article on the Internet’s potential for commerce.  He is also on the Board of MITX, the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange, and is a Founding Executive Committee Member of FirstGrowth Venture Network, a network of venture and angel investors supporting first and second time entrepreneurs building exciting companies in the New York area.

Jeff’s popular blog on helping to demystify the venture business for entrepreneurs, “Seeing Both Sides,” can be found at www.SeeingBothSides.com, which is syndicated by BusinessInsider.com, Reuters, PE Hub and others.  You can follow Jeff on Twitter @bussgang.

How is the VC climate different now than it was 10, 15 years ago?

There are two new phenomena that impact the VC climate as compared to 10-15 years ago.  First, entrepreneurs require less capital than they used to – thanks to the declining cost of technology, the cloud and the application of the Lean Start-Up methodology.  Second, new companies are able to accelerate their growth much faster than ever before, thanks to global broadband penetration, the cloud and the social fabric that connects consumers and businesses.  As a result, seed investing has also proliferated as a method to get connected to young start-ups early in their development, and growth equity investing has become popular for companies that achieve product-market fit and have the privilege of scaling fast.

What makes Boston’s VC climate unique?

Boston is the second strongest entrepreneurial climate in the world after Silicon Valley and arguably the most diverse and dense.  With its deep information technology roots, burgeoning health care industry and emerging energy sector, Boston has emerged as one of the hot spots for entrepreneurs and investors alike.  As a result, every major technology company is either headquartered here (e.g., “anchor companies” such as Akamai, EMC, Thermo Fisher, Vertex) or has a large presence in the region (e.g., eBay, Google, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle).

Any advice for the first time entrepreneur seeking institutional investment? 

The odds are against you – most VC see hundreds of opportunities for every one that they invest in – so recognize that you have to have something special to attract institutional investment.  Make sure you do your homework before approaching an investor.  Entrepreneurs seek money once every few years, but investors are pitched by entrepreneurs every hour of every day.  Thus, there is an information asymmetry that entrepreneurs need to work hard to overcome.

What makes your book, Mastering the VC Game, an insider’s guide? What’s different about the advice you give vs other insider guides?

I think entrepreneurs have found the book valuable for three reasons.  First, it’s written by a practitioner.  I’m an active investor, not an author or consultant, and so my perspective comes from being engaged in the business for a decade.  Second, I used to be an entrepreneur, so I have empathy for their struggles to build and fund a company because I’ve been there myself.  And I know what information I would have wanted back when I was an entrepreneur.  Finally, I interview over a dozen VCs and entrepreneurs – folks like Twitter’s Jack Dorsey and LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman – to explore their case studies and wisdom.  This mix of an informed, personal perspective and compelling case studies seems to be what is resonating with entrepreneurs.

You teach at Harvard as a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School. What do you learn most from your students that helps you navigate the VC world? What are their biggest challenges as aspiring, upcoming business leaders?

I learn a tremendous amount from my students – it is very much a two-way street.  They give me great insight into what’s hot in the market, what the latest trends are and what some of their biggest challenges are.  At the macro level, their challenges are similar to all entrepreneurs – finding a unique, differentiated market opportunity and marshalling the capital and human resources to pursue it.

Talk a little about your co-authored HBS case study that is taught in “Founder’s Dilemma” (Curt Schilling’s Next Pitch) - where did 38 Studios go wrong? Did they? Was it the RI business climate?  How will it – or did it already – change the VC landscape moving forward?

The Curt Schilling case is one of the most interesting I have worked on.  Curt was trying to do two very ambitious things at the same time.  First, he was trying to build a hugely valuable business from scratch in a super-competitive field.  Second, he aspired to personally transform himself from being an All Star baseball player to becoming an All Star entrepreneur.  Many professionals attempt personal transformations and so Schilling’s efforts, which were so dramatic, provides great lessons for entrepreneurs in this area.  As for what happened to 38 Studios and the situation with Rhode Island, I’ll leave that for a future case.

How does the VC environment differ from the East Coast to the West Coast?   What are the challenges in navigating the differences?

The differences are more modest than many observers try to make it and there are many East Coast VCs who are investors in West Coast companies and vice versa.  Both markets are very competitive, but the West Coast is probably even more competitive, as there are more investment professionals managing more capital.  As a result, the deals can be pricier than East Coast deals.

Did you want to be a Venture Capitalist when you were a kid? What led you to this career?

No, I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I was a kid.  I had never heard of venture capital until I came to business school and met a few firms.  When my partners started Flybridge and asked me to join them in founding the firm, it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

What is next for you for the remainder of 2012?

Whatever my investors, partners and portfolio company CEOs tell me to do!  They are the customers I serve.

“Influencers Who Inspire” Interview with Ari Herzog, Digital AH

As we continue to connect with influencers within the industry, we’re delighted to share an interview with Ari Herzog, Digital Media Strategist and Principal of Digital AH. As a digital media strategist, Ari Herzog provides services in auditing, marketing, and training (http://digitalah.com). A former columnist for Mashable and the Huffington Post, Ari explores new and emerging media on his 5-year-old blog at AriHerzog.com. He is also President of Social Media Club Boston and a 2-term elected city councilor in Newburyport, Massachusetts. Tweet him at @AriHerzog.

You are an elected city councilor.  What role do you feel social media played in the election process?

“I want to be the first Jewish President of the United States,” I told Mrs. Stockus in third grade when she asked the class about our future aspirations.

While I no longer have desires to run the country, I do enjoy local government and ran for elected office as a city councilor in 2009.

Integrated with neighborhood mixers, candidate debates, newspaper interviews, and yard signs, social media played a big part. I blogged, Facebooked, Tweeted, started an email newsletter, and uploaded a few videos. They were all a hit — and residents were excited to meet me in person after reading my blog or receiving my emails.

I continued to use the web during my first two years as a councilor — and people began to appreciate my prompt response times when they emailed me. They told their friends about me, and their friends subscribed to my civic blog (http://councilorariherzog.com) or liaised with me through other media.

My passion for the web and my sincerity to connect with residents helped me win re-election to the council last fall. I’m currently serving my second term. You can listen to me elaborate on some of my campaign tactics in a government radio podcast  recorded in the days after my first election.

You have a diverse background and wear many hats. Which role do you find most rewarding and why?

My favorite hat is the political one, being a city councilor. While I’d worked in both state and local government previously (and earned much more money than the $5000 I receive every year as a councilor), my 2009 election was proof — to me, more than anyone else — that I could do anything I wanted to do, including reaching for that political gold ring I fantasized about in third grade.

I choose to do business as myself and not work full-time in Corporate America. I’ve been there, done that, and, while I may return to a full-time job someday working for someone else, I like being my own boss as a digital media auditor and digital marketing instructor. I like awaking on my schedule and deciding when and if I want to go the gym or take a walk. I enjoy networking with other people and I’ve discovered how to perfect my elevator pitch so the other person instantly understands what I do and how to help me.

As a college instructor, what is your overall goal in terms of teaching your students? As they complete their coursework, what is the one major element you hope they have learned/gained from having you as a teacher?

Among the ongoing courses I teach (http://ariherzog.com/teaching) is a 4-week interactive course on social media marketing. My syllabi include the following course objectives:

1. Introduce core concepts of social media including interactivity and relationship building.

2. Increase awareness of how social media can help organizations enhance their objectives.

3. Learn the importance of listening and the best ways of doing it online.

If a student walks away with one new fact or tidbit that was unknown when sitting down, I did my job. If the student walks away with three or more facts to help improve Internet knowledge or online productivity, there is nothing more to make a teacher proud.

Where do you find inspiration for your blog posts?

I used to write at AriHerzog.com every day — inspired by social bloggers in my RSS reader such as Danny Brown, Kristi Hines, Phil Gerbyshak, John Haydon, Louis Gray, Mark Schaefer, Shelly Kramer, and others.

While I still read their blogs and am inspired to comment or socially share, I lack the desire to take something they wrote and either echo it or re-slant it on my own blog. I am also trying to write less about the “what” or the “how” and more about the “why” of new and emerging media. For instance, I recently opined why sole proprietors and freelancers should consider deleting their Facebook pages, and as you can gauge by clicking the link, people are engaged to respond.

I am reading Gip Plaster and Farnoosh Brock more frequently these days, enjoying their blog posts on smart living and improving your life.

What is your “ideal client” (if you could hand pick one) for Digital AH?

Cookie Monster’s spoof of Carly Rae Jepsen’s song “Call Me Maybe“ is a great example of the social content being created by Sesame Workshop — and that is the ideology of company I’d enjoy working with in the coming months. Much of my development as a toddler, adolescent, college student, and beyond is based upon the social interactions between Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Mr. Hooper (remember him?), and Ernie and Bert.

While I have zero experience in childhood development or social work, I do possess a bachelor’s degree in sociology — and societal issues such as race, ethnicity, and power – which I wrote about in college papers – are coming to life every day on the social web. Kudos to Sesame Workshop for their strong usage and evangelism of social networking channels. I’m sure there are countless TV shows or producers wanting to use the web to promote their versions of Big Bird and Oscar. I’d really like to help them.

What is next for you in 2012?

I will teach my first digital marketing course to MBA students at Endicott College this fall.

I’m reaching out to government technology vendors to partner with them in digital marketing areas.

I am stepping up my schedule of submitting proposals to speak at conferences in New England (and around the country) and am hopeful their organizers like my ideas.

And, there are some other surprises I can’t talk about yet!

 

“Effective Executive” Series with Kris Duggan, CEO & Co-Founder of Badgeville

This week’s “Effective Executive” interview series is with Kris Duggan, CEO and Co-Founder of Badgeville.

Kris is a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building innovative, fast-growing SaaS companies with thousands of delighted customers. He is dedicated to helping brands on the web increase user engagement by leveraging proven techniques in social gaming and loyalty. A sought-after speaker on gamification, analytics and user engagement, Kris is a thought leader of innovative ways to incorporate game mechanics and social loyalty programs into web and mobile experiences. Prior to founding Badgeville, Duggan worked in leadership roles at a variety of successful companies, including WebEx (a former PerkettPR client), and across a wide variety of verticals.

You have a great deal of expertise in startups.  What is it that you love about the startup environment?

I’ve worked in many different companies at this point in my career, from startups I’ve founded or held leadership roles in, to very large, global companies. I have learned a great deal from all of these experiences, but one thing I find most exciting in the startup environment is creating something from nothing. Over the last 20 months, with the help of an extremely talented and intelligent team, we have built a healthy global business with nearly 200 customers and 75 employees. There is nothing more exhilerating, fun and fulfilling than being part of this journey. I also really enjoy building a company from the ground up – defining the culture and team, and being a part of the larger product vision.
Gamification appears to be a solid solution to improving customer loyalty and employee performance.  Can you explain how Badgeville is leading the way in this effort?

Gamification for business is a strategy based on game mechanics to help measure and influence user behavior. With the proper psychological application for each audience, these techniques can drive behavior 20 to more than 200 percent. Badgeville is the global gamification leader, with nearly 200 customers across the globe, including Deloitte, EMC, Autodesk, VMware, Symantec, Bell Media, Interscope Records, Opower, Barnes & Noble, and more.

 

How is Badgeville leading the way in this effort? One of the main reasons customers tell us that they choose Badgeville is our unique view on gamification as part of a larger engagement strategy. We offer a full spectrum of engagement mechanics, including game mechanics, reputation mechanics and social mechanics. Instead of offering gamification for siloed applications, we offer a true Behavior Platform. This means that down to the way our platform database is architected using NoSQL, we are able to integrate our platform across multiple websites, mobile apps, and enterprise applications owned by a company.

 

This architecture design is extremely important for us, as large businesses don’t want to reward user behavior in one small area of their online experience – they are looking for a holistic gamification program across their online communities, websites, blogs, mobile experiences, CRM systems, training applications, support programs, and other digital experiences. The ultimate value of gamification lies in being able to connect the behavior dots between all of these disparate applications, and this is unique to Badgeville in the market. We like to call this “portable reputation” – where the user experience can tie together all of these online experiences. For the business, there is also the value of having this connectivity from a data perspective, being able to easily identify trends and insights around user behavior across their entire digital ecosystem.

 

What do you think is driving the rise of social gaming?
 

Gaming is nothing new. Social media enabled gaming companies to create new types of games which are largely tied to reputation. Instead of playing games by oneself or with a few friends, success in these social games can be viewed by many friends and online peers. This is the same concept used to inspire many behaviors with gamification. Another key factor in the success of social gaming is the rise of mobile technologies. Now game devices are in everyone’s hand. People have a few minutes of spare time in between their busy lives and they want to be able to get entertainment on the train or during a free moment. This is changing the types of games we play. Now, the important part of gameplay is being able to participate for a quick minute or two, and truly engage with this experience, and to come back later to engage even more.

Can you tell us a little bit about the recent launch of Social Mechanics?

Integrating Badgeville’s Behavior Platform begins with tracking important user behaviors. With Game Mechanics and Reputation Mechanics, customers can use the Behavior Platform to reward users for performing these high-value behaviors. With Social Mechanics, we take the behaviors we are tracking and surface them in ways that you may typically see in a social network. For example, our customers can use Social Mechanics to add real-time notifications, live activity streams, and even user-to-user or user-to-topic following. This enables every online experience to have the same social engagement qualities of today’s top social networks. When Game Mechanics or Reputation Mechanics are added to Social Mechanics, the experience is extremely powerful and engaging. The more social an experience is, the more value social rewards and status within that community will be for the user – and the greater the success of the gamification program one will see.

How do you explain your job to your children?

My two sons have a very good understanding of gamification. They would explain it as “making things more fun and engaging.” I’ve gamified a lot of experiences as a parent. When I was coaching T-ball it was hard to get the team of 20 kids motivated… they were more interested in jumping around on top of each other than paying attention to learning how to improve their game. I started to use points to help the kids focus. I created a whole points system where if you caught the ball you get a point, and soon found out the more points catching the ball was worth, the harder the kids tried to catch it. The points were never worth anything, but just adding a point value to the experiences made them try that much harder. The T-ball gamification got increasingly sophisticated. I added virtual rewards like a treasure chest or virtual space shuttle for catching, hitting the ball, and so on. I’ve never seen them work so hard. Gamification is part of everyday life for my kids, so it’s not hard to explain the core concepts to them.

You have traveled extensively. Do you have any memorable trips or spots you would like to share?

I’ve traveled to over 35 countries around the world and have had some very memorable moments… such as visiting the Pyramids of Giza and staying on a houseboat in Kashmir, India for a month. But most recently, the most interesting moment that stuck out in my mind related to gamification was an experience I had on my visit to Japan for the Japanese Gamification Summit. In Japan, aspects of the culture are heavily focused on gaming. When I visited a standard mens restroom, I found a completely gamified urinal. I’m not kidding. Without getting into to many details, there were many options to play this game and win. I thought that was pretty incredible, so I decided to investigate this product further. It turns out it’s made by Sega and it’s call the “Toylet.”  We’re actually working on having one special ordered for us to have at the Badgeville headquarters, with some special Badgeville ads and games built into the machine.

What is next for Badgeville for the remainder of 2012?

Badgeville is growing at a very rapid pace. We recently raised our Series C round of funding in under two years of our business launch. This funding is being dedicated directly to product innovation and team growth. This September, we will move to our fifth office in two years with 25,000 square feet for long-term growth. Our employees enjoy “leveling up” each time we move to a new space. Beyond the move, we are constantly working on new products and overall growth. Hiring is a major focus of ours as we continue to seek out top talent in our Silicon Valley, New York and European offices, as well as among our regional teams around the world. We are also fast expanding our global partner network, with emphasis on System Integrators, ISV/OEM partnerships, Agencies, and VARs.

In addition, our inaugural Summit — Engage 2012 — which occurred August 8-9, was a huge project for us — our first two-day event featuring customer stories, key industry analysts and gamification workshops led by our team of expert game designers and producers. We have a lot of photos to share from this great event, here.

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