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Gamification, Health and Pets! Step Pets chats to Startacus
by Startacus Admin
Gamification, Health and Pets! Step Pets explains all!
US based Random Breakfast build mobile games focused on Health. Having just launched their first game StepPets they recently listed their startup in our Showcasing area on Startacus. What better way then to find out more about gaming, gamification, health and...pets than to hear from Startacus community member Tim Cooley about Step Pets, a game that aims to combines them all!
Give us your pitch Tim - what’s your startup all about?
Our company, Random Breakfast build mobile games focused on Health. We just launched our first game StepPets where players can earn Step Coins by walking and using those in the game to buy new pets. The great thing about this game is that it is just a normal game and players don’t have to walk if they don’t want to.
What’s your own career background?
I served five years in the Marine Corps building Jet Engines. I transitioned from that to Athletic Training where I worked with the 49ers for a bit. I earned an MS in Sports Medicine and during this time I learned I really liked business, so I went into online marketing. After 3 years in online marketing I decided to complete an MBA. I met my 3 other cofounders and then we started our game company.
Why are you on this journey?
I worked for a health and wellness company who received millions of dollars in funding to build what was already on my phone. This was upsetting. I saw friends who were playing games for hours on end and I knew if those games were changing people’s behavior a well-designed game could do something similar.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Problem 1 - people are bored. We each spend $3000 a year on entertainment.
Problem 2 – we really want to be healthier. FitBit is a billion-dollar company because people want to show they are living healthier lives.
What is its unique selling point?
We built a FREE game! The game just so happens to encourage walking. 97% of mobile game players never spend any money. We wanted to give those players the ability to have the exact same game experience as those that do by creating something that was entertaining and also healthy. This is why we created Step Coins as a currency that allows players to buy in-game items instead of using money.
What’s been the toughest part of the journey so far?
The hardest part is communicating the story of our game and what it is capable of doing. Are we a game company or a health company? Yes! This has been the hardest thing to explain. Games are a unique business in that they are entertaining. Almost all investors are asking the question (a little like you right here) - “What problem are you solving?” What problem does a movie, basketball game, video game or an amusement park solve? Messaging how cool our game is and how that ties into health has been extremely difficult to get across, especially to the investment community.
What mistake did you learn from most?
Oh man, so many. I think the biggest mistake has been not having the capital to focus on the project. Games go through so many changes as they are being developed. Every little detail matters and most issues take a ton of time to fix. When you have half of your team working part time jobs then the end product suffers, although you wouldn’t know it.
What one piece of advice would you pass on to other Startacus members?
I think the best thing to do is start small. The first version of this game was 4 pictures on our phone. We talked about how people could use it before we built anything “real.” We then built a prototype of the concept. It was amazingly awful, but won us a ton of award money.
What Inspired this Startup?
I love video games and have played games for hours on end. I think they are amazing at creating cultures, communities and changing behavior. Health needs this. People need to be more proactive in their health and the only way to do that is to make it fun.
How are you planning on funding your startup? Crowdfunding, investors etc.?
The game is now live. We hope to get users! We are also looking for venture capital to help develop the next games as well as a bigger vision we are working on.
Are there any particular skill sets you need/ need to hire in order to advance your startup?
We are looking for Unity developers who also know Swift and Java - this is a big ask ?
What kind of marketing have you been doing? Any interesting Campaigns?
With a background in online marketing we are just using traditional SEO (Spam Equals Opportunity). I am actively trying inception guest posters to spread the word about our concept, but this has yet to be determined if it is going to work.
What is your long term goal/plan? World Domination or simply completion and distribution?
We want to create a new industry for game developers. Mobile games are a great platform for health related connections. We want to be the first commercial success for a freemium game in this market place.
If any other collaborators wanted to lend a hand with your startup, how would they do so? Contact information? Actions?
If you could achieve any one thing from the startup - what would it be?
I would love to receive a story from someone that says. “Thank you so much for creating this game. My son and I have earned every pet just by walking. I even lost 10 pounds in the process.” If this happened it would be the best thing ever.
What edge do you have over your competitors?
Even with all the APIs available, connecting to fitness trackers is not easy. We also understand behavior better than they do.
When you’re a complete and utter success; will there be booze? Food at least?
I personally don’t drink alcohol. I told the team though that if we revenue $1M, I would drink with them!
What would you like to happen thanks to becoming a Startacus Collaborator?
Honestly I would love to talk to other people who are in our industry and struggling with similar issues that we are trying to tackle.