BizSpark Startup of the Day on Windows 8 - ChoreMonster
That's the idea behind ChoreMonster, a startup out of the Midwest built around a mission to make house work fun for children (and presumably easier for parents). Kids use the ChoreMonster for Windows 8 app to mark chores as completed, earning points towards rewards they can earn, like an hour of Xbox, money, or a camping trip.
Chris Bergman is the founder of ChoreMonster, a startup that has recently launched its Windows 8 app in the store.
What is your company’s mission?
To make chores fun for kids and take the tension out of chores in the household.
In 140 characters or less, tell us what your company does?
ChoreMonster allows parents and kids to actually enjoy doing chores by empowering through a digital platform.
How did you get the idea for your company?
Our first son was due soon, and I thinking about what positivity and joy would be like in my own household. I came up with the app as a way for parents to connect with their children through an app. Meanwhile, my partner (CCO) Paul Armstrong was drawing monsters with his 12 year old son, so it was an easy fit to put chores and monsters together.
What has been your biggest “aha” moment since founding your company?
That ChoreMonster is genuinely impacting the way families operate. We receive emails regularly from parents thanking us for giving them organization in their house of chaos. It really is incredible to know that it’s having such a positive effect on homes.
Tell us about your funding history. Are you currently looking for funding?
We are an A stage company currently seeking funding.
How many employees do you have? 12 How many of them are developers? 4
What Microsoft technologies that you are using in conjunction with the development of your application (and if you’re using Windows Azure, please answer the Windows Azure section below):
Using XAML as our foundation we also took advantage of the following Microsoft external libraries in addition to other Open Source libraries.
WinRT XAML Toolkit: WinRT XAML Toolkit is a set of controls, extensions and helper classes for Windows Runtime.
Microsoft Async: This package enables Visual Studio 2012 projects to use the new 'async' and 'await' keywords. This package also includes Task-based extension methods that allow using some of the existing asynchronous APIs with the new language keywords.
Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?
It depends on what you set out to accomplish. Our goal is to maximize a parent’s abilities; to make them a superhero in their child’s eyes. If we achieve that goal, the rest will follow.
How much of what you are building is based on leaving a legacy and how much of it is based on technical challenges, or the ability to make something just for fun? In other words, where do you fall on the seriousness scale? For fun, for profit, for life?
All of the above. I think the most successful, and important, businesses must be a combination of all three. Life should be fun, and a little bit profitable. :)
When did you decide that you were “startup material”?
Very early on in life. I struggled with the rigidity of a school schedule, when I preferred to be out making things…actually producing instead of consuming. At that point, I knew that I didn’t just want to collect a paycheck and go home.
What impact or legacy do you hope to make in the market and in the business world?
My goal is to show that it’s possible to take on the big things in life, parenting in this case, and disrupt the status quo in a positive way.
Can you describe the relationship that you have had with Microsoft in building your startup?
Microsoft has been incredible in guiding and mentoring, as well as giving us access to opportunities that we wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What do you think of the BizSpark Program?
I think it shows an incredible commitment to helping others succeed and in building a foundational startup ecosystem.
Why would an entrepreneur turn to Microsoft for help in building scale, a team, or using software?
Microsoft gets it in a way that other big companies don’t. You’re an enabler of success.