Mindblown Labs, an exciting new education technology start-up, has successfully raised over $75,000 ($77,522) on Kickstarter for their financial literacy game, Mindblown Life (MBL). With nearly 700 people contributing to the campaign, as well as the American Student Assistance providing a significant contribution, Mindblown Life has raised more than any other mobile-only game in Kickstarter history. The previous record was set in October 2011 by Zombies, Run!, which raised $72,627.
Very few educational projects obtain significant levels of success on Kickstarter, and yet Mindblown Labs raised over $44,000 in its first 10 days. MBL’s campaign is the most successful educational mobile game campaign, as well. Large scale crowd-funding is unchartered territory within education. Mindblown Labs’ campaign proves that the greater community can help drive true innovation and surface creative solutions within the education system by providing funds to projects at their earliest stages.
Jason Young, Founder and CEO, said:
“Fixing our education system is going to take a tremendous amount of work and input from us all. Crowd-sourced funding is a potent way to initiate and mobilize this collective effort.”
He continued, “We are excited and appreciate that so many people have contributed their hard-earned cash to help us launch Mindblown Life. We are also thrilled at our recent partnership with American Student Assistance, which played a major role in helping us set a new Kickstarter record.Not only has our campaign helped us get one step closer to bringing an innovative personal finance solution to millions of young adults, it’s also demonstrated that, by contributing to a project like ours, people can help tackle seemingly insurmountable problems without waiting for the bureaucrats and politicians to catch up.”
Educational, crowd-sourced funding projects, such as Mindblown Labs’, represent an opportunity to solve monumental problems with the support of the greater community. Each idea has the potential to positively and dramatically transform the education landscape.
Set to launch in early 2013, Mindblown Life will empower millions of young Americans to take control of their lives by helping them make better financial decisions. Thanks to the Kickstarter community, Mindblown Labs can provide young adults with the 20/20 vision that comes from hindsight, without the negative consequences or Saturday morning phone calls from debt collectors.
About Mindblown Labs, creator of Mindblown Life
Based in Oakland, CA, Mindblown Labs is a team of talented individuals with diverse expertise in technology, gaming, personal finance, informal education, and leadership development. They are united by a common passion for creating outrageous, innovative games that revolutionize education. The team’s “fun first” approach enables them to make apps that connect with people of all backgrounds.
In June 2012, Mindblown Labs obtained second place (out of more than 200 start-ups) in a global business plan competition at the University of Pennsylvania, to find cutting-edge technology start-ups focused on education-related solutions. In 2011, Mindblown was selected to participate in the Education Ventures Program of the Kauffman Foundation, a $2 billion foundation focused on education and entrepreneurship.
Mindblown Labs is dedicated to further increasing diversity in Silicon Valley by widening the pipeline for African-American talent. They recently launched the Hidden Genius project, a non-profit that teaches software development, software design, and entrepreneurial thinking to inner-city, black male high school students in Oakland.
About Mindblown Life
Mindblown Life is a mobile social game/app for iOS that combines life-simulation elements with physics-based mini-games and irreverent humor. If the Sims and South Park were to give birth to twins, Mindblown Life would be the cute one (just as it is with real-life twins, you wouldn’t care about the other one).
Players make their virtual life into their own by creating a customizable avatar, choosing their career, and performing reflex-based mini-games at work to earn “Money,” “Skill,” and “Reputation” points. These points help them get promoted in their careers; move out of their parents’ houses; start their own businesses; and more.
The game uses Facebook integration and push notifications to create a rich, in-game life filled with meaningful social experiences: in Mindblown Life, you can attend your friends’ concerts, take them on a dinner date, play mini-games with them, or crash on their couches, if you’re having a particularly rough month. Random events make sure that your Mindblown Life reflects the spontaneity of your real one.
About American Student Assistance
American Student Assistance is a private nonprofit whose public purpose mission is to empower students and alumni to successfully manage and repay their college loan debt. We do this by providing student loan education, and enabling the development of financial competencies through the use of innovative web-based tools and trusted, neutral advice – all free of charge to students and alumni. In support of our mission, we’re sparking a movement to address college affordability and student debt by revolutionizing how students and alumni finance and repay their higher education. Through a game-changing educational membership program called “SALT,” we’re helping students and alumni borrow less, borrow wisely, repay student loans successfully and build money skills for life. Established in 1956 and based in Boston, ASA employs approximately 500 associates and has been recognized by the Boston Business Journal and Boston Globe as one of the region’s best places to work. Visit www.asa.org or call 617.728.4631 for more information.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.