QwikMind, known as EnglEasy at Startup Weekend Silicon Valley, released its first game, Go Go Mongo! on the Apple iTunes App store on March 23rd. It quickly reached the Top 50 Education Apps in the iTunes App store and was also labeled as “New and Noteworthy.” The game is designed for children ages 2-4. Children tilt the iPhone to move the main character, Mongo from left to right on the screen as he catches fruit falling from the sky. Children learn about different foods, use their motor skills to make Mongo run, and use their memory skills to catch the right combination of falling foods.
It took nearly a year after winning Startup Weekend Silicon Valley to get a product out in the market because the team spent a significant amount of time watching kids play. The original concept was to release games on the web and on Android devices, for elementary school ESL students. One of the major questions from the Startup Weekend judges was how the team plans on distributing to schools, which lead the team to really think about how to better market the product.
Even native English speaking children need to learn basic words/concepts in English at a very early age. A 2 year old may still not know what a potato is. By building games for children aged 2-4, the market expands significantly, and then there is no need to market to schools. Marketing is now focused on parents with iOS devices, distributing through an already mature Apple iTunes App store.
Ahmed Siddiqui, the founder, recently quit his job at IBM Global Business Services to focus on this venture fulltime. Dhiren Patel, also is continuing on with the company, while still maintaining his current day job, and teammates, Jajeev Nithiananda, Justin Kelley, and Josh Dovishaw, who supported the Startup Weekend team from offsite, are also continuing with the venture.