Q&A with Beth Marcus, CEO of Playrific, Inc.
EdTech Times had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Beth Marcus, CEO of Playrific, Inc. Ms. Marcus has been Founder and CEO of several successful startups, most notably EXOS, Inc., which was venture capital backed and sold to Microsoft in 1996. Since then she has been involved in 20 start-ups in a variety of fields as a founder, investor, or advisor. She was an advisor and investor in Leap Frog and has been involved in entertainment and mobile companies.
Company at a Glance:
Founders: Beth Marcus
Category: Media, Apps, Software
Product stage: Market
LinkedIn company page: http://www.linkedin.com/company/playrific-inc.
Company twitter: twitter.com/playrific
Founder twitter: twitter.com/startupdoc
Other social media: pinterest.com/playrific
ETT: What’s your elevator pitch?
BM: Playrific’s patent-pending Mobilize Your Content publishing platform provides business partners with a quick and economical way to launch special-purpose mobile apps designed to engage – and draw insights from – young consumers.
We use, enhance and extend existing brand assets — integrating video, photos, games, books, and more — to deliver highly targeted apps for brands.
ETT: What is your company’s core value proposition? What problem are you solving?
BM: We create cool apps that kids love. Our apps are topical and interesting to kids and do not require large amount of time or resources to get to market, due to our publishing platform. We take existing assets and enhance them to publish engaging apps for kids.
In many cases we are able to replace a 3-6 month app development process with a 2-4 week app publishing process.
ETT: Why did you get into this? What drove you to start this?
BM: I was presenting at Dust or Magic — showing other developers how we had quickly and cost-effectively created multiple topic-based apps using a common code base. Carol Hadley of Computer Explorers approached me after the meeting to ask if we could reskin our publishing platform for their brand to service their community of 33K kids attending an afterschool technology platform. I paused for five seconds, had a eureka moment and concluded that we can reach a much larger and more lucrative audience by mobilizing other companies brands and assets and delivering them to the kids community that we know so well. In that moment our B2B Mobilize Your Content platform was born. Three weeks later we signed a contract with Computer Explorers and have been growing ever since.
ETT: What is the biggest need for your startup (e.g. funding, development, market access, channels, publicity)?
BM: Publicity and revenue growth (which is an extension of publicity). We are selling ourselves out of the need for funding.
ETT: What should we expect to see from you in the next twelve months? (e.g. product milestones, team size, potential growth/revenue targets)
BM: Significantly increase revenue, add millions of users and grow the team with several key hires.
ETT: Which three startups/educators/entrepreneurs do you follow and find interesting?
BM: Little passports, Rapt Media, Toca Boca.
ETT: If you could provide students nationwide with one education technology product, what would it be?
BM: A tablet equipped with an array of Playrific apps.
ETT: What do you think are the biggest obstacles in adopting your product/service in the education space?
BM: Brand awareness (or lack thereof).
ETT: Where do you see education technology going in the next few years?
BM: Increasingly going mobile.
EdTech Times would like to thank Beth Marcus for her time and insight! Please check out Playrific at:
Yevgeny Ioffe, or as people call him, Yev, has been working in both the startup world and established companies. His career spans from joining Xplana Learning as it launched to Cengage Learning to MBS Direct when it acquired Xplana in 2009. Yevgeny brings to EdTech Times his passion for start-ups and technology, along with his interest in the ever evolving world of edtech. Yevgeny obtained his BSc and MA from Brandeis University and MBA from Boston College.