Lamarwaltersuccess Blog

January 23, 2012

“One Young Entrepreneur’s Million-Dollar Idea in Mobile Gaming”

Filed under: Business, Inspirational, Motivational, Sucessful, Uncategorized — lamarwalter @ 11:19 pm

By: Joel Holland

In the fall of 2007, Seth Priebatsch was a freshman at Princeton. A year later, he dropped out. By 2011, he was head of a company valued at nine figures.

The 23-year-old is the self-proclaimed “chief ninja” of Scvngr, a real-world, location-based gaming system, and its new mobile payment service, LevelUp. Priebatsch’s record of entrepreneurship stems back to high school, when he ran a print manufacturing startup called Postcard Tech. He cut his teeth turning out college applications while managing factory operations in Hong Kong and a distribution center in Boston.

At Princeton, Priebatsch turned his attention to another field: gaming. “I really started getting fascinated with how much I and everyone else in the engineering department enjoyed games,” he says, “but I also enjoyed actually going outside.”

Motivated to move game mechanics from their traditional hardware into the tangible world, Priebatsch enlisted the help of a professor to build a demo of a mobile gaming platform to which anyone could contribute. The demo won the school’s business plan competition and earned Priebatsch an invite to DreamIt Ventures’ Philadelphia incubator.

There, he began fortifying the system, which he dubbed Scvngr. “It’s a reality-based mobile game,” he explains. Players check in at locations and undertake challenges–puzzles to solve, location-based photos to snap–for points that lead to awards. Players, companies and institutions can add their own locations and challenges to the system, so it is “built by people like you … You unlock awards and access those places, whether it’s half off your coffee at a business or something cool at the Smithsonian Institute.”

With his increased commitment to his new business, Priebatsch decided to put Princeton on hold. “People think that running a startup while in school is actually an option and a recipe for success, and it’s just not,” he says. “If you want to be a big startup while you’re in school, you’ll either end up failing as a startup and failing at school or doing OK at school but the startup is going to, for lack of better terms, be on ‘forced hold’ until the time that you graduate or decide to go at it full time.”

Priebatsch moved his project to Boston and secured a $750,000 initial investment from Highland Capital Partners. In December 2009, the company raised $4 million in financing from Google Ventures. In January 2011, a valuation of $100 million helped Scvngr secure another $15 million in a financing round led by Balderton Capital. Scvngr has attracted 2 million users and 5,000 large enterprises since its launch.

With the new funding, Priebatsch turned his sights to the LevelUp mobile project. He originally conceived it as a location-based daily deal platform but soon scrapped that idea in favor of a QR code payment service for the iPhone and Android, distinguishable from other such services by its built-in loyalty programs. By signing up and downloading a free app, users get a unique code they link to a credit or debit card and carry on their phone; when they scan the code at participating retailers, they earn credit that can be redeemed during future visits. LevelUp attracted 100,000 users in a 12-week pilot and is now available in four cities.

Flush with his blooming success, Priebatsch has no regrets about his decision to leave school and focus on business. “The choice to drop out isn’t actually as big a choice as it sounds,” he says. “If Scvngr had not worked, I would have been able to go back a year later or a semester later. And the absolute worst-case scenario would have been to have spent a year on an incredible experience learning a huge amount of stuff and really taking a huge risk.”

Advertisements

12 Comments »

  1. Great blog you’ve got here.. It’s hard to find excellent writing like yours
    these days. I honestly appreciate individuals like
    you! Take care!!

    Comment by hot jewelry — January 18, 2014 @ 12:19 am

  2. Wow, that’s what I was exploring for, what a information!

    existing here at this web site, thanks admin
    of this website.

    Comment by sell jewelry nyc — January 18, 2014 @ 12:31 am

  3. Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across this board and I in finding
    It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope to present something back and aidd others such as you aided me.

    Comment by Hood piercings — January 18, 2014 @ 12:35 am

  4. When someone writes an post he/she maintains the image of a user in his/her
    mind that how a user can be aware of it. Therefore that’s why this piece of writing is amazing.
    Thanks!

    Comment by cute jewelry for cheap — January 18, 2014 @ 12:56 am

  5. Hi there all, here every person is sharing these knowledge, so it’s nice to read this blog, and
    I used to go to see this blog everyday.

    Comment by fort pierce inlet state park — January 18, 2014 @ 1:14 am

  6. I’m amazed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and engaging, and without
    a doubt, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about.
    I’m very happy I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

    Comment by neon jewelry — January 18, 2014 @ 1:26 am

  7. I drop a leave a response when I appreciate a article on a
    site or if I have something to add to the discussion.
    It’s caused by the sincerness displayed in the article I read.
    And after this post One Young Entrepreneurs Million-Dollar Idea in Mobile Gaming | Lamarwaltersuccess Blog.

    I was actually moved enough to drop a comment ;-) I actually do
    have some questions for you if you don’t mind. Could it be just me or does it seem like some of the remarks look like left by brain dead visitors?
    :-P And, if you are posting at additional online sites, I would like to keep up with
    you. Would you make a list every one of your community pages like your
    Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

    Comment by wedding earrings — January 18, 2014 @ 1:28 am

  8. My partner and I stumbled over here coming from a different page and thought I should check things out.
    I loke what I see so now i am following you.

    Look forward to looking into your web page repeatedly.

    Comment by premier jewelry catalog 2011 — January 18, 2014 @ 1:43 am

  9. Amazing issues here. I’m very happy to peer your post. Thanks a lot and I’m taking a look ahead to contact you.
    Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

    Comment by swarovski jewelry outlet — January 18, 2014 @ 1:43 am

  10. I seriously love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme.

    Did you build this amazing site yourself? Please reply back as I’m trying to create my very own blog and would like to know where you got this from or
    what the theme is named. Many thanks!

    Comment by cezanne jewelry — January 18, 2014 @ 1:46 am

  11. Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar onee
    and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any
    assistance is very much appreciated.

    Comment by jewelry Home party — January 18, 2014 @ 2:03 am

  12. Definitely consider that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed
    to be on the web the simplest factor to consider of. I say to you,
    I certainly get irked even ass other folks consider concerns that
    they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the entire thing with no
    need side-effects , other folks could take a signal. Will likely be again to get
    more. Thank you

    Comment by ashton pierce money talks — January 18, 2014 @ 2:09 am


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: