So, you have an idea, a dream, to build a gaming company, but how do you move that dream to reality? You contact a few buddies, put together a team, and enter the Imagine Cup competition. You take your team down to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and you win the 2004 Imagine Cup. You join BizSpark and get all the tools and product platform to build your product and host it with little cost. You tune your games towards an emerging trend of simpler, social games and partner with Facebook to leverage their social graph. You get engaged with your local BizSpark ecosystem, specifically for Kobojo, the IDEES de Microsoft program in France, and you grow your company with mentor and technical support.
Now, your company is getting traction and you need to raise some funding, so you start engaging with venture capitalists and you enter the pitch competition at the 2010 European BizSpark Summit in Paris. And you win it. More attention, more eyeballs, more opportunity. Your company has some great games out in production, the Goobox full of casual games, and Robotz, a social community game built on Facebook and hosted on the Windows Azure cloud infrastructure. Some things work great, some not so great. Some popularity results in revenue and some results in wasted time. But you push your company ahead, you take help when it is offered and you direct your company towards your vision.
Now your dream is getting a reputation. In some circles Kobojo is being called the Zynga of Europe. Your company is featured as the BizSpark Startup of the Day and you get a little more visibility globally. Then through the IDEES program Kobojo gets nominated into BizSpark One, the global showcase for the top 100 of the nearly 40,000 companies in Microsoft’s global BizSpark ecosystem, and you get in. More global visibility and then Microsoft corporate engagement, which results in Kobojo being showcased at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show. Here the addictive Kobojo game, PyramidZ is on the Windows Phone 7 and on the latest Windows 7 touch-enabled PCs and slates.
And now, Kobojo has raised their first round of $7.5 M, press release, as reported on TechCrunch, to build out their casual games on Goobox and to build out their popular global social game PyramidVille. They have grown to 30 employees and are growing internationally with the help of their investors. The Kobojo team members, Franck Tetzlaff, CEO, my friend Vincent Vergonjeanne, VP of Products & Strategy and Guillaume Berthet, CRM & Partnerships Manager, have created a successful and prospering company from their dreams and many years of hard work and exceptional execution. I can’t wait for what is next. It will be fantastic.