Our product Campfire creates immersive audio/visual experiences around books, toys, and games, and it gets screens out of the way.

Bedtime stories in particular, help children acquire academic and emotional benefits, and creates a strong bond among families. The problem is that, for the parent, story time can be tough. Over 50 parents we've initially talked to that have kids ages 3-10, have all experienced the following: busy schedules, pressure to be a great storyteller and performer, story fatigue with having to read the same books over and over and over, and a huge issue around having to compete with other forms of screen-based entertainment (tablets, phones, etc).

In fact, screen time is dominating attention, and too much screen time has been associated with difficulty falling asleep, increased risk of attention problems, anxiety, depression, and anti-social behavior. It also increases the chance of obesity. Every single parent we’ve talked to, whether they explicitly know the ...
Our product Campfire creates immersive audio/visual experiences around books, toys, and games, and it gets screens out of the way.

Bedtime stories in particular, help children acquire academic and emotional benefits, and creates a strong bond among families. The problem is that, for the parent, story time can be tough. Over 50 parents we've initially talked to that have kids ages 3-10, have all experienced the following: busy schedules, pressure to be a great storyteller and performer, story fatigue with having to read the same books over and over and over, and a huge issue around having to compete with other forms of screen-based entertainment (tablets, phones, etc).

In fact, screen time is dominating attention, and too much screen time has been associated with difficulty falling asleep, increased risk of attention problems, anxiety, depression, and anti-social behavior. It also increases the chance of obesity. Every single parent we’ve talked to, whether they explicitly know the detrimental affects of devices and screens, all inherently feel a guilt around providing a “digital babysitter”. Innovation and immersion doesn’t have to mean more screens.

We introduce a $186 billion physical goods (books/toys/games), to a $7 trillion Internet of Things market by 2020. IoT is a hot trend, and we’ll be the first to connect books, toys, and games to the internet in this way that is very interesting to publishers. For the first time in history, they’ll have user data on what happens to their physical products beyond the point of sale.

Early user testing and demos has been incredibly rewarding, with great reactions and feedback from kids, parents, and a number of large publishing companies.

We’ve demoed with the largest publishing company, headquartered in Seattle, which we’ve signed an NDA with as we’ve begun prototyping with them. We also have our first live public Campfire reading at a book store in Seattle in early April, and more on the way.

Our team is made up of a serial entrepreneur and CEO, award winning creatives, a prolific composer and audio engineer, two deeply technical CTO-level engineers, and an advisor who is a partnership whiz.

In under 3 months since starting Campfire, we’ve pitched at Startup Weekend and CES, grew the creative and tech team to 5, designed the UI/UX, identity, and website, built 2 rich beta products, test 8 experiences with a dozen families, and gotten some great introductions to publishers.
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Investors

Microsoft Accelerator
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Microsoft Accelerator Empowering Startup Success on a Global Scale

Employees

Andrew Aker
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David Wykes
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Ryan Vanderpol
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Ryan Vanderpol Web Architect, Campfire Serial technical co-founder and CTO.