Favortree uses mobile phones to ‘Play it Forward’

Knight Foundation announces investment; Gaming experts join board; first favor-trading game for mobile phones is open for registration

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"Share with your neighbors?
There's an app for that
"
by Benoit Wirz on Knight Blog

LOS ANGELES - (July 9, 2012) – Los Angeles based company Sugar Packet, Inc. announced plans to launch Favortree, the first-ever ‘play it forward’ favor-trading game for mobile phones.

The company also announced a $350,000 investment from Knight Foundation and the addition of several high-profile advisors.

Starting today, users can pre-register for Favortree, a safe and fun marketplace for sharing goods and services within your community. With Favortree, users can help their friends and neighbors with small favors and earn rewards to be traded for favors when they need help. “Similar to Farmville, the more you help, the more your virtual tree grows,” co-founder Micki Krimmel said. “And the rewards extend beyond the virtual. Every time you help a neighbor, you are strengthening your local community.”

Joining Favortree as advisors are Lane Becker and Thor Muller, co-founders of Get Satisfaction and New York Times best selling authors of Get Lucky; UX designer and researcher Amanda Willoughby; and world-famous game designer, founder of Super Better and author of Reality is Broken, Jane McGonigal.

Favortree joins heralded companies such as Airbnb, Zimride and Getaround in the emerging market of “Collaborative Consumption,” which encompasses services that connect people via social networks to share resources more efficiently than ever before. With the addition of social gaming to their sharing platform, Favortree offers a unique experience for users and unlocks previously untapped revenue models in the growing Collaborative Consumption market. A report by Inside Network in 2011 pegged the virtual goods market at $2.9 billion for 2012.

Favortree is founded by Micki Krimmel and Daniel Hengeveld. Krimmel previously created NeighborGoods, a pioneer of Collaborative Consumption.

Knight Foundation is investing in the for-profit company through its Technology for Engagement Initiative, which funds efforts that use technology to help residents get more deeply involved in their communities. In addition to helping develop the platform, Knight funding will bring Favortree to San Jose, Calif.

“Knight is interested in investing in breakthrough ideas that bring communities together to work on common challenges and opportunities,” said Damian Thorman, Knight’s national program director. “The simple act of sharing with the people who surround you can be a powerful step toward building trust and stronger communities. Favortree is a fun and easy way connect with neighbors and enable them to help one another.”

About Favortree: Favortree is a mobile pay it forward favor-trading game for universities, faith communities and local neighborhoods. Members grow their tree and earn fruit by helping others and exchange fruit for favors they need. Favortree is founded by Micki Krimmel, founder of NeighborGoods.net, and Daniel Hengeveld. Both are also co-founders of LA Startup Club, a peer mentorship program for entrepreneurs in Los Angeles. Web site: www.favortree.com

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation: Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.

Contacts:

NeighborGoods Founder & CEO, Micki Krimmel, (310) 503-1698, micki@favortree.com

Knight Foundation: Andrew Sherry, (305) 908-2677; media@knightfoundation.org

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.