The co-founder and CEO of Sqord says that the Durham startup has received 12,000 pre-orders for the next generation of its wearable device.
The $34.95 Sqord Booster, which uses activity-tracking technology similar to Fitbit or FuelBand but is aimed at kids, should begin shipping by the end of the month, said Coleman Greene. It can be pre-ordered now from the company’s website, sqord.com, and is slated to be sold by Amazon for the first time beginning in mid-November.
Greene projects that the company will sell 15,000 Boosters by the end of the year, which would equal in just a few months the number of first-generation devices that the company has sold since they were launched in the summer of 2013.
Greene, 33, got the idea for the company when he was an MBA student at UNC-Chapel Hill’s Kenan-Flagler Business School and learned that 13-year-olds engage in just 43 minutes of “active play” a day compared to 3 hours daily for 9-year-olds.
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“That was one of the stats that rattled and shook me,” he said.
The Booster is aimed at countering that trend by making active play fun via an online app. Kids, for example, can earn points – based on how active they are – that they can use to customize their avatar. Or they can challenge a friend, or an entire group, to see who can accumulate the most points.
Greene is anticipating that an upcoming independent study of the Booster will prove to be a major sales tool. Preliminary data from the study, which was funded by two major Booster customers, has shown that kids who wear a Booster are “significantly more active,” he said.
Sqord, which has five full-time employees, has raised $1 million from investors and is looking to raise another $2 million, Greene said.
By the way, Sqord is pronounced “scored.”