The mobile-rewards firm will dole out the new 2013 Creation Build Fund to 10 winning indie developers, each of whom will receive $10,000 in cash and $5,000 in services, said chief executive Brian Wong in an interview with GamesBeat. Kiip has built a fast-growing platform that gives a user an instant reward whenever he or she reaches a key milestone in a game or mobile app. Most of the rewards have been given out in games, but Kiip is expanding to other kinds of apps too.
Under the program, Pepsi’s Propel brand will sponsor the fitness and health portion of the fund. In that section, Kiip will encourage companies to create apps that give rewards to people for achieving their fitness and health goals. The brand’s goal is to kickstart rewards that motivate people to become healthier.
The theme of the fund for this year is “creation,” where an app can lead to the creation of a brand-new category. Kiip wants developers to take risks on apps that challenge assumptions and make huge leaps in imagination.
“We’ve really upped the ante on mentors this year,” Wong said.
As part of the rewards, Kiip will connect developers to mentors including Phill Ryu, creator of Clear and MacHeist; Jon Jordan of Pocket Gamer; Phil Black of True Ventures; Adam D’Augelli, True Ventures; Lee Linden, Facebook Gifts (previously Tapjoy and Karma); Lars Leckie, Hummer Winblad Venture Partners; Kevin Talbot, Relay Ventures; Mario Wynands, PikPok Games; Scott Kveton, Urban Airship; Matt Van Horn, Path; Matt Hunter, Jawbone; Derek van Vliet, Get Set Games; Markus Kassulke, HandyGames; and Robert Kwok, Crittercism.
“The Kiip Build Fund is a fantastic experience for independent developers,” said Michael Leip, the CEO and founder of Lab 927, a 2012 Build Fund winner. “Aside from the obvious monetary benefit, you gain access to a great group of high-level peers and exceptional mentors who are pillars of the industry. The Build Fund holds the potential to take a small indie company from good to great.”
Partners who will donate services include Parse, Urban Airship, Amazon Web Services, Crittercism and Localytics. More than 800 games and apps use Kiip’s platform, and more than 70 consumer brands provide rewards. Kiip says a study showed that Kiip-enabled apps more than double the length of a typical user session and lead users to open the app 31 percent more. The brand partners include (formerly Kraft Foods), Pepsi, McDonald’s, American Apparel, Proctor & Gamble, Wrigley, 7-Eleven, Sony Music, Best Buy, Amazon, and Verizon.