RIVAL 5 Game LLC - Startup of the Year
Company: RIVAL 5 Game LLC, New Providence, PA
Company Description: RIVAL 5 - The Number Strategy Game – This is a "smart" game of skill and chance, for ages 9-99. As a STEM tool, it is the ideal game for the classroom and at home. Families reported that the replay factor was off the charts. Each time was a different experience and just as much fun as the last. It is easy to learn and quick to play, with game rules in 39 languages to impact global markets.
Nomination Category: Company/Organization Awards Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Startup of the Year - Consumer Products Industries
Nomination Title: RIVAL 5 Game LLC
Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated organization since the beginning of July last year (up to 525 words). Begin this section with the date since July 1 2016 on which this organization began operations:
One day in my prison classroom of adults (ages 18-80) I saw one of my students counting his fingers while trying to do algebra. I thought there had to be a better way to develop numeric fluency, so I decided to develop a game for the class. I tossed several 12-sided dice, and with an arrangement of numbers that were multiples, I began to make some basic rules for a simple game. My goal was to help my low-level students.
As my students and I played the game, the more academically-advanced students joined, and before I knew it, the game had become wildly popular. The students loved the game, played it daily and insisted that I put it on the market. One day I watched a special education student win against a college graduate. At the point, I decided to pursue the marketing process.
I named the game RIVAL 5 and refined the rules and game design in the classroom. I tested the game on more than 100 people before I pursued publication. I found that many children and adults did not like math and had fear or anxiety about playing the game. After playing RIVAL 5, they immediately liked it and said they would play it again. I was amazed by how RIVAL 5 changed the mindset of math averse players.
Math is a problem for many people because there is only one right answer, and that can mean fear, anxiety and shame if one cannot get that one right answer. But with RIVAL 5 there is a multitude of right answers. With a roll of three 12-sided dice one can add, subtract, multiply and/or divide or mix and match operations (add two dice, divide the third etc.) Players are trying to align 5 chips on the board while blocking their opponents from doing the same.
The game is STEM-aligned for the educational sector and is trademarked for international commerce. With rules in 39 languages it is bound to segue into global markets.
Board game sales have exploded as millennials are seeking social connections by playing board games in bars, cafes and restaurants throughout the USA. Teachers are playing games in schools as students learn more easily and retain more when using games, and homeschool parents also are using games to expedite learning. In prison classrooms, visiting rooms and housing units board games are being played as well. Globally, board game sales are expected to reach $8.12 billion by 2021, and digital games are sky-rocketing simultaneously.
RIVAL 5 is capturing that market by developing an app for use in schools, prisons and homeschools that will allow the game to be played against the computer or interactively around the world. RIVAL 5 has received 8 awards from toy testing companies and placed 3rd in the Ben Franklin Big Idea contest since its October 2017 debut. An app will parlay its current success, expand the market and lower the barrier to entry. Invented for a struggling inmate in a prison classroom, RIVAL 5 is on a mission to empower math-averse children and adults around the world.
Provide a brief biography of the person or persons who lead the nominated company (up to 125 words):
My educational background is a bit sketchy because I never went to high school. I worked on the family farm after completing eighth grade, earned my GED and pursued a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, followed by a master’s degree in special education. I had the unique privilege of teaching GED classes at the same local high school where I earned my own GED. I have been teaching GED, Adult Basic Education, and English as a Second Language classes in a state prison for the past 18 years, where I challenge my students to overcome obstacles, showing them that if I could earn a GED, they can too. I use games and activities to teach because I believe that learning should be fun.
Choose one (even if both apply): The CEO (or other principal manager) of this company is a woman, and at least 40% of the management team is comprised of women.