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This article was published on June 19, 2012

Kiip has picked its Build Fund winners, and they’re building more than just games

Kiip has picked its Build Fund winners, and they’re building more than just games
Drew Olanoff
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Drew Olanoff

Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

If you’re unfamiliar with Kiip, then you should definitely read some of our previous coverage on its mobile social rewards platform.

Back in March, the company opened its doors to all developers wanting to bring in a new type of advertising model to their users which aimed at not annoying them, but bringing them serious value. At the same time, Kiip announced its $100k developers fund called “Build”, and let any developer, be it of games or not, submit an application.

Since hundreds of applications were received, Kiip CEO Brian Wong decided to extend the deadline. Now that the date has come and gone, the company is announcing its winners.

As a quick reminder before we share the winners, here’s what the companies get for being a part of the first Kiip Developers Fund, in addition to a $5k prize:

Amazon Web Services: $2,000 credit
Urban Airship: 6-month Pro License
StackMob: 6-month Pro License
Localytics: 6-month Premium License
Crittercism: Lifetime Enterprise License

Without further ado, here are the twenty teams that are a part of Kiip’s first Developers Fund:

– Massive Finger (Pinball Maniacs)
– Tiny Hearts (Instamatch)
– Mutant Games (JetBee)
– Pictorious (Pictorious)
– Fufu Labs (Tinygram)
– LOCQL (Discoverful)
– LVL6 (Lost Nations)
– Kahnoodle (Kahnoodle)
– LovblGames (Unnamed)
– Zeenoh Games (Balloon Teaser)
– Estudio256 (Iron Jack)
– Alphanoize (CheeseMan)
– Boiled Goose (Merlin’s Marble)
– EnsenaSoft (Mahjong Deluxe)
– Mobuku (Monpon)
– int13 (ARDefender)
– Lab 927 (Toy Adventures)
– Zone 5 Interactive (Tiny Nova)
– Floppy Entertainment (Lil Sherman)
– Sealman Studio (VelociBoard)

While the money and services will help indie developers get some great traction, the teams will also get access to an extremely impressive list of advisors, who will be holding sessions to help everyone out, as well as chime in via an exclusive mailing list for the fund:

Dave Jones – Creator of Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto
Derek van Vliet – Co-Founder of Get Set Games, maker of Mega Jump and Mega Run
Phil Black – Founder of True Ventures
Lee Linden – Co-Founder of Tapjoy and Founder of KarmaScience
Eric Chin – General Partner at Crosslink Capital
Aziz Gilani – Director at DFJ Mercury
Perry Tam – CEO and Co-Founder of Storm8
Roy Bahat – President of IGN Entertainment
Scott Kveton – CEO of Urban Airship
Lars Leckie – Managing Director at Hummer Winblad
Caryl Shaw – Executive Producer at Callaway Digital Arts
Doug Chertok – General Partner at Vast Ventures
Paige Craig – Angel Investor

Here’s the letter that Wong sent to the companies, which serves as a battle cry that big companies aren’t the only ones who can pump out successful apps that people love:

The Build Fund was started earlier this year based on our observation that the independent developer phenomena had grown exponentially without a systematic program to support concepts pre-launch … you will be the inaugural “class”, so-to-speak – but as alumni, we’d like to invite you into a truly amazing community of like-minded developers and business leaders that are all here for very similar reasons. If we all band together as we ride this mobile wave, I can almost guarantee you that we will all walk away with more than just a few thousand dollars. There will be value created in the ecosystem beyond what any of us would have ever imagined in the first place.

What you’ll notice about the list of winners is that they’re not all games, meaning Kiip is attracting developers of apps that have some gaming elements, but aren’t your prototypical “Draw Something’s.” Wong tells me that this is something to keep an eye on, since it shows that the company is expanding its footprint by proving out the model that it created.

With a few lines of code, developers can offer rewards to their users from some top-tier companies such as Pepsi, allowing those users to redeem them or send them to a friend just for hitting certain unique milestones with the app they’re using.