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Shift Group is turning your business into a video game, Want to Play?

Look­ing for a job is very com­pet­i­tive. If you are only apply­ing to jobs online you will encounter sub­stan­tial com­pe­ti­tion. At our objec­tive is to make it as easy as pos­si­ble to find a job at a great com­pa­ny and with the least amount of competition.

At we have estab­lished our mis­sion of Find­ing the Great Com­pa­nies First. In keep­ing with our mis­sion we have cre­at­ed this inter­view series with some of the newest star­tups in the New York City mar­ket area.   We encour­age you to learn about some of the newest com­pa­nies and think about what might be a good fit for you.

What is the name and loca­tion of your com­pa­ny and who are the founders? 

Shift Group
Brook­lyn, NY
Founder: Ste­fan Doering

How did the idea for your start-up come about? 

Over the past 30 years I have trained and worked with about 4,000 entre­pre­neurs in 13 coun­tries. But I’ve been get­ting tapped out and tired. So, I thought: How do I get to 4 mil­lion from here?

Of the key peo­ple involved what is everyone’s expe­ri­ence and background?
Ste­fan Doer­ing
—Man­ag­ing Director—
Busi­ness coach­ing a vari­ety of busi­ness­es with pro­grams hav­ing reached 4,000 busi­ness inno­va­tors in 13 countries

Pro­fes­sor at State Uni­ver­si­ty of New York (SUNY) Stony Brook, teach­ing Sus­tain­able Entre­pre­neur Training

Taught land­mark cours­es on green entre­pre­neur­ship and intrapre­neur­ship at Colum­bia University’s Cen­ter for Envi­ron­men­tal Research and Conservation

Pro­fes­sor at Min­neso­ta Col­lege of Art and Design, hav­ing taught Eco Design and Green Marketing

Cer­ti­fied Entre­pre­neur In Res­i­dence for New York State Ener­gy Research and Devel­op­ment Author­i­ty (NYSERDA) for clean tech­nol­o­gy companies
Dr. Ruth Con­tr­eras—Chief Game Designer—
Pro­fes­sor in High­er Edu­ca­tion and Research at a pri­vate uni­ver­si­ty based in Barcelona, Spain

Teach­es Game Design and Inter­ac­tive Com­mu­ni­ca­tion Design at Uni­ver­si­ty of Vic (Uvic)

PhD in Mut­li­me­dia Design
Dr. Jose Luis Eguia—Chief Game Developer—
Co-founder and CEO of Dig­i­tal Work Force S.L. a new media company

Co-author of 3 pub­lished books: Mul­ti­play­er Games: the Pow­er of Net­works in Enter­tain­ment (Edi­to­r­i­al UOC, 2014); Et in Arca­dia (East & West Pub­lish­ing, 2012) and 7 Cross-Sec­tion­al Visions of Design (UVic-UDL, 2011)

Ph.D. in Inter­ac­tive communication

Tory Winkel­man-Dedet—Gam­ing Director—
Fre­quent beta tester to var­i­ous games, such as MMORPGs such asWorld of War­craft by Bliz­zard and Defi­ance by Tri­on Games

Lim­it­ed Part­ner at Hayden’s Point Part­ners invest­ment fund, cul­ti­vat­ing new ideas and busi­ness oppor­tu­ni­ties with emerg­ing green and sus­tain­able entrepreneurs
Franklin Madi­son—Tech­nol­o­gy Director—
Co-Founder—Gaia Ven­tures, accel­er­a­tor for inno­v­a­tive high-tech firms in the US and Canada

Board of Direc­tor— Insti­tute of Play, cre­ator of the 1st game­play-for-learn­ing pro­gram for schools in NYC

Found­ing mem­ber of NYC­Seed— an ear­ly stage fund for soft­ware devel­op­ers in part­ner­ship with The Poly­tech­nic Insti­tute of NYU.

Steven Hart—Learn­ing Director—
Teach­es lead­er­ship and com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Mer­ck, Transocean, HP, Amer­i­can Express, Duke Ener­gy, Perkin Elmer, Sher­win-Williams, and State Farm

Taught busi­ness writ­ing for Cor­nell University’s School of Indus­tri­al and Labor Relations

Served on a team for for­mer Sec­re­tary Michael Chertoff in build­ing the per­for­mance cul­ture of the Depart­ment of Home­land Security

Joanne Goodrich—Coach­ing Director
Senior coach and Pro­gram Design­er at BEST Coach­es since 2005

How do you see your com­pa­ny cre­at­ing val­ue or dis­rupt­ing an exist­ing market? 

Shift Group is all about dis­rup­tion. A) We are gam­i­fy­ing our unique train­ing for entre­pre­neurs world-wide. Soon, in less than a year, any entre­pre­neur can col­lab­o­rate with peo­ple on how to build a busi­ness. B) We are also mak­ing this train­ing basi­cal­ly free for all. With access to experts to help them along the way. C) We help entre­pre­neurs inte­grate sus­tain­able busi­ness prac­tices into their busi­ness mod­els (inte­grat­ing eco­nom­ic, envi­ron­men­tal and social components).

When was the busi­ness found­ed and how are you being funded? 

Found­ed: 2013, and cap­i­tal com­ing in (so far) from founder, investors, and now cus­tomers pre-paying.

If so by whom are you cur­rent­ly fund­ed by? 

Founder about $70K

Part­ner: $50K

Grant from large uni­ver­si­ty: $200K

What is the cur­rent size of your busi­ness, num­ber of employees?

Start­up, with sales begin­ning this year with our non-gam­ing cur­ricu­lum to uni­ver­si­ties. Sales this year, less than $100K. 1 employ­ee. Expect to grow to $30MM with­in 5 years.

If you are seek­ing fur­ther fund­ing, how much and for what pur­pose will the new funds be applied? 

Our beta ver­sion that is being built is now fund­ed com­plete­ly. We are start­ing to raise cap­i­tal for post-beta design and devel­op­ment. We’ll need $750K for this, with­in about 9 months.

What is the prod­uct and or ser­vice you are providing? 

Phase I: Online game for uni­ver­si­ty stu­dents for a fee. Cur­rent­ly have SUNY Stony Brook and Pear­son Pub­lish­ing as part­ners and clients.

Phase II: Freemi­um ver­sion of game to gen­er­al public.

Explain how you are seek­ing entry into your marketplace.

Phase I: using our con­tacts with Uni­ver­si­ties and stu­dents to gain mar­ket acceptance.

Phase II: use our social media and mar­ket­ing expe­ri­ence along with our crit­i­cal mass from the uni­ver­si­ties’ students.

What seems to be the biggest strength of the team so far?

Expe­ri­ence in entre­pre­neur­ship, teach­ing, cur­ricu­lum design, and gaming.

What was your great­est “Ah-Ha” moment to date? 

“Hey, let’s make it a game!”

What was the fun­ni­est thing that has happened? 

My 80-year-old moth­er has no clue what I am doing, after hav­ing explained it to her about 50 times.

If you can only do one thing in your indus­try what would that be?

Teach­ing entre­pre­neurs how to make mon­ey by fix­ing all our problems.


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