The MonstRpreneur Story

CreatROnce upon a time…

MonstRpreneur began in June 2013 as an idea about how to make a game out of some of the vexing challenges in starting up a new business.

John-Michael and Kathryn got together at the Paris Baguette bakery in Palo Alto, CA, to complain about previous startup teams and brainstorm ideas on what to do next to realize our dreams.  The upshot: to combine forces to create something new, fun, easy, and bring some playfulness to the way-too-serious startup culture.

Catherine was enlisted to round out our team of big thinking, action-oriented, fun-loving, game-playing intrepid entrepreneurs.

Why we do this

We love creating AHA moments. Those times that your eyes light up—when you realize something that you didn’t understand or know before—and you are NEVER the same again. These can be little AHAs or big AHAs.

We’re committed to creating AHA moments combined with fun.

Together we call that: Sparking Playful Exploration. And that’s the difference we’re going after creating in the world. For you. For us.

We’re bicoastal

We’re a bicoastal team (San Francisco and Washington D.C.) – we live online in long, creative video conferences (we know A LOT about how to create, build, and sustain an effective virtual team).  Our first video conference was initiated at the Stanford Alumni Center to plan out our approach to creating this game.

MonstRpreneurWe’ve learned a lot

Like many founders, we were pretty clear this was only going to take us a few months.  We could envision the experience, so how hard would it be to create the game?  Ok, we’re two years into this, we know a HECK of a lot of more, we love working together, and we’re REALLY EXCITED about MonstRpreneur Games!

We’ve had a LOT of iterations of the board game – really a lot…  And we finally hit on a combination that people like playing – even laugh out loud while playing it!  In fact, they get into hysterical giggling fits sometimes…  While at the same time doing what it takes to accumulate value so they can WIN the game.  Of course, everyone has a good time.

Adventures with card games

After creating the MonstRpreneur Startup Board Game, we came to the conclusion that having games you could easily carry with you, play anywhere, and involve getting up and moving would be a fun challenge. Oh, and also create AHA moments—one of our founding values for everything we do.

We came up with Convince Me. The first version was for grownups, but we found kids LOVE playing it. So we took some of the more adult activities out of it and made it fun for anyone to play, ages 7 and up. And kids of all ages are having a lot of fun with it.

We have another version of Convince Me in the works—one that really is only for adults. Look for that soon!

Playtesting opportunities

We’re constantly playtesting all our games – so sign up and we’ll let you know what’s happening when and where.

Our Team

Catherine Pitcher
Catherine PitcherFounder

MonstRpreneur GameMy Favorite Startup Moment

The feeling you get after you’ve tried countless ways to solve a problem and you find a solution that actually works!

My Favorite Game

The Sims is my favorite game because I love being able to “live” different experiences through my sims. I have played this game since I was a little girl and think I have played nearly every release, expansion pack and mobile app that has ever existed.

Why MonstRpreneur?

I’m excited to create an experience that is fun and which will open up new pathways of thought about starting and growing businesses.  Playing MonstRpreneur lets you build the business of your dreams in a fun and engaging environment.  The authentic challenges that you’ll face while playing MonstRpreneur will lead you to discoveries about business and solving problems – all while having a blast.

An Aha moment from playing MonstRpreneur

Learning my own risk tolerance through our Moment Of Truth spaces. You’re faced with some muddy situations in our Moment of Truth spaces and the decisions can be difficult.

More about me…

I bring a passion for working with different learning styles and a brain-based approach to education, communication and game design.  I’m in a constant search for how to bring ‘aha’ moments to others.

My Favorite Startup Moment

The first time someone ‘gets’ what you’re doing and their eyes light up!

My Favorite Game

Risk – strategy combined with just going for it all

Why MonstRpreneur?

I’m passionate about the potential MonstRpreneur has for combining powerful new thinking about how to start a business with the experiential learning of playing games.  MonstRpreneur makes the latest startup ideas accessible to anyone in the world that likes playing games.

I also love the inspiring work of combining the rollercoaster ride of startups, the creativity and focus of games, and the potential of learning.

An Aha moment from playing MonstRpreneur

My perspective on the food truck business was forever changed when I chose the Channel Strategy path through the Steep Cliffs of Traction.  I suddenly realized that you could scale a food truck business by partnering with a larger organization – and that you could do that for ANY business… We’re only limited by our imagination.  Now I look at every business differently.

More about me…

I bring an eclectic perspective to the problem of providing an accelerating experience to entrepreneurs: my experience creating and running my own consulting business, helping other businesses master their marketing, co-founding a school, homeschooling my kids, and my years in enterprise-level sales.

Kathryn A. Gorges
Kathryn A. GorgesFounder
John-Michael Scott
John-Michael ScottFounder

MonstRpreneur Game

Why MonstRpreneur?

I’m committed to finding and helping MonstRs across the globe to become MonstRpreneurs because I believe that entrepreneurship frees people to pursue their passions and dreams. For many years, I have walked the path of turning ideas into reality – I personally can’t imagine an existence without this as my goal.  At the same time, I have always found that my passion for game play has taught me much that I use in that existence – so for me – MonstRpreneur allows me to marry these ideas together.

I believe that MonstRpreneur offers all entrepreneurs the chance to dip their feet into the water without being bitten by sharks. There are many people out in the world who are more than willing to help entrepreneurs at some cost at a time when those same entrepreneurs need to be incredibly strategic in how they spend every penny. If I can provide much of the ideas and knowledge that can help entrepreneurs get started without hitting their bottom-line hard – then I will feel like we have accomplished something truly valuable.

More about me…

In my role within the MonstRpreneur team, I believe that I bring a unique perspective on innovation, game play and a natural tendency to instigate movement. I think that in some ways this can cause chaos, but at the same time – it always feels amazing to wade through the chaos and see us growing and getting that much closer to our mutual dream of MonstRs across the world!

HackerWhy MonstRpreneur?

My favorite aspect of the Monstrpreneur game is its ability to guide players through their passions, instilling confidence by allowing them to take risks in a fun way!

I’ve been delighted to see the game renditions leading up to launch and with my role on the team as visual designer. I hope my diverse background in engineering and the arts is reflected in the designs allowing people of all backgrounds and experience to embrace this engaging innovative game. The characters were the most enjoyable — but challenging — to create; many are based on friends who embody the unique MonstRpreneur characteristics!

Heather Bisesti
Heather BisestiGraphic Artist
Jeff Pinsker
Jeff PinskerAdvisor

Our Advisor

President of Pressman Toy Company: Pressman Toy was founded in 1922, and is a leader in the board game industry. In addition to new offerings, the company makes classics such as Mastermind, Rummikub, Triominos, Let’s Go Fishin’, Thin Ice, Topple, and Blockhead.

President of Klutz/Scholastic: Klutz is the originator of and market leader in the “books plus” category; the company is a subsidiary of Scholastic, the world’s largest children’s publisher.

CEO of Infinitoy: Infinitoy acquired and relaunched ZOOB (a leading construction toy brand), building one of the most extensive distribution networks in the toy industry with sales in 104 countries on 6 continents. The company was sold in 2013.

CEO of JP Kids: Before its sale, JP Kids was a leading independent producer of children’s media. The company placed the #1-rated show on The Disney Channel and created a joint venture in publishing with Barnes & Noble.

President of University Games: University Games is a leading international board game manufacturer, with more than 350 products and 3 international subsidiaries.