Startups

Penn MBAs built this web game to help long-distance relationships stay close

Can a two-player version of a popular puzzle game keep the magic alive?

Applications are still open for the daylong event on August 18.

There's a new resource for people of color building businesses debuting in D.C. this month. Global Eye Entrepreneurs and The Melanin Collective teamed to organize The POC Entrepreneurial Bootcamp. The daylong event is set to be held August 18 at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator. The day will include a series of workshops including breakout sessions on exploring identity, perfecting a pitch, acing a podcast and creating a self-care plan, said Gamal J. Palmer, founder of Los Angeles–based Global Eye Entrepreneurs, a nonprofit which supports male entrepreneurs of color. Global Eye partnered with the D.C.–based Melanin Collective, which provides resources to empower and educate women of color. https://twitter.com/GlobalEyeLA/status/1024671399468826624 Palmer said organizers are focused on providing space for self-development and to grapple with challenges, as well as to gain the "hard skills" of building a business, whether it's pitching or participating in an interview.

"You actually leave not just hearing about things, but with the skills and tools that you need," Palmer said.
A big focus is also on building community, and so it'll feature time with local business leaders and close with a networking event. Anyone interested in attending is required to submit an application, found at the link below. According to Palmer, the applications are open until August 10. [link href="https://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/4425883/2018-POC-Entrepreneurial-Bootcamp" text="Apply"]

Penn MBAs Jeff Zhou and John Li were both trying to solve the same problem: How do you keep a long-distance relationship strong?

We hated that video chat, phone calls and email simply devolved into daily status reports of our schedules,” Li wrote in an email. Both Zhou and Li’s longtime girlfriends live in Asia.

They came up with Team 2048, a two-player version of the popular (and open source) puzzle game built by an Italian teenager. Zhou and Li added video chat, too.

It’s a cooperative game “designed to foster communication,” Li said, and it’s not just for couples.

Play Team 2048

Zhou and Li plan to monetize the game eventually, but for now they want to focus on building a suite of products. For revenue models, they’re considering targeted advertising or selling customized care packages.

Zhou, 25, and Li, 28, live in Rittenhouse Square and will complete their MBAs next spring. Their lead developer, Aaron Li, 23, recently moved to Philly from Florida to keep working on the project.

He’s currently single.

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