Founded by two African-American men, Mindblown Labs creates experiential learning tools for kids. Through the interactive gaming experiences Mindblown Labs produces, young people are taught how to navigate financial decisions that ultimately impact their life. Financial literacy is a major point of the games, which incidentally raised the most funds for a game through Kickstarter – a crowdfunding site that bridges the gap between innovators and financing for their projects. The firm has partnered with banks and other financial organizations which has enabled them to offer this software for free, lowering the limitations and roadblock accessibility to costly technology can present to some.
Their first endeavor, Thrive’n’Shine, a financial capability and millennial management tool, won best in class. The game covers a variety of topics, such as: budgeting, insurance, credit score, mortgage, and even emergency fund, to name a few. While Thrive’n’Shine provides sophisticated financial advice for kids, the software is all about accessibility. Its interactive nature brings the young learner into the fold – an alternative to a didactic training method which may alienate rather than empower the child. The organization seeks to not only educate young people about money but include them in a conversation where, for a variety of reasons, they may otherwise be left out of.
Behind the education technology company are two friends, Jason Young and Tracy "Ty" Moore who founded the company. Jason Young and Tracy Moore met during their undergraduate days at Harvard. Both individuals have extensive backgrounds in working with inner city youth. In addition to running a successful Oakland-based tech firm, the two also devote their time and energy to another endeavor, The Hidden Genius Project – a tech boot camp that provides technical training to young African-American men. Mindblown Labs continues to create, design, and produce software in Oakland.