Ze Frank wants to send us all back to kindergarten. Star.me, Ze’s soon-to-be fully public startup, which raised $500,000 from star-struck investors including Gary Vaynerchuk and Ron Conway, is an attempt to reinvent the kindergarten’s star system of rewards.
As Ze told me when he came into the TechCrunchTV studio earlier this week, “stars are good.” They make us human, they allow us to display our emotions and become children again. But the funny thing about Ze is that, in building his new online kindergarten, he’s had to become an adult – fancying an idea, raising capital, developing a business model, leading a team. And, as he confessed to me, becoming the CEO of a funded startup hasn’t always been as easy as he first imagined when he founded Star.me.
This is the first part of my conversation with Ze. On Monday, he tells me why the future of play is a “hot thing.”
Ze rates startup entrepreneur Ze Frank
Ze on why we need (yet) another social startup
Ze on why we all need to go back to kindergarten
Ze Frank is an American online performance artist, composer, humorist and public speaker based in Los Angeles, California. In 2001, Frank created an online birthday invitation and sent it to seventeen of his closest friends. Forwarded wildly, the invitation soon generated millions of hits and over 100 gigabytes of daily web traffic to Frank’s personal Web site. The site grew to include interactive group projects, short films, animations, and video games, many Flash-based, including children’s educational videos featuring handy...
Star.me is a platform that facilitates rich and deep engagement for brands and celebrities, including Imogen Heap, iJustine, Michael Buckley, and many more. Star.me provides fans with opportunities for participation in the form of missions, games, custom rewards, and fun.