Written by Robert Leitch.
Chris Bergman and Paul Armstrong, the co-founders of ChoreMonster, have done the impossible – they’ve created a company that makes chores fun for kids and manageable for parents. The company’s web and mobile app allows parents to assign chores to their children, who then unlock different rewards with each task they complete. Rewards are set by the parent and can range from fun family trips to an hour of video game play.
“I’m really passionate about making work and other mundane tasks enjoyable,” said Bergman, CEO of ChoreMonster. “I started ChoreMonster while my wife was pregnant out of a desire to make life a little more fun for my family. I want all kids to grow up in homes where fun is a priority.”
Since founding the company in 2011, ChoreMonster has grown considerably and formed partnerships with well-known brands including Crest and Oral-B. The partnership with the popular toothpaste brands introduced Orby, an Oral-B branded monster, into the ChoreMonster universe. Orby appeared in in-app videos that showed kids the proper way to brush their teeth. In the summer 2015, this list expanded to include Disney and Pixar, a relationship Bergman says has been extremely beneficial for his team.
“We’ve worked closely with Disney Animation, creating different short movies that kids can unlock in our app,” said Bergman. “That experience has taught us the importance of developing a narrative and a story for our ChoreMonster characters, so they can be engaging for kids.”
For their customers, the ChoreMonster – Disney/Pixar relationship has resulted in new chore rewards, including unlockable characters from the movies Inside Out and The Good Dinosaur, plus sneak peeks of new movies yet to be released in theaters.
“Our goal is to keep working with Disney and Pixar and learn as much as we can from their creative minds,” said Bergman. “It has been an incredibly helpful experience for our team and a great way to keep our app exciting for users.”
Over the past four years, ChoreMonster has worked closely with both The Brandery and CincyTech, two Ohio Third Frontier regional partners located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Bergman and Armstrong entered The Brandery, a nationally ranked accelerator, when ChoreMonster was just an idea.
“The Brandery team led us through all of the research, testing and experimentation that it takes to develop a tech startup,” said Bergman. “They taught us how to raise money and helped us identify mentors, which are the two most important pieces of building a high-growth company.”
After graduating from The Brandery, ChoreMonster received a $200,000 investment from CincyTech in early 2012. This marked the company’s first external investment and was part of a $350,000 seed-stage funding round.
“CincyTech has been our advocate since the very beginning,” said Bergman. “Their team has shaped not only our company, but me personally. ChoreMonster would not be the company it is today without their wisdom and advice.”
In the future, ChoreMonster plans to expand its partnerships with popular family brands. The app recently introduced characters from FOX’s Alvin and the Chipmunks, with more to come.
Located in the heart of Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine neighborhood, Bergman says his company is committed to the city and will continue growing in southwest Ohio.
“The Cincinnati area is full of authentic, transparent people. That creates an amazing environment that allows people to take risks at building innovative technology,” said Bergman. “Anytime you build something that is a first, it’s a very vulnerable process. You need a community around you that will support and encourage you. Cincinnati does that very well.”