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Startup Cincinnati: Choremonster

Updated: Wednesday, November 20 2013, 08:41 AM EST
CINCINNATI (Tiffany Wilson) -- Clean your room! Put the dishes away! If you're a parent, you've probably said that more than once. Now a local company is taking the stress out of getting kids to do their chores.

When driving down Central Avenue in Over-the-Rhine, don't be alarmed by the 12-foot monster on the wall. That's just Jeff Geoff, Choremonster's mascot. Dare to enter the door and you'll find an enviable office, complete with indoor bike rack and comfy couches. Paul Armstrong's the monster man. "They're fun." Chris Bergman's concerned about chores, "I'm very passionate about work being fun. That's something that's really important to me."

Two years ago, they combined the two and applied to Cincinnati startup accelerator "The Brandery" with the goal of gamifying chores. "Miraculously, just on the idea, we got into the 2011 class of The Brandery," said Armstrong.   Fast forward through months of hard work, a CincyTech investment and many new monsters; they've developed a two part app that makes chores easy for parents and fun for kids. "It really, really, really helps families," Bergman said.

Here's how it works: parents sign up for the service, then type in chores and assign point values for each task. When kids check something off, they rack up points and earn rewards --- including monsters.

Choremonster led us to Maria Harris who uses the app with her daughters daily. "Being a stay-at-home mom, I get to have some more fun with them instead of always being the dictator, always telling them what to do," said Harris about the app. Now, even her three-year-old helps around the house, "She started loading her own dishes into the dishwasher after she eats."

Bergman attributes the success to empowerment. "If you empower kids and give them ownership of their responsibilities they're going to act on them in a way they wouldn't otherwise."

Choremonster just went through a round of funding, raising enough money for new hires and an Android expansion. They're a Cincinnati startup success story now touching tens of thousands of families across the country. The founders are grateful. Bergman said, "I wouldn't have wanted to do this anywhere else. We couldn't have done this anywhere else."

Choremonster's app costs less than five dollars a month.

Startup Cincinnati: Choremonster

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