MANASSAS, VA — Catlilli Games (www.catlilli.com) has announced its selection for Round 2 of the Duke Start-Up Challenge, an entrepreneurship competition run by Duke University during the course of the academic year.
Co-founded by neurobiologist Catherine Croft Swanwick, Ph.D., and civil engineer Jon Nardolilli in January 2015, Catlilli Games creates fun educational tabletop games that teach science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts to children in grades PK-12. Both Swanwick and Nardolilli transitioned to careers in STEM education and have observed the ability of young children to understand complex STEM concepts when presented in game format. They hope to use games as an innovative educational tool to excite children about STEM topics.
In July 2015, Catlilli Games was accepted for residency in the Virginia Serious Game Institute (VSGI), a business incubator for game companies at George Mason University (GMU). As part of the VSGI, they share office space and business mentorship with other game companies on the GMU Science & Technology Campus in Prince William County.
Catlilli Games is competing in the Alumni/Faculty/Staff category of the Duke Start-Up Challenge, as Swanwick graduated from Duke University in 1999 with a B.S. in Biology. In Round 2, they will be competing to raise money on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo. At the end of the campaigns, winners will be selected to present at the Grand Finale in Durham, NC, in Fall 2016.
For their Indiegogo campaign, Catlilli hopes to raise enough money to build upon their tabletop game inventory. In addition to their five current games on the market (Atomic Adventures – chemistry memory/matching card game, Cycles – card game based on life & earth sciences, Crazy Cats – genetics dice game, Will it [Blank]? – engineering card game based on materials testing, and Insect Intersection – a strategy card/dice game based on evolution), they wish to create a new tabletop game based on experimental chemistry, called Alembic. You can view their Indiegogo campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/stem-games-from-catlilli/x/13146063#/.
This is Catlilli Games second entrepreneurship award. In Dec. 2015 they were one of 10 start-up companies chosen from a nationwide pool of 200 applicants to be semi-finalists in the inGENuitY 2015 Pitch Contest, hosted by the Washington Post and 1776.