How This Cincinnati Startup Landed a Partnership with Pixar’s ‘Inside Out’

June 16, 2015

3:00 pm

While its official premiere isn’t until this Friday, June 19th, Pixar’s Inside Out has already garnered several great reviews. Really not a surprise when you consider director and screenwriter Pete Docter’s previous successes with previous Pixar films Monsters, Inc. and Up (not to mention his six Oscar nominations). Plus, with an all-star voicing cast that includes the likes of comedians Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, and “Beyonce Pad Thai” herself (Mindy Kaling), the movie will likely become another hit for everyone. But, while the Box Office is anticipating big-margin sales for the film, Cincinnati, OH-based startup ChoreMonster has already benefited greatly from a partnership with the summer blockbuster.

Partnership with Pixar

ChoreMonster offers a web and mobile app that provides a fun way for parents to engage their kids in chores. Through interactive graphics and gamification, the company has developed an effective way to get kids to do their chores – and do so in a way that’s more organized and less frustrating for parents. In the buildup to Pixar’s Inside Out, the company released a version of its app that features various characters from the movie, as well provides an opportunity for families to win tickets to the movie when it premieres.

To use ChoreMonster, parents simply add chores to the ChoreMonster system and designate point values per chore. As kids complete each of the chores listed on the app, they earn points that can be used towards real-life rewards, from an hour of TV time to a trip to Disney World (these are just examples – parents are free to write-in whatever rewards they desire). With each complete chore, kids also get an opportunity to unlock and earn interactive monsters on the app – each with its own unique personality; this makes Choremonster really much more like a game for kids.

Through ChoreMonster’s partnership with Pixar, kids can unlock the characters from Inside Out in addition to the other interactive monsters already on the app. By unlocking these characters, users of the app also gain exclusive access to 10- to 15-second clips of each character. Tying in to the notion of behavioral and emotional themes in the movie, parents can choose to add unique tasks to their children’s lists, including “calm down when you’re angry”; “do a disgusting chore”; “overcome a fear”; “give joy to the family”; and “comfort someone who is sad”. Lastly, through the partnership, families actually get an opportunity to win tickets to the movie when it premieres; when parents add Inside Out as a reward on ChoreMonster’s app, the entire family gets a shot at winning tickets.

ChoreMonster app Pixar Inside Out screenshots

Disney Accelerator Program

ChoreMonster is a 2011 graduate of Cincinnati-based, seed-stage accelerator The Brandery, It was also one of the 11 companies chosen to participate in the 2014 Disney Accelerator. An accelerator aimed at entertainment and media companies, the Disney Accelerator program gave the company exclusive access to and mentorship from top executives at The Walt Disney Co., including influential figures from ESPN, ABC, Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar. And it was through the program that the company was able to establish its connections to big names like Pixar. Reflecting on the company’s experience through the Disney Accelerator, ChoreMonster cofounder and CEO Chris Bergman said:

“Fascinating, magical, and intense. The mentorship the Disney Accelerator provided – the expertise – was beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. We’ve connected and worked with literally some of the most creative minds on the planet. There’s no other accelerator in the world that could offer this level of expertise.”

After graduating from the program last October, the company was mum on a partnership that they had supposedly landed. It wasn’t until the end of last month that the company announced this partnership with Pixar. While the company has already gotten some major coverage in the past, the partnership with a big blockbuster pushes the startup to even greater heights.

And, while it’s certainly a success for ChoreMonster, it’s also another big boost for Cincinnati’s startup scene. Last year, I wrote about the rapid development of Cincinnati’s tech sector and how events like Everything But the House’s massive Series A signaled a booming-yet-underrecognized startup economy. With this recent partnership with Pixar and Inside Out, ChoreMonster further helps to boost the status of the Cincinnati tech scene.

As to what’s next for ChoreMonster after this partnership, Bergman said simply: “More amazing partnerships, more opportunities for kids to unlock new, unique things, and more features that will continue to give parents control in their homes.”

You can download ChoreMonster (with Pixar’s Inside Out characters) now. Pixar’s Inside Out premiers this Friday, June 19th.

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Ronald Barba was the previous managing editor of Tech.Co. His primary story interests include industry trends, consumer-facing apps/products, the startup lifestyle, business ethics, diversity in tech, and what-is-this-bullsh*t things. Aside from writing about startups and entrepreneurship, Ronald is interested in 'Doctor Who', Murakami, 'The Mindy Project', and fried chicken. He is currently based in New York because he mistakenly studied philosophy in college and is now a "writer". Tweet @RonaldPBarba.

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