May 1st, 2012

Vator Spark

Get Game: How to Gamify Your Startup

Date: Tuesday May 1, 2012
Time: 8:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Location: Berkeley Skydeck, Penthouse Floor, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705 Register here.
8:30 AM - 9:00 AM Registration & Breakfast

9:00 AM - 9:15 AM Opening Remarks by Per Håkansson, Program Director Vator Spark
Welcome to Lester Center for Entrepreneurship, Andre Marquis, Executive Director


9:15 AM - 10:00 AM "The Science of Gamification"Dr. Michael Wu, Chief Scientist, Lithium Technologies

Gamification made it into Gartner’s Hype Cycle as an Emergent Technology in 2011. But what is gamification? It is certainly not about social games like FarmVille, or the blind application of badges like FourSquare. More importantly, why does it work? What’s the magic behind gamification that can apparently make people do something that they normally don’t? This session not only addresses these questions, it will do so through the lens of behavioral economics and psychology. It will provide you with a framework, which you may use to evaluate the effectiveness of any future gamification strategies. Moreover, you can use it as a design paradigm to create your own gamification.

10:00 AM - 10:35 AM "Leveraging Game Data" by Ranjith Kumaran, Founder, PunchTab, Co-founder

What can player data teach you about your startup and how can you use it to optimize your business? Learn from over 7000 game-enabled programs and find out where your website or application is under-performing.

10:35 AM -10:50 AM Networking Break

10:50 AM - 11:25 AM “Why People Play: A Player Personality Map for the Digital Age” by Jonny Shaw, Founder NakedPlay and Chethan Ramachandran, Founder and CEO Playnomics 

This session will examine why people play and what their play patterns reveal about them as human beings. Based on real data examples drawn from active social and online game environments, the presenters will introduce a comprehensive player personality map that will help anyone using game mechanics segment and target their customer base. The session will be jointly presented by Playnomics and Naked Communications, the pioneers in predicting player behavior for game publishers, brands, and e-commerce companies.

MORNING PANEL: Entrepreneurs on Gamification

11:25 AM - 12:10 PM

How Start-ups Can Benefit from Gamification Techniques and Best Practices

Rajat Paharia (, Niel Robertson (Trada), Kris Duggan (Badgeville), Nathan Lands (, Tim Roberts (,  Bambi Francisco (Vator), Moderator Brian Blau (Gartner)

12:10 PM - 1 PM Lunch

Track 1 - Product Design: Key learnings from designing products with gaming attributes
Track 2 -
Marketing: Accelerate engagement, loyalty and growth
Track 3 - Monetization: Growing revenues by using Gamification
Track 4 - Crowdsourcing: Leveraging the smartness of crowds
(Every participant can choose from four different talks for every themed track, attending up to four different sessions during the afternoon.)

1 PM - 1:35 PM (35 minutes)

Track 1: "Designing Enterprise Applications that Stick" by Chris Duskin, Vice President of Products,

(General session room)

Millions of un-utilized software licenses and seats have been sold and deployed into the enterprise. What can business leaders do to recover and optimize these investments? Sales reps, data analysts, content producers, and ad traffickers are some of the people who spend vast amounts of time each week using enterprise applications. Applications that can make their time more efficient, effective, and engaging turn product users into product champions. In this session, Chris will share his experience and thoughts on using gamification--a new technique emerging as a major force in enterprise applications--to improve adoption, increase collaboration, develop experts, and maintain employee satisfaction.

Track 2: "Data mining and predicting play behavior: an in-depth look at how predictive analytics best practices can personalize gamification" by Chethan Ramachandran, Co-founder and CEO,

(Boardroom A)

This session will cover the basics of data mining and predictive analytics and examine what happens when techniques used in other industries are applied to gamification environments. Playnomics will cover best practices from areas such as social gaming, information security, bioinformatics, and finance will be reviewed with case studies from each industry. Then, attendees will learn how to apply these techniques to their own environments to predict customer behavior, and personalize gamification environments to map to each customer's unique properties.

Track 3: "Crowdsourcing Ideas Within Organizations: A Case Study" by Cesar Castro, Founder and CEO,

(Boardroom C)

Cesar Castro will describe a recent success story with a global B2B client. Moving beyond consumer engagement and brand management, you will see first hand how a successful internal program was designed and what the key steps were to make it a success. You'll also learn about the unique approach DiscoveryCast has developed to get the best from these employee groups.

1:35 PM - 1:40 PM Move to next session

1:40 PM - 2:15 PM (35 minutes)

 Track 1: "Gamification Designed for the Salesperson Personality Type" by Michael Smalls, Founder and CEO,

(Boardroom A)

People tend to self select into job functions that fit their personality types and preferences. When applying gamification to job functions, it is important to tailor the offerings accordingly. In this talk, we will discuss how to specifically address the sales and call center audience and will share insights from a scientific study we did with Wharton at a large marketing company with over 800 salespeople.

Track 2: "Gamify Your Marketing Strategy and Reward Social Influencers" by Mara Lewis, Co-founder and CEO,

(General session room)

Leveraging gamification principles as part of the user experience and value proposition magnifies the effects of recognition and subsequently, the engagement of all users, power or casual. These principles help to package and promote recognition across the site so users interact and respond to it more often and to a greater extent.

Track 3: "Gamification = Motivation by Rajat Paharia, CPO, 

(Boardroom B)

At its core, Gamification is about motivating people. In this session, Bunchball's founder and Chief Product Officer, Rajat Paharia, will cover the key components of motivation, and discuss how gamification techniques align with these components to engage and motivate users, and drive business value.

Track 4: "Crowd Mechanics - Gamification for Crowdsourcing Businesses" by Niel Robertson, CEO and Founder,

(Boardroom C)

Crowdsourcing has emerged as a valuable solution to help businesses complete projects, both simple and complex. But managing a crowd of individuals requires a unique set of complex, multi-motivation systems to keep them engaged and properly directed. Crowd Mechanics use gamification principles to provide an incentive and engagement system designed to drive outcomes in a crowd through individual and group incentives that include both monetary and non-monetary rewards, levels, and achievements. In this hands-on session, Niel Robertson will discuss the principles and best practices of Crowd Mechanics. We will discuss the dynamics involved with motivating and managing a crowdsourcing marketplace with thousands of workers and teach you how to implement Crowd Mechanics and reputation systems to keep your crowd from becoming a mob.

2:15 PM - 2:30 PM Cookie break

2:30 PM - 3:05 PM (35 minutes)

Track 1: "Social + Gamification: Better User Experience, Better Engagement, Better Data" by Victor White, Senior Marketing Manager,

(Boardroom A)

Gamification works best when users can compete with their friends. As businesses look to gamify their web properties, ensuring that social rewards are tied to to users' social graphs is paramount to building sustained engagement. By seamlessly tying gamification with users' social identities, business can build a better user experience, leverage incredible customer insights, and drive valuable user behavior. 

Track 2: "Gamification Tactics in Marketing" by Evan Paul, Co-founder and COO,

(Boardroom B)

Incorporating gamification tactics into marketing to motivate an audience to do something through engagement -- actions, reactions, transactions you can shape and steer. This engagement gives meaning and value to marketing gamification. Benefits include: amplification, brand loyalty and customer expectations. Techniques may include: recognition, belonging, status and escape.

Track 3: "Monetization: The Love Child of Gamification & Rewards" by Keith Smith, Founder and CEO,

(General session room)

 You've increased user loyalty and engagement with your new gamified rewards program, now explore new strategies for making money.

Track 4: "Using Digital Goods as Incentives to Gamify Your Website" by Suchit Dash, Co-founder and VP of Products,

(Boardroom C)

The track will answer the question about perceived value: "Why do we cringe to buy a $0.99 application on our iPhone's but give a $1 tip to a cab driver without thinking".  User tend to be shy about paying for digital goods (especially seen in Social Games).

3:05 PM - 3:10 PM Move to next session

3:10 PM - 3:45 PM (35 minutes)

Track 1: "How to Evaluate Gamified Design" by Ken Lynch, Co-founder and CEO,

(General session room)

What’s the difference between good and bad gamified design? And what is the difference between developing a game mechanic vs. normal feature development? If you’re evaluating a gamified application or the companies who make them, join Ken in a discussion, and learn from his personal experience in gamified development.

Track 2: "Monetization and Game Design Go Hand in Hand" by Ari Mir, Founder and CEO,

(Boardroom B)

You cannot build a house without surveying the foundation. Most game designers begin to think about monetization 1-2 weeks before launch or after they have a hit on their hands. This approach leaves very few options. Whether the plan is to run ads, sell premium versions of your game or build an in-app economy, monetization needs to be discussed from the very beginning.

Track 3: "Beyond Attention: Emotion" by Brian Wong, Founder and CEO,

(Boardroom C)

Brian will discuss a fundamental shift in the way brands can create a truly emotional connection with consumers and speak about mobile gaming, the power of the Aha! (achievement and winning) moment, and how brands can celebrate that moment by bridging the mobile and real worlds by driving in-store and online interactions. The session will explain how brands can start feeling and building the classic emotional engagements that was once the underpinnings of the world's most successful advertising motifs but have been displaced by cold, technology-driven "solutions."

3:45 to 3:50 PM Break

AFTERNOON PANEL: Venture Capitalists on Gamification

3:50 PM - 4:30 PM Discussion on the Gamification industry, Market Opportunities and Funding

Tim Chang (Mayfield Fund),  Charles Hudson (SoftTech VC), Lars Leckie (Hummer Winblad Venture Partners), Moderator: Alastair Goldfisher (Thomson Reuters)

4:30 PM - 6:00 PM Drinks & Networking