At Playrific, we make Apps Kids Love. As parents, innovators and educators, we understand that kids love to play and explore – it's how they learn. That's why each of our interactive, content-rich, entertaining and educational apps includes lots of games, videos, music, books and interactive activities that offer kids the joy of exploration, discovery and continued play for months.
Bringing Brands To Life: We help popular kids' brands reach 'brand fans' and engage with young consumers through apps and mobile marketing strategies that extend their loyalty and reach. Our Mobilize Your Content™ Publishing Platform was developed through more than three years of extensive user testing and data collection, and is stringently COPPA Compliant by design to protect young consumers. It provides unique and invaluable insight into user preferences, and enables dynamic refreshing of iOS and Android app content quickly and economically to give kids more of what they want. We keep kids coming back for months & more, and help organizations reach and serve brand fans.
Beth Marcus, CEO and Founder
Tech-veteran Marcus sold her first company, EXOS, creator of the SideWinder force feedback joystick, to Microsoft in 1996. Over 10 Million units of product incorporating this technology have been sold. In 2010 Marcus founded Playrific, Inc. to deliver highly targeted, highly engaging apps that uniquely serve young consumers and provide brands with a distinctly agile, economical and successful digital marketing strategy. Playrific's proprietary data analysis and market research capabilities offer new insight to inform decisions. Its platform is COPPA-compliant by design and optimized for discoverability through the company's deep understanding of app store SEO.
With over 30 patents to her credit, Marcus is extensively published and has helped more than 20 start-ups, several of which – such as LeapFrog and SmrtGuard – have been acquired by public companies. Marcus holds a Master of Science (SM) and a Bachelor of Science (SB) in Mechanical Engineering from MIT, and has served on its Mechanical Engineering Department faculty. She received a PhD in Biomechanics from the Imperial College, London, where she was a Marshall Scholar.
Beth has a daughter in the Playrific age group.
Ted Collins, CTO
Collins has spent more than 20 years as an entrepreneur in the software industry, having founded and grown five profitable start-up companies prior to joining Playrific. He most recently served as President and CEO of InterAct Public Safety Systems, Inc., a homeland security-focused company whose 800 clients protect 57M people worldwide. Collins co-founded and served as CEO of ElevenBelow, an interactive presence firm specializing in predictive markets, with clients such as The Motley Fool, Inc.
He co-founded MissionMode Solutions, Inc. a leader in collaboration and urgent response, and moved to InterAct with its acquisition of a significant MissionMode stake. He also founded OpinionWare, pioneers in business loyalty and customer engagement, and served as President and CEO.
Collins was previously a Senior Vice President with PLATINUM Technology, Inc., a $1B information technology management software and services company, where he guided the development, acquisition and launch of Internet-related products and services. He led the company's record growth and 70+ acquisitions; PLATINUM was acquired by Computer Associates in 1999 for a then-record $3.6B. Collins also led product development and growth strategies for Mentus Group, Inc. and ViaTech Development, Inc., and was EVP and Corporate Counsel for Electric Avenue, Inc.
Collins holds bachelor's degrees in Computer Science, Mathematics and English from St. John's University in Minnesota. He completed much of his English studies at Trinity and New College at Oxford University in England. He also earned a Juris Doctor degree from William Mitchell College of Law.
Ted is the father to three grown children.
Gary Carabin, VP of Sales
Carabin is an accomplished sales executive with deep expertise in sales process development, consulting/services start-ups and team development. Companies under his leadership have achieved successful exits through IPO and sale/merger; he has also led sales for two successful turn-arounds. He is recognized for building high-performing sales teams that grow top line revenue through integrated, metric-driven sales and marketing programs.
Prior to joining Playrific, Carabin served as VP of Sales and Marketing of EmergiTech, a public safety software company. He previously led North American Sales at Astute Solutions, a provider of CRM, Knowledge Management and Social Media Software for popular consumer-facing brands. He's spent the majority of his career as Senior VP of Sales and Marketing of MindLeaders, an e-Learning ed tech company acquired by Skillsoft (premier providers of e-Learning and online learning solutions), which he helped grow from revenues of less than $500K to more than $20MM when sold.
Carabin earned a BA from Wright State University and is the father of 4 grown children.
Maureen MacGregor, Marketing & Communications Lead
Maureen has launched and established early leadership and market momentum for several successful B-2-B and B-2-C tech-centric brands such as Softricity (now Microsoft) and Sandburst (now Broadcom). She has taken three start-ups from early stages through IPO, and several start-ups through acquisition as Marketing Director and PR lead with Pelorus Communications, which she founded to serve the distinct needs of start-ups. She's previously written for news and IT media, and was an account manager for Hill & Knowlton and Miller Shandwick. She holds a B.S. in Communications and Finance from Salem State University.
Patrick Feely, Board Member
Feely is a 35-year veteran of the toy and video game industry, and most recently served as President and CEO of Radica Games Ltd. A former Chairman and Advisor of the Toy Industry Association (TIA), he is the founding and current Chairman of the Toy Industry Foundation. He has served as President of Tonka Products Division, of Bandai America, of Spectrum Holobyte (concurrently serving as CEO) and of Toy Soldiers (which he founded, acquired by Bandai America), leading turnarounds at Radica (acquired by Mattel), Tonka and Spectrum Holobyte. He guided Radica's emergence as a leader in electronic toys and games with innovations such as its pioneering Girl Tech and Play TV lines. The company was named the 2006 TOTY Game of the Year winner for its breakthrough artificial intelligence games.
He led Spectrum HoloByte's acquisition of Microprose and subsequent IPO, and Tonka's diversification with the launches of GoBots (the first transforming robots) and Pound Puppies, and the introduction of the Sega video game system to the US market. His career began at RCA Corporation in new business development.
He is a member of the Pasadena Angels (early-stage investor group) and is an advisor to several start-up companies.
Sheryl Schultz, Advisor
Sheryl Schultz is an expert in startup company dynamics, with a deep understanding of the marketing and organizational challenges faced by growing businesses. She has spent over 30 years working with a range of technology companies as a marketer, board advisor, mentor, and investor.
Sheryl is a member of two of the country's most active angel networks: Golden Seeds, a network of angels that provides early stage and growth capital to women led businesses, and Launchpad Venture Group, Boston's largest angel investment group, focused on early-stage technology-driven startup companies. She also served for two years (2009-2011) as Golden Seeds' Boston Forum Co-Leader, and currently runs deal flow for the Boston forum. Prior to her work at Golden Seeds, she spent over 20 years as President of SRS Associates, a firm she founded to provide communications and market strategy consulting to telecommunications startups. In that capacity, she launched dozens of companies, 20 of which engaged her from inception through successful exit by IPO or acquisition. During that period, she designed and orchestrated the launch of some of the most successful companies in the sector, including Acme Packet, ArrowPoint Communications, Sonus Networks and Wellfleet Communications.
Sheryl is a Board Director at The Capital Network, and a board observer or advisor to Crowdly, Philo (formerly Tivli), Playrific, QStream, ViralGains and Connect2Communications. She is also a founder of the Women's Entrepreneurial Council (WEC), a "super" organization created to align the many groups that support women entrepreneurs, and provide a powerful ecosystem for entrepreneurial women. In addition, she was a Pipeline Fellowship Mentor for the Pipeline Fellowship's inaugural Boston class, providing guidance to women philanthropists working to become angel investors through education, mentoring, and practice. She is a regular speaker on issues related to fundraising, startup marketing and female entrepreneurship.
Betty Bardige, Advisor
Betty Bardige, Ed.D. is a developmental psychologist, educator, child advocate, author, and philanthropist. Dr. Bardige is former chair of the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, a medium-sized family foundation with national (US only) reach. Focusing primarily on early childhood years, the Foundation has played a catalytic role in efforts to improve our nation's early care and education systems. As Chair, she guided the Foundation's Florida Initiative for Infant/Toddler Care and School Readiness, focusing its efforts to improve the compensation and education of the early childhood workforce, and developing the foundation's website. In addition to her philanthropic work, Dr. Bardige has created books, software, and other materials for children, parents, and early childhood teachers. She is current president of the Brazelton Touchpoints Foundation and serves on the advisory boards of numerous early childhood, parenting, and educational organizations. She lives in Cambridge with her husband, Art Bardige, CEO of Enablearning.
Frank Ferguson, Advisor
Ferguson is a co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Curriculum Associates LLC, and served as its CEO and President from 1976-2010. Ferguson is also a member of Walnut Ventures angels and Northeast Angels. He was President of BOSE Corporation in the 1970s and the National Sales Manager at Ealing Corp in the 1960s, He has been a professional cinematographer and advisor to organizations such as EdTech Networks, Inc., ZS Genetics, Inc, Net Clarity, Inc. and DigitalBrix, Inc. Ferguson wa a co-founder and Board Member of SBIC Hamilton Capital Corp., and was a Director of ROAM Data, Inc. He holds an M.S. from the MIT Sloan School of Management and a baccalaureate from Iowa State University's Greenlee School of Journalism.