The Goal -
Internet of Elephants wants to disrupt the way wildlife conservation is supported today and make wildlife a global phenomenon where people interact with animals on a daily basis.
Other than wildlife enthusiasts, most people simply read about poaching epidemics or loss of habitat thousands of miles away from where it is actually happening. They react with sadness, but rarely stay actively engaged or understand what is in their power to impact.
More so, we have grown weary of hearing about what is wrong and the seeming hopelessness of the situation. The prevailing pitch to get support include photographs of stranded polar bears on ice flows, organizations and campaigns named “Save the <insert doomed flora or fauna here>”, and contrived World <insert doomed flora or fauna here> Days. Each vie with each other for which message can be the most negative, generate the most pity, and prick your conscious into opening its pocket book to donate.
Our goal is to create a stronger, more vested connection between people and animals that directly influences consumer attitudes and behavior in a way that has a positive impact on wildlife populations worldwide while at the same time generating revenue for the sector. People love animals and wildlife. We just haven’t figured out how to activate that love.
The Solution -
Internet of Elephants wants 20 million people to wake up each morning and check their mobile phone to see what is happening with wildlife.
Using data collected about animal movement from real animals in the wild (through our partners), we will build online games about and for wildlife conservation. This will bring the story of the animal’s life to the world in a powerful way through a globally successful and growing commercial channel. Our business model will bridge the conservation funding gap and the challenges of conventional conservation fundraising. We will tap into the $100 billion online gaming market and build world class entertainment and educational games that create a direct connection between people and wild animals in a fun and positive way. We aim to get 20 million people to pay (not donate) $5 for an experience they value, and then invest the majority of that directly back to wildlife conservation. Internet of Elephants will become a platform where people become emotionally connected to wild animals just as the ‘Internet of Things’ connects people across the world to one another, or even to their home appliances.
The Results -
Internet of Elephants is still early stages in our development, but we have created initial prototypes of games that use data, beautiful visualizations, and augmented reality simulations. With these, we have started to engage an initial audience and gathered feedback from over 500 early adopters that will influence our next prototype. The beta launch of the first game is planned for the 3rd quarter of 2017 with a full launch planned for the 1st quarter of 2018.
Insider Tip -
- We started by partnering with both large conservation organizations such as the Chicago Zoological Society and smaller ones such as World Elephant Centre, both to get access to the data critical to our products, but also to help maintain focus on the conservation outcomes we are aiming for
- We received idea validation from the mobile gaming sector and established a partnership with applied gaming experts Little Chicken and game sector market intelligence leaders Newzoo
- We received initial seed funding to build out the prototypes, and used a lean start up methodology focused on learning from our target audience and validating as many assumptions as we could early on.
- We built an early adopter audience and a network of ambassadors that we will call upon when it is time to really get the word out