Boston Consulting Group recently claimed the Kendall Square area to be the most innovative square mile in the country. Thus, it was the perfect place for something as techy and adorably nerdy as last Thursday’s Quest for Innovation—a mobile based scavenger hunt. The Quest was done through SCVNGR, a location-based gaming platform that allows users to complete challenges and earn rewards through collecting points. The application currently works only on iPhones and Droids, sidelining those with crackberries.
The event is the brainchild of SCVNGR’s founder and CEO (aka “Chief Ninja”) Seth Priebatsch, a 21-year-old Princeton dropout, and Michael Gaiss, of Highland Capital Partners. Participants included teams from a variety of local businesses and a whole lot of startups scavenging more for networking than points. Strategies varied. Peter Chapin, a member of the hard-hat-wearing, fake-mustache-attired team from Communispace, explained their goal: “Get the most points, and make as few decisions as possible.”
A team from RaceMenu was on the prowl for different kinds of digits. “I personally plan on introducing myself to as many girls as possible. That way, if we don’t win, I’ll have met lots of girls,” explained founder J. Alain Ferry to his team’s dismay. When pressed, he added, “We’re quite active runners, so what we lack in brains, we’ll make up in speed.” Said runners were spotted five minutes into the race casually strolling to their next destination.
As participants trooped to offices and labs, Rob McFeeley, SCVNGR’s Game Genie, revealed his insider advice: “Have fun, keep your head up, and a fake mustache always helps.” Indeed, it did: the mustachioed team from Communispace came in second place, preceded by a team from Babson College. FM, due only of course to some technical difficulties, did not take home the title.