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Eco entrepreneur is semi-finalist in Annual Forbes.com contest

Posted Aug 11 2008 9:12pm

As I was eating my morning cereal and surfing the net, I came across Forbes’ “Boost Your Business” contest.  Included among the Top 20 finalists, I found Good Natured Games, an environmentally friendly games distributor from St. Paul, Minnesota.

The caché with this particular company is that they have taken an age-old concept, making board games, and added a twist of innovation to target environmentally conscious consumers.

Kvale Good Natured Games, an inventor, publisher and distributor of earth-friendly board games in St. Paul, Minnesota was selected as a semi-finalist in the second annual Forbes.com “Boost Your Business” contest.

An estimated 1,500 entrepreneurs across the nation submitted 500-word business plans this year. Good Natured Games is 1 of 20 businesses for this next round in an effort to win the $100,000 grand prize.  The fast-growing company has also recently been voted “Best Eco Kids Products” in the July 2008 issue of Minnesota Parent magazine.

The selection of Good Natured Games as a Top 20 company reflects the ongoing innovation generated in the green marketplace.  In what is supposed to be the video and computer game generation, board games are viewed as a thing of the past.  However, the market for board games is still vibrant amongst its core constituency, parents of children from ages 3-12.

Semi-finalists in the contest created a 30-second video serving as an “elevator pitch” for their business.  The Final Round includes a twenty-minute presentation by the remaining candidates to a judging panel, including detailed business plans.

Kvale Good Natured Games entered the market on November 18, 2006, with its first eco-friendly product, the Head1Liners game. The company’s best-selling product is made with authentic sustainable methods and materials, but is a mainstream creative play concept about writing fun news headlines, rather than a game about environmentalism. The company also distributes games about animals, planetary adventures and an award-winning nature trivia game, Bioviva that includes fascinating science facts and ideas for reducing one’s impact on the planet.

The idea is that Good Natured Games are making board games that have mainstream appeal with an environmental twist.  It is unlikely that parents will go out and buy games for their children based solely on the environmental aspect of the game.  More than likely, they will buy a game that has high entertainment and educational value.  A game like Bioviva hits the mark on both accounts.

The company’s business plan in the Forbes.com contest describes a new game concept even more accessible to mass markets, yet with bolder eco-materials.  “People will instantly see the new game as easy and fun, and instantly appreciate the novel use of recycled and reused materials.”

You can vote for Good Natured Games on the Forbes.com website here:

http://boost08.perfectprize.com/voting/

You can find Kvale Good Natured Games on their website here:

http://kvalegames.com/

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