We like people who do good things down here at 8/7Central. Ourselves, we don’t do quite as much good for the world. All that might just change if, say, someone decided to give us hero power. Well Robert Hidajat can’t give us hero power, but he can give you Hero Points. Unleash Heroes managed to win Des Moines Startup Weekend this year, and secured just enough funding to sink it all into t-shirts.
8/7: So about Startup Weekend: What was the best thing you learned from the event?
Hidajat: There are a lot of very smart people with amazing ideas here. When you put them together in a room for 54 hours, soak them in wi-fi, an endless supply of sugar, spice and everything nice, then add a drop of Chemical X from some awesome mentors, magical things are created!
8/7: What’s the basic concept behind Unleash Heroes?
Hidajat: We want to encourage you to be heroic by tracking and rewarding your Heroic acts! Tracking all your heroic acts with a single Hero Point system gives you a way to look back and acknowledge what you’ve done, assess where you are today and look ahead, set a future goal to aim for and work toward. The reward is icing on the cake. All of us like to earn rewards. There are a lot of businesses out there who want to reward local heroes like you but they don’t have a platform to do so. We are creating that platform for them.
8/7: Shouldn’t we just be good, without needing Hero Points?
Hidajat: Sure! We are already being heroic today! Iowa is #2 in the nation in volunteer rate! Iowans performed 93.7 Million hours of service worth over $2 Billion a year! But, since we don’t track what we’ve done, we can get burned out. Nationally 1 in 3 volunteers dropped out every year and not volunteer again the following year. We want to prevent this.
8/7: Can’t I just lie and say I did something good?
Hidajat: Verification is very important to us to maintain the integrity and value of your Hero Points. Hero Points are awarded only after completion of a heroic act. We will use all the tricks in our bag to make it difficult and embarrassing for people to game the system.
8/7: This isn’t your first time on the startup ride, what else have you been involved with?
Hidajat: Unleash Heroes is my second startup. My first foray into the startup world is Flarecaster, an Android app that complements 911 call with Flares (electronic emergency messages) cast via SMS (text messaging) or Twitter. When you use Flarecaster to alert you neighbor, family and friends of your emergency situation, you give them a chance to unleash the hero inside them and help you. The idea for Unleash Heroes was born from Flarecaster, we’re just taking it to the next level.
8/7: How many points did this guy win over the weekend?
Hidajat: Ha! He definitely deserves some Hero Points! I think the team on the ground who risked their lives deserved some major Hero Points too!
Good luck, Robert. Unleash Heroes is launching as bHeroic this Friday May 6th at the Social Club Grand Re-Opening. If you can’t make that, make sure and sign up at their website. -> www.unleashheroes.com