Startup Gigs Jan 25 2012

Philly Gamification Start-Up Hiring Dozen Employees

By joseph walker

Philadelphia start-up Hoopla Software will hire at least a dozen new employees after raising $2.3 million in new financing from Safeguard Scientifics Inc. Founded in late 2009, the company currently has five full-time employees.

Hoopla makes a competition and recognition platform for companies trying to drive better performance from salespeople, customer support representatives and call center workers. The product provides each employee with a virtual dashboard complete with player profile pages, career statistics, and tools to compare individual and team performance. The company's vision is to automate traditional, real-world motivation tools like whiteboards and sales gongs, said Chief Executive and founder Michael Smalls. Customers include insurance company Genworth Financial and consumer review site Angie's List.

The company is one of several in the so-called "gamification" space such as Bunchball and iActionable that is using games mechanics to motivate workers.

Smalls conceived the company from his experience as a sales executive "trying to find ways to get the right kind of behaviors out of the team in a positive way," he said. "There's always hitting them over the head with a stick, but this is about using the natural psychology of people to want to update [performance] information or commit actions that lead to success."

The company has positions for Ruby on Rails engineers, user interface designers and game designers. There will also be positions open in sales and customer support.

Cash compensation is competitive, Smalls said, and equity is available for new hires. He declined to discuss specifics of the company's revenue. The company isn't profitable.

Write to Joseph Walker at

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