FamDoo, "The Modern Allowance," Is New Family Tech Product that's Minnesota-Made

Minnesota-Grown Startup, FamDoo, Founded by Lacek Family, Supported by Hundreds of Minnesota Family Product Testers with Local Professor as Collaborator; Idea Hatched with Help of Minnesota Kids

Jan 28, 2014, 09:00 ET from FamDoo, LLC

MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --– Family technology firm, FamDoo, LLC, announced today the availability of FamDoo -- "The Modern Allowance" -- a first-ever rewards-based family app and web product that allows parents to automate their kids' allowance systems making it easier than ever before to pay and receive allowance.  

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140128/CG53706)

The innovative product, now part of the burgeoning "momtech" space, is wholly Minnesota-made.  FamDoo was hatched as an idea by Susan and Mark Lacek and their kids, Emmy, 12, and Ally, 10, aided by the help of hundreds of Minnesota families that served as pilot testers and focus group participants, as well as professors and students from both the University of St. Thomas and the University of Minnesota.  

Just in time for New Year's resolutions and getting the family household organized, the FamDoo parenting tool is designed to help parents consistently reward positive behaviors, aids in financial literacy for children and offers kids the fun of achieving and earning real cash-value points.  It is free and available now at famdoo.com, as a mobile app for iOS at the iTunes app store, and coming soon for Android devices at the Android app store. All that is needed is a smartphone, tablet or computer to use the tool.

Minnesota Family-Concepted
The new FamDoo product is the brainchild of the Lacek Family who set out to create a better way to address the common family tasks of assigning and tracking the progress of kids' chores, getting kids to practice math skills and vocabulary and do other enriching developmental activities.  Their idea was to combine a consumer loyalty and rewards model with its lure of real cash-value points and attractive redemption options with digital and mobile technologies to create an incentive-based organizational tool for families.

"Like most families we know, we went through several chore charts posted on the refrigerator, job jars and used fun icons and stickers for task completion," said Susan Lacek.  "Nothing seemed to work. With FamDoo, kids can use their devices to achieve and earn real tangible rewards, while doing, learning and becoming a better person.  Plus, they are understanding that work directly connects to their personal development and financial acumen, which are critical life skills."  

Mark Lacek, CEO of FamDoo, LLC, is a world-class consumer loyalty and rewards expert having helped create, promote or manage some of the world's largest and most successful loyalty programs including those of Delta Air Lines, Singapore Airlines, Hyatt Hotels and Best Buy. 

"Over the past three decades, we've learned that rewards programs work very effectively in driving desired consumer behaviors," said Mark. "FamDoo is to kids what a favorite loyalty or frequent flyer program is to their parents.  For kids, it's really simple – do the right things and get great rewards.  And because FamDoo is an online and mobile tool, we close the digital divide and meet our kids where they are, on their devices."

"As parents, we all wonder if we are doing the best job we can to prepare our kids for the real world.  FamDoo is a tool that can help with consistency in our parenting, enhance household efficiency and help us all as parents develop well-rounded, life-ready kids."

How It Works
FamDoo is a patent-pending technology platform that integrates a rewards model with mobile technologies, rich content and functionality like in-app messaging specifically geared toward families. It features hundreds of kid-focused content modules and tasks.  Plus the tool also has easy-to-use customization to fit the needs of any child or family. 

Parents (and kids) can choose enriching activities under three categories including "Do," where common kids' chores such as walking the dog or doing the dishes can be found; "Learn," where there are educational units for math, vocabulary, geography and financial literacy; and Be," where there are special content modules designed to build character in kids, including learning about core values and how to handle social issues such as bullying, healthy eating and texting while driving.  

As parents approve successfully completed tasks conducted online and offline by their kids, points are awarded to their child.  The points are simply funded by a parent's credit card on a pay-as-you-go basis with no monthly fees or minimum commitments.

Earned points can be redeemed by kids for real rewards at a range of online retail partners including iTunes®, Target®, Best Buy® and Amazon.com®. Points can also be saved or donated to national charity partners including The Children's Cancer Research Center, Smile Network International and Faith's Lodge.

"Studies show that more than 60 percent of American families pay allowance starting at age 8," said Carol Bruess, Ph.D. in Family Studies, professor of Family Communication at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, and co-author of What Happy Parents Do, which focuses the importance of rituals in family life.

"Whatever the amount, earning an allowance is important to help kids understand that work and responsibility have real consequences, some of which are financial, but also emotional like the good feeling that comes from achieving goals.  I study and believe in the positive benefits of family rituals -- repetitive interactions that pay homage to something of value or important to a family.  I see FamDoo as a powerful tool with significant ritualistic and communications benefits for families."

U.S. Bank Support
U.S. Bank is providing support to FamDoo with offers to FlexPerks Rewards credit cardholders, as well financial literacy content expected in the future.

"We're in strong alignment with FamDoo to help households operate more efficiently and reinforce financial literacy," said Cliff Cook, Chief Marketing Officer of Retail Payment Solutions for U.S. Bank. "And, we're pleased to provide our FlexPerks cardholders with the ability to fund their FamDoo account by redeeming FlexPoints or earn double FlexPoints when they use their FlexPerks credit card to do so."

Hundreds of Minnesota families were involved to ensure the product was family-ready.  Two separate parent and kid Advisory Groups met regularly in focus groups and feedback sessions over the past year.  In addition, more than 100 families participated in a pilot test, where test results supported the Lacek family's initial thinking – rewarding positive behaviors with relevant rewards that kids desire, works. 

In the pilot test, more than 85 percent of the tasks agreed to between parents and their children were completed successfully and kids gave FamDoo a 9 rating on a 10 scale, according to Mark.  

Free Trial Offer
The FamDoo team is offering a 10-day free trial offer where parents and kids can test out the new tool.  The trial delivers a comprehensive experience without the FamDoo point assignment, reward or redemption options that are available once FamDoo points are purchased

About FamDoo 
FamDoo was developed by the family tech start-up, FamDoo, LLC, of Minneapolis.  Co-founded by Susan and Mark Lacek, the company is dedicated to helping build strong well-connected families by applying the tried and true practices from consumer loyalty and rewards programs to the digital world in which we all live.  The FamDoo team is staffed with knowledgeable and deeply experienced professionals with expertise in education, parenting methodologies, loyalty marketing, rewards programs and digital and mobile technologies. 

This is the seventh company founded or co-founded by Mark Lacek. A recent startup, BidPal, was founded by Lacek and his partners in 2008 to create technology solutions to help non-profit organizations maximize fundraising through mobile bidding.  BidPal currently employs 140 and in 2013 was ranked #74 on Inc. Magazine's "Inc. 500" list of the fastest growing companies in the U.S.  Another recent business endeavor was the co-founding of Denali in 2007, a 100-person agency focused on loyalty and digital marketing serving consumer brands around the globe. In 2010, Denali was purchased and merged with Olson, now the largest marketing agency in the Twin Cities with more than 500 employees.

For more information about FamDoo, receive a free trial or to register, go to famdoo.com.

Media: Mardi Larson, 612.928.0202 or mardi@famdoo.com