Akoha Announces Community Challenge With Room To Read at TechCrunch 50

    Private Beta of New Social Reality Game to Fund Library in Nepal

    SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 10 /CNW Telbec/ - TechCrunch 50 Conference - Akoha,
a developer of real world social games that launched a private beta at the
TechCrunch 50 conference today, is partnering with Room to Read in a community
challenge to sponsor the construction of a library in Nepal. Together with
Room to Read and a local school community, Akoha will sponsor the construction
of a new library and fill it with books, games and posters to give children
access to enhanced educational resources.
    Akoha is a new social reality game based on the pay-it-forward concept.
Using mobile, web and real-world mission cards to create a launch pad for
traveling acts of kindness, Akoha answers the question: "What if playing a
game could make the world a better place?" Akoha players carry out missions
that involve performing small acts of kindness for others. The activities of
Akoha players are described on "mission cards" that involve real world and
virtual challenges. As Akoha players perform more missions, they advance in
the game, recruit new players and spread good deeds across the planet. Akoha
mission cards include activities such as "Donate an Hour of Your Time," "Give
Someone a Book" and "Send Drinks to a Couple in Love."
    The goal of the Community Challenge is to ensure that Akoha game play
during the private beta period will support educational opportunities for
children in the developing world. In the future Akoha players will be able to
link their game play to various charitable organizations of their choice.
During the beta, the playtesting community will be able to participate in this
community challenge so that their game play will create positive real-world
    Room to Read had its humble origins in Nepal in 2000, where founder John
Wood started bringing donated books to rural communities. Since then, Room to
Read has expanded its work into nine countries throughout Asia and Africa and
impacted the lives of over 2 million children. Room to Read's libraries give
children a friendly space to read and explore. Their children's books allow
students to read stories in their local language. Their schools give children
a safe place to learn. Their computer labs make it possible for children to
gain 21st century skills. And their scholarships enable girls to enroll and
stay in school. Room to Read's goal is to impact over 5 million children by
2010 through bringing educational opportunities and resources to children
throughout the developing world.
    "Akoha is a new kind of game experience that allows players to spread
deliberate acts of kindness in a fun way," said Austin Hill, co-founder and
CEO of Akoha. "Throughout my long friendship with my business partner Alex
Eberts, we've always given each other and our friends books, a habit that has
influenced who we are today. When we read 'Leaving Microsoft to Change the
World,' we were both inspired by John Wood's story. That's why we are
especially proud to have Room to Read as our initial charity partner, ensuring
that the missions completed by Akoha players will provide quality educational
opportunities in the developing world."
    "As a fellow entrepreneur, I am thrilled that Room to Read is part of the
Akoha launch," said Room to Read Founder and CEO John Wood. "The idea for Room
to Read started a decade ago when a Nepali teacher said a few words that would
forever change my life - 'perhaps sir, you will someday come back with books.'
With all the good fortune I had been blessed with, I felt compelled to 'play
it forward' and return with books for his school. This is the same principle
Akoha is utilizing and why we are so excited to be their initial beneficiary."

    About TechCrunch50

    Founded in 2007 by leading technology blog TechCrunch and entrepreneur
Jason Calacanis, the TechCrunch50 conference provides a platform for
early-stage, and frequently unfunded, companies to launch for the first time
to the technology industry's most influential venture capitalists,
corporations, angel investors, fellow entrepreneurs and the international
media. Companies are selected to participate exclusively on merit.
TechCrunch50 is supported by corporate sponsors Google, Microsoft, MySpace and
Yahoo!, as well as venture capital firms including Sequoia Capital, Mayfield
Fund, Clearstone Venture Partners, Charles River Ventures, Founders Fund and
Fenwick & West.

    About Room to Read

    Room to Read is a leader in providing educational opportunities to
underprivileged children around the world. Room to Read was established in
2000 based on the belief that education is crucial to breaking the cycle of
poverty in the developing world. Since then, the organization has supported
more than two million children by providing better access to education. Room
to Read has assisted in building more than 450 schools, 5,500 bilingual
libraries and 110 computer labs. It has published 226 new children's books in
local languages, representing more than two million books and has awarded
4,036 girls long-term scholarships. Room to Read is providing opportunities
that change children's lives and communities throughout Cambodia, India, Laos,
Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Zambia. Its goal is to create an
additional 5,000 libraries to bring education to five million children by
2010. www.roomtoread.org

    About Akoha

    Akoha is a new reality-based game that uses mobile, web and real-world
missions to create a new type of game play experience. Akoha was founded by
Austin Hill and Alex Eberts, long-time friends and entrepreneurs who first
worked together when Hill co-founded Zero-Knowledge Systems (now Radialpoint)
and Eberts served as its founding product manager. The idea for Akoha came
from a series of discussions resulting from the founders' attendance at the
TED Conference in Monterey, where the theme was "Ideas Big Enough to Change
the World," and the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, where their friends were
discussing movies that can make a difference. Their conversations about game
design, social change and Internet trends led co-founders Hill and Eberts to
ask the question, "What if playing a game could make the world a better
place?" On April 28, 2008, Akoha announced it had received $1.9 million in
financing from angel investors. For more information, visit www.akoha.com.

For further information:

For further information: Media contacts: Dov Smith, Akoha media
relations, media@akoha.com, (514) 242-1776; Rebecca Hankin, Room to Read
Director of Communications and Marketing, rhankin@roomtoread.org, (415)
561-3331 x142

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