SharkPuncher Founder Micah Green ’18 Talks Entrepreneurial Genes and Ideation to Creation
The following is an interview with Micah Green ’18, the founder of SharkPuncher – an arcade-style racing game available on App Store that helps provide malaria treatment and prevention education to at risk communities.
You mentioned you started as an entrepreneur at age 7, how did you start as an entrepreneur at such a young age? Did you always know you wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Ever since I was really young, I wanted to be an inventor. I had an invention book and loved the idea of creating something new for the public. When I was 7, I began to realize I liked selling things and being able to make an idea into a business. That’s when my friend and I took a bunch of junk out of my basement and sold it to my neighbors. We scraped together about $3 each and felt on top of the world. I did not always know I wanted to be an entrepreneur, but right after that experience, my life started to shift. By middle school, I confidently could tell people what I wanted to do with my life: invent things and become an entrepreneur. I got the entrepreneurial gene from my mom considering she is an entrepreneur and has started multiple businesses.
What is the mission of SharkPuncher?
SharkPuncher will end the boredom epidemic while punching out Malaria. We provide a revolutionary social game that keeps people entertained much longer than other social games out there. We also focus on donating our profits to Plan International USA, a non-profit that distributes Malaria medications because it is so aligned with my dream of eradicating Malaria. Our slogan is, “Punch out Malaria – one Shark at a time!”
How did you come up with the idea for SharkPuncher and when was it started?
Funny story: I was visiting my brother in Shanghai (my creative juices flow best when I’m traveling) and was hanging out in his friend’s apartment. His friend told us about a news story about a kayaker who was kayaking close to the beach shore. People on the beach were jumping and flailing their arms to get the kayaker’s attention. The kayaker just thought they were waving, but, after a little while, realized they were pointing at a Great White shark that was tailing him. He paddled full speed, and, fortunately, made it back to shore without a scratch. For some reason, I immediately wondered why the kayaker didn’t just turn around and punch the shark. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that punching sharks could turn into a game. After scoping out the game and proving my passion to the concept, my parents said they would fund me up to a point. So, I got started right away to build the game!
I started working on SharkPuncher right after visiting my brother in Shanghai in the summer of 2012. It took about 2 years from idea to product and we launched on the iOS App Store on May 27th, 2014.
Who are the Cornellians working on SharkPuncher with you? How did you come to choose your team members?
There are currently 4 other Cornell students working with me: one of the team members is from Arts and Sciences (Peter Shelton), two are from Engineering (Eric Wang and Huajun Bai), and one is a MBA student at the Johnson School (Michael Fazzino). I actually just put the team together before Thanksgiving break. I found the students at PopShop during the Winternship Career Fair. About 20 people were interested in working on the app, but I only interviewed about 7. Then, I picked the 4 most qualified for the project. They all have specific skills – such as programming or data analysis – that will greatly boost SharkPuncher’s chances at success.We are now in the works of getting SharkPuncher on Ziosk restaurant tablets across the country!
Are you currently recruiting?
I am definitely still recruiting! I don’t want to start with a huge team, but I do need some more programming and design help. If people have iOS, Xcode, and/or Unity 3D experience, they should reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would also prefer to have people join the team rather than just work as freelancers.
Learn more about SharkPuncher on their official website
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