Dice Tower Con 2016

Food Chain Magnate game componentsThis past week, Thinkamingo made its annual trek to Dice Tower Con in Orlando.

What is Dice Tower Con? 5 solid days of board gaming fun! This year had approximately 1500 attendees with tickets selling out within 15 minutes, 8 months in advance. Next year, it expands to 3000 tickets available. The demand is so high that I anticipate another sellout within 48 hours.

Dice Tower Con game bag and badge lanyardThis was our third year attending and certainly won’t be the last! Learning new games, meeting people, and reconnecting with old friends is an irresistible combination.

In no particular order, I managed to play Food Chain Magnate, Celestia, Shakespeare, Robo Rally, Potion Explosion: The Fifth Ingredient, Isle of Skye: From Chieftain to King, Bruges: The City on the Zwin, Broom Service, Barnyard Roundup, Royals, Codenames, Codenames: Pictures, and Dominion: Adventures. The standouts for me were: Food Chain Magnate, Royals, Shakespeare, and Codenames. Super family fun to be had with Celestia, Broom Service, and Robo Rally! I also volunteered 12 hours this year, so I spent some time meeting new people and giving back to this wonderful community.

As a company, some of our business-related tasks we set for ourselves during this con include a lot of research on: popular apps being used by gamers, new games that incorporate technology into game play, card games, Kickstarter games, and games that lend themselves to upgraded components. We get a lot of ideas during DTC that may or may not be realized through an app, new game, or game component/accessory.

Overall, it’s a great time of recharging and refreshment through gaming. I highly recommend it for a family vacation! Great hotel rates, next to major attractions, great pool, and games for everyone! Tickets go on sale November 15th, 2016 and it will sell out. Conference dates are July 5-9, 2017. Mark your calendars and we’ll see you there!

Ann Adair Talks Tech on Capitol Hill

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The Washington Monument – Photo taken during the 2015 AppCon.

At Thinkamingo, we spend most of our time producing useful apps that spark creativity. We help our customers tell stories with apps like Lists for Writers and Story Dice. We also want educators and families to feel confident using our apps and know about our commitment to transparency and data privacy.

However, as we continue to grow and provide the best products possible to our customers, there are important conversations happening in our nation’s capital that could have a significant impact on the tech industry.

As policymakers consider action around critical issues including data security and encryption, government access to digital information, and the expansion of computer science education, they must understand the perspective of small tech companies. In all of these cases, federal laws could change how Thinkamingo does what we do best – building apps for education.

That’s why I’m heading to Washington, D.C., April 17-19 for ACT | The App Association’s App Economy Conference. There, I’ll join tech executives from across the country to network, learn, and engage elected officials on the most pressing issues facing the internet economy today.

This will be my fourth year attending the App Economy Conference (formerly known as the ACT Fly-In.) I think it’s important to participate year after year because business is all about building relationships and that takes time. Over the years, I’ve met many different people including the Federal Trade Commission, the White House Office of Science and Technology, and Florida congressional offices including Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Bill Nelson, and Rep. Gus Bilirakis.

I’m eager to tell the Thinkamingo story and educate Washington about how decisions on the Hill impact the future of small tech companies like mine. I know from experience these decision makers appreciate hearing from constituents directly and engaging in an ongoing conversation about issues that directly impact us.

You can follow me as I talk tech on The Hill next week on Twitter (@thinkamingo and @tampamom) and by following #AppCon16.

 

 

Ann Adair Goes to Washington

74442_10150299799605627_837850626_15631123_4474671_nThis Sunday, I’m traveling to Washington, D.C. to meet and educate elected officials and regulators on the booming tech industry.

As part of ACT | The App Association’s annual fly-in, I’m joining more than 50 small tech companies from across the country to advocate for an environment that encourages innovation and inspires growth.

Our message is simple. Small companies like Thinkamingo Inc are creating solutions that are improving lives, creating jobs, and invigorating our economy.

But, policymakers in Washington must understand issues threatening small tech companies to ensure growth continues. The concerns we will raise next week include data privacy and security, internet governance, intellectual property and patent reform, and regulatory obstacles to growth. These are important issues for which the federal government is considering taking action.

I look forward to meeting with my elected officials and others in Washington to educate them about the tech industry so they can make the right decisions about our future. Hopefully, an informed Congress will help entrepreneurs like me continue to flourish.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with nearly all of the Federal Trade Commissioners, including Chairwoman Ramirez, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, Senators, and Representatives from Florida. I look forward to having many fruitful conversations about children’s privacy and other technology topics.

Ann Adair is the President and Co-founder of Thinkamingo Inc.

 

 

 

I’m going to DC!

washington-in-spring

On Sunday, I am traveling to Washington to meet with my elected officials and educate them about the growing mobile economy and tech innovation.  My company is Thinkamingo Inc and we make mobile applications for education and entertainment.

I’ll be joining up with leading entrepreneurs from across the country to participate in the Association for Competitive Technology Washington Fly-In. Around 50 of us will descend on the nation’s capital to help lawmakers recognize the incredible impact that small technology companies are having on our nation’s economy.

More than three-quarters of the most successful companies in the mobile software industry are small businesses – and apps are now a $68 billion marketplace. No one talked about apps six years ago, but now a whole ecosystem has emerged creating jobs for software developers, engineers, graphic artists, marketing professionals, and administrative personnel.

I am traveling to Washington to alert lawmakers about important issues including intellectual property and patent reform, data security and privacy, and regulatory obstacles to growth.  We also look to areas where technology and policy can combine to meet the needs of industry and consumers.

These are all important issues that the federal government is facing.  The outcomes really matter to me and that is why I’m making sure my voice is heard.  Hopefully, an informed Congress will allow companies like mine to continue to flourish.

Thinkamingo Celebrates 2014 Data Privacy Day

Thinkamingo of Tampa, Florida, a leader in the online privacy arena, celebrates Data Privacy Day on January 28

The app developer members of the Know What’s Inside™ program, including Thinkamingo Inc of Tampa, Florida, extend support to Data Privacy Day, an annual event promoting data privacy education. Members of the Moms with Apps Know What’s Inside™ program are thrilled to participate in the effort to empower and educate people to protect their privacy online.

Know what's inside - Moms with Apps Member“Making apps for kids is a lot of fun, but it is also very serious business. I take the privacy of the children that use my apps as seriously as my own child’s privacy. My job as a parent and an app developer is to protect the privacy of our users as if they were my own kids,” said Ann Adair, co-founder of Thinkamingo. “In the current climate of data management missteps, I congratulate the efforts surrounding Data Privacy Day. As a Moms With Apps Know What’s Inside™ member, I pledge to continue to protect the privacy of my consumers and to be completely transparent in regards to my policies and data collection in my apps.”

“Moms With Apps members are excited to celebrate Data Privacy Day. Our members have pledged to take online privacy very seriously,” said Sara Kloek of Moms With Apps. “Their apps are designed especially for children with special attention to online privacy. A lot of our members are parents themselves. They believe in the importance of protecting their children’s privacy, but also educating others on how to provide the same protection by being transparent about their apps and their data collection policies.”

Moms with Apps is the largest community of family friendly app developers in the world. Moms with Apps and the Know What’s Inside™ program are a part of ACT | The Apps Association, and are dedicated to helping family-friendly app developers implement best practices around privacy and comply with privacy rules, including the Children’s Online Privacy and Protection Act (COPPA). The program provides developers with guidance on best practices, and requires each developer to implement those best practices in order to display the Know What’s Inside™ seal on their apps. For more information, visit momswithapps.com.

Thinkamingo Supports Tampa Hackerspace Kickstarter

logo9-300x300Congratulations to Tampa Hackerspace for a wildly successful Kickstarter! We are so proud to be a part of such an interesting and fun endeavor!

Tampa Hackerspace is a place you can share what you know and learn something new. There are hackers and makers of all kinds working with all sorts of materials: code, fabric, metal, plastic, circuitry, and much more!

Jon and I had a chance in the Spring of 2013 to help get things going by forming a team for the Red Bull Creation 2013 Challenge. We came up with the concept sport of “Extreme Fencing” and you can check out the video here. This project was a perfect match for our passion for learning new things and sharing that knowledge with others. Hence, our passion for the Tampa Hackerspace.

Every Tuesday night is the weekly Open Make. Come on out and meet the gang, bring your project, or just check out ongoing projects! You will see Arduinos, Raspberry Pi, LEGO, Minecraft, soldering, sewing, quadcopters, 3D printing, and who knows what else!

 

ACT Fly-In Wrap Up — Press Release

 

Senator Marco Rubio and Ann Adair

Senator Marco Rubio and Ann Adair

Ann Adair from Tampa-based company Thinkamingo Inc traveled to Washington on Sunday to tell Capitol Hill lawmakers about the positive impact the technology industry is having in our community. Adair was in the nation’s capitol May 19-21 with 50 other small business tech executives to participate in the Association for Competitive Technology’s Congressional Fly-In. 

Ann Adair is the President and Co-founder of Thinkamingo Inc that makes educational and family-friendly apps for the iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android, NOOK, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. Their literacy-focused apps Lists for Writers and Story Dice have been featured in the media including National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, BoingBoing.net, and Cult of Mac. Thinkamingo was a featured company in a recent edition of the digital magazine The Educationist.

“I went to Washington to make sure that lawmakers and regulators heard the voices of small business tech companies,” said Ann Adair.  “The pace of innovation right now is remarkable, but overreaching laws or regulation could bring industry growth to a screeching halt.  I explained to my elected representatives the success our company is having in our hometown and what we need that will allow us to continue to grow and create more jobs.  Specifically, Washington should:

  • Allow internet companies to implement new solutions for data transparency; Congress should resist the urge to apply broad regulatory restrictions that would deny consumers many of the products and services they rely on every day;
  • Implement a program for our schools to provide students the computer science education that will help them qualify for rewarding careers in the tech industry.  This would build a larger workforce of American software developers and address the shortage we face;
  • Allow small software companies to protect their intellectual property without having to fight patent trolls and speculative lawsuits;
  • Ensure that the government does not impede efforts to strengthen and expand our internet infrastructure so consumers can benefit from more reliable mobile and fixed data connectivity.

“These are issues that the federal government is facing.  I met with my elected officials and others in Washington to educate them about the technology industry so they can make the right decisions about our future.  Hopefully, an informed Congress will help companies like mine continue to flourish in our community.”

“Specifically, I met with the offices of Senators Marco Rubio and Bill Nelson. Senior Advisors from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Federal Trade Commission’s COPPA (Child Online Privacy and Protection Act) team. Through a series of productive meetings, I shared my experiences and concerns as a parent and tech executive. We want to continue making innovative products for kids and we want our kids to be safe. These are not mutually exclusive, so how do we make this work in the most effective and parent-friendly way?”

Thinkamingo Inc is a member of Moms With Apps, a family-friendly developer community of 1500+ members.

Links for additional information:

Supporting STEM and Robotics Programs

Elizabeth with Will and Jaden SmithOur family has been involved in robotics competitions for several years now, with Elizabeth competing while Ann and Jon help coach and mentor. Elizabeth just finished her second season competing in FIRST Tech Challenge with her team, Brick Buddies, winning the Florida state championship. Just a few weeks later, her team was back together working on a project for the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge, a summer competition for students. They were asked to be an ambassador team and encourage students to participate.

Elizabeth Red CarpetAs part of that, we travelled to Miami for an event at the Miami Science Museum with Will and Jaden Smith to promote the challenge as well as their new After Earth movie. It was quite an experience for the kids – walking the red carpet, talking to media, and getting on stage with Will and Jaden to talk about robotics and the XPRIZE After Earth Challenge.

If you can pull together a team of 1-4 students ages 13-17 plus an adult team captain, check out the challenge and give it a shot. The first phase of the challenge is to create a two-minute video. Brick Buddies posted a list of tips on creating the video. You can learn a lot and you never know where it might take you.

We owe a big thank you to all of our Thinkamingo customers and supporters for giving us the opportunity to take time to participate in things like this.

I’m headed to Capitol Hill!

I’m headed to Washington on Sunday as part of the Association for Competitive Technology‘s Annual Fly-In. Our group of 50 tech CEOs and developers will be meeting with the DC representatives of many Silicon Valley companies to learn about the potential impact that pending government activity may have on our industry. We will also meet with our elected officials and agency staff to educate them about our businesses and how the ecosystem works.

One of the main messages I will bring to Capitol Hill lawmakers is that the [software/app] industry is having a tremendous impact on our local community. ACT did a great study on the revolutionary changes happening right now as America is increasingly becoming a mobile economy. Software companies are finding success in every part of the country and those that are most successful in the mobile space are overwhelmingly small companies and startups.

We need to make sure that lawmakers and regulators hear the voices of small business tech companies.  Innovation is taking place at a remarkable pace, but overreaching laws or regulation could this industry growth to a screeching halt.  I plan to explain to my elected representatives the success our company is having in Tampa and what we need that will allow us to continue to grow and create more jobs.  Specifically, Washington should:

  • Allow internet companies to implement new solutions for data transparency; Congress should resist the urge to apply broad regulatory restrictions that would deny consumers many of the products and services they rely on every day;
  • Implement a program to improve computer science education in our schools to help students qualify for rewarding careers in the tech industry.  This would build a larger workforce of American software developers and address the high skilled worker shortage we face;
  • Allow small software companies to protect their intellectual property without having to fight patent trolls and speculative lawsuits; and
  • Ensure that the government does not impede efforts to strengthen and expand our internet infrastructure so consumers can benefit from more reliable wireline and wireless data connectivity.

These are issues that the federal government is facing that will impact my business.  I’m looking forward to meeting with my elected officials and others in Washington to educate them about the technology industry so they can make the right decisions about our future.  Hopefully, an informed Congress will help companies like mine continue to flourish in our community.

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ACT Members Coming to DC for Annual Fly In Event