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A children's book about the first startup in history. Help bring the spirit of entrepreneurism home to kids ages 3-8.
A children's book about the first startup in history. Help bring the spirit of entrepreneurism home to kids ages 3-8.
113 backers pledged $8,163 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$8,163

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**10/28: Great news, U.S. Shipping is included for all deliveries!** 

**10/29: Everyone that receives a hardcover copy that also posts about the book encouraging others to check it out will get their book personally signed by me!**

**10/30: New Free Gift! All hardcover copy rewards will include "Erec Makes a Fire Games" which will include crossword puzzles, word searches, and more!**

Word find game
Word find game

**11/04: New Free Gift! To thank you all for getting us over 50% we are throwing in extra stickers and coloring sheets to all pledges of $50 or more! Yay!**

***11/20: We've added another free gift! Those that pledge $25 or more can opt-in to have their family name listed as one of the contributors that helped publish the book. Yet another way to make these limited edition hardcover copies the most special book you own and share.***

My name is Sean Shadmand and I'm a serial entrepreneur, passionate about creating products and companies from the ground up! I now act as an advisor to early stage startups and am an advocate for teaching entrepreneurship to anyone interested. In the last few years I have helped younger and younger generations hone their ideas into real businesses from MBA students all the way to those in middle schools. Now, I want to take the message to an even younger generation by explaining the entrepreneurial spirit through storytelling.

Sean's Features and Publications
Sean's Features and Publications

My goal is to get as many children immersed as early as possible in learning about entrepreneurism at home. Why? I believe getting subject matters like these brought up at home during a child's most critical cognitive development stage is crucial. It allows them to grow up feeling comfortable and confident in leveraging these concepts throughout their lives. In short, it will make the greatest impact in teaching others how to become great entrepreneurs and help spark the next generation of startups!

I know it's possible! And you must believe it too to have gotten this far in this post! 

Some Pages From The Book

Intro Page
Intro Page
Kids discover story
Kids discover story
Funding
Funding
Closing
Closing

Take a tour of the story!

--> http://www.erecmakesafire.com

*Page includes great animations on your desktop browser*

Entrepreneurial themes:Those concepts are part of the same ones that incubators like YC (the top most successful Silicon Valley incubator) has laid out in this Stanford class below. Although I am a big fan of what the class is doing, I also believe that hearing it for the first time in college is not ideal. I believe children can absorb these messages through a fun friendly story early on in their developmental years that will make them more comfortable employing its lessons later in life.

Book Dimensions

Special Edition:  13 X 11 in
Limited Edition: 10 X 8 in.
Both editions come in a hard cover (with cover image printed onto the cover) and what is expected to become approximately 30 pages of illustrations.

Where the project is now (bootstrapped):

  • Currently on version 3 of the story (additional work needed)
  • Completed development and digital illustration of characters
  • Completed main backdrop illustrations (additional work needed)
  • On version 3 of page layouts (additional work needed)
  • Published individually printed and bound prototypes of various sizes and texture samples
  • Tested initial prototypes with kids, writers, and parents for feedback to help complete final version

Here is a video to the work in progress:

What needs to get done:

  • Finalize the story. Based on the feedback I received from sharing the prototypes with writers and families I will need to trim and simplify the language for the target audience of 3-8
  • Modify the designs based on feedback.  The prototype's layout had too much white space and did not prove to be as book friendly as it seemed on the computer. I will also make additional design changes based on feedback and any story edits.
  • Work on text layout. Optimize the text layout in relation to the design modifications.
  • Create a layout for digital/tablet/ebook versions
  • Register a UPC - (so it can be sold in digital and in brick & mortar stores)  
  • Get as many copies created/sold as possible to bring the cost per book down to a price point that can more easily penetrate the market.
  • Distribute books through channels like schools, libraries and books stores.
  • Get the book copyrighted
  • Stretch goals include: foreign language adaptations, audio recording of story read by me, and, depending on demand, a companion app to help further support the entrepreneurial spirit in children!

Concepts the Book Teaches:

  • Great businesses start after solving a real problem, identifying and supplying a demand. 
  • When opportunity strikes - take action.
  • Don't be limited by money or what you don't have. Be scrappy and be creative in how you rise to the top
  • When supplying the demand you get starts getting hard you've got something special.
  • Being observant, jumping on opportunities, and working hard are are ingredients in making a successful business.

Why Does Erec Make A Fire?

  • Erec and the rest of the cast are names after the classes of humans around at the time fire is estimated to be discovered: Homo Erectus and Homo Ergaster. See more: http://www.ErecMakesAFire.com 
  • The fire represents ideas, a spark of genius, a passion for a product, and focus. All ingredients that make a strong business owner.
  • To help complete the journey with your kids, the collection of stickers you receive will include Erec's "Find Your Fire" Badge. #FindYourFire. Give them to your kids when they demonstrate the spirit of entrepreneurism.
"Find your fire" Sticker
"Find your fire" Sticker

Early developmental stages between 3-8:

I picked children between the ages of 3 and 8 since these years are crucial to higher cognitive function. Watch this video below where doctors and PhDs explain the importance of early childhood learning and how critical the time period is in how our mind is shaped -well before high school or college where the first inklings of complex subjects, such as entrepreneurship, are first mentioned, if at all.

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=havard+early+child+development

Why Kickstarter? Our goal is to distribute this important message to 10,000 young children. A kickstarter campaign allows us to reach critical mass to reduce the cost of production, allowing us to distribute more for less! 

Video About the Illustrator: 

Prototype of one limited edition and special edition copies:

Image of a completed layout:

Erec trades goods for his new in-demand product
Erec trades goods for his new in-demand product

Sample stickers of the characters:

Example of a custom character drawing for our larger pledges:

Digitizing Illustrations and Story Board 

More about the author 

I am currently an advisor to early stage startups in San Francisco and love helping share my experiences with others to help them navigate through the process of creating a business. In my free time I paint, play and write music, blog, and still use my engineering and product background to develop projects of my own.

You can see some of my art pieces here: http://seanshadmand.com/artwork/

And more about my background as an engineer, product, and serial entrepreneur here: http://seanshadmand.com/about-me/

I have been featured in many top publications, have been a featured guest on programs such as Bloomberg, and enjoy giving lectures & presentations on anything startup, tech, or product related. You can see some of those publications here: http://seanshadmand.com/features-and-publications/

I always loved helping others by sharing what I know. As a teen I would teach kids tennis, golf, piano and guitar lessons. While still in college I taught classes at our school on technology/media and loved it! This book is an extension of my two passions: the spirit of entrepreneurism and the joy of teaching to interested minds!

Risks and challenges

The greatest challenge is in delivering a great story and illustration in a way that drives the message home for children, their parents, and educators to form a lasting impact on their lives. As my first children's book project I've had a lot to learn - and still do.

As part of the learning process, and to ensure success, I have created many prototypes and have been getting feedback from parents, children, and children's book writers to deliver the best children's book I can.

Marketing and distribution will be the next big hurdle. Based on the feedback I have gotten so far, this is the subject that draws most interest from entrepreneurs and parents. If all goes well if all goes well I plan on making a second book about marketing to help continue the education process for kids :)

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    SUPPORTER: You will receive a personal thank you email from the author including a high-resolution image of Erec and the gang! *ALL* PROCEEDS FROM KICKSTARTER WILL GO TOWARDS PUTTING BOOKS ON EVERY KID'S NIGHTSTAND

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    COLOR ME STUCK ON IT: Stickers of Erec and his cavemen friends, and coloring sheets from the book.

    *SHIPPING IN THE U.S. IS INCLUDED FOR THIS AND ALL PLEDGE AMOUNTS ABOVE IT*

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    LET'S GET DIGITAL: A digital copy of the book.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    ONE FOR THE CAVE: one Limited Edition hardcover copy to help spark the story in your favorite kid's home.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    THE FIRE STARTER: a HARD COVER copy + a DIGITAL copy + COLORING SHEETS + STICKERS: one Limited Edition hardcover copy, a digital copy, coloring sheets of Erec and his friends AND stickers of the gang.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    ONE FOR THE CAVE ONE AS A GIFT: Two Limited Edition hardcover copy to help spark the story in your favorite kid's home.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    SUPERSIZE ME!: Get everything in THE FIRE STARTER above AND add an 11X17 POSTER of Erec and the gang too!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    GIFT DRAWER: Four Limited Edition hardcover copies to share with friends and family.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    DOUBLE WHAMMY: Two 11X17 POSTERS, two Limited Edition HARD COVER copies, two sets of STICKERS, two sets of COLORING SHEETS and two DIGITAL copies. Enjoy the experience with your kids and as a gift!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    LARGER THAN LIFE: SPECIAL EDITION + POSTER: A signed, Special Edition, hardcover book complete with a custom written dedication from you to that special child in your life printed in the book's forward. Includes stickers, coloring sheets and a digital copy.

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    Pledge $450 or more About $450

    DRAWN TO A SPECIAL EDITION: A child of your choice will be drawn into your very own personal copy as one of the characters in the book by the book's illustrator. This Special Edition hardcover copy will come signed, complete with a custom dedication of your own printed in the book's forward. A separate printout copy and a digital copy of your custom character will be yours to keep. Includes stickers, coloring sheets and a digital copy of the book.

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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    DRAWN TO A SPECIAL EDITION WITH YOU: Just like "DRAWN TO A SPECIAL EDITION" with an additional adult of your choice drawn into your personal copy as either Tus, Erg, or Aster.

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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    SILVER SPONSER: Your company name and logo added to the last page of *all* published copies of the book + 5 Limited Edition books donated to the schools and/or libraries of your choice + 1 for your home or office. Let the world know you support our young entrepreneurs!

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  14. Select this reward

    Pledge $900 or more About $900

    THE FIRE VC's BRONZE TICKET: $10 will be placed into 75 randomly selected books including a message and photo of you and or your firm. The money will be used to back a lucky young kid's first business! We will create a video wall with your branding where each recipient will be asked to create a video showing you where the funds have gone as the child's first "investment summary report"! Who knows you could be the first to back the next Steve Jobs. I'm sure they will never forget your generosity and neither will we! As with all other pledges for this campaign all proceeds will go towards getting more books onto every kids nightstand.

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    GOLD SPONSOR: Your company name and logo will be added to the forward on *all* published copies + 10 Limited Edition books donated to the schools and/or library of your choice + 1 for your home or office. Let the world know you support our young entrepreneurs!

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    PLATINUM SPONSOR: An extra large name and logo of your company will be added to the forward on *all* published copies. You will receive 1 book for your office + 20 Limited Edition books donated to the schools and/or library of your choice + 1 for your home or office. Let the world know you support our young entrepreneurs!

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    A DAY IN THE LIFE: Come enjoy a weekend in San Francisco where we'll tour local startups, meet their founders and choose an adventure with your kid ranging from learning to code to developing and selling a product. Travel costs not included.

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    BRING THE FIRE TO YOUR SCHOOL: I'll come to the school of your choice to help kids get involved in the entrepreneurial spirit through activities such as talks on how to develop an idea and host a product hacker day where we take ideas all the way to pitches. Travel costs not included.

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  19. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    KICKSTART YOUR STARTUP: I'll come to your company (or garage) for two days to provide advice on startup tips, process, and direction. Travel costs not included.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    YOUR FAMILY MAKES A FIRE: All that comes with the "DRAWN TO A SPECIAL EDITION WITH YOU" reward but instead of a custom personal copy, your family's characters will be published into *EVERY* copy of Erec Makes a Fire. Choose 1 child, and 3 adults from your family or friends as the characters in the book: Tus, Erg, and Aster.

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  21. Select this reward

    Pledge $8,000 or more About $8,000

    THE FIRE VC's GOLDEN TICKET: $50 will be placed into 100 randomly selected books including a message and photo of you and or your firm. The money will be used to back a lucky young kid's first business! We will create a video wall with your branding where each recipient will be asked to create a video showing you where the funds have gone as the child's first "investment summary report"! Who knows you could be the first to back the next Mark Zuckerberg. I'm sure they will never forget your generosity and neither will we! As with all other pledges for this campaign all proceeds will go towards getting a book onto every kids nightstand.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    THE FIRE SPREADER: 1 book will be donated to 1,000 libraries in America covering 300 of the most populated cities (and/or any city of your choice.) Your image and story will be on the books first page as the sponsor of all these great new minds. Your generous contribution will help shape an entire generations minds. As Erec would say YOU ROCK!

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Funding period

- (30 days)