Thank You Sponsor: QONQR

by The TECHdotMN Team

QONQRIt is important to recognize those who financially sponsor TECHdotMN because their contribution helps to advance Minnesota’s technology industry.

Thank you QONQR for reinvesting!

What does QONQR do?

QONQR (pronounced Conquer) is a mobile gaming company. We currently have a single game title, also called QONQR. The game is a location-aware RTS-MMO (Real Time Strategy Massively Multiplayer Online) game in which players battle to capture and control their hometown and surrounding cities. To date, players have captured towns in every country in the world, except two in Africa and a handful of island nations in the Pacific Ocean.

Today, QONQR’s captured towns and cities cover 30% of the populated Earth. The game is available on Windows Phone and iPhone, with an Android beta. The “why” of an entertainment company is less about a problem being solved and more about the available opportunity. QONQR creates a tight community of social gamers who have a strong emotional bond to the game because we leverage hometown pride and the excitement of exploration and travel. QONQR succeeds where many location-based games fail because we believe you should not force gamers to move in order to play, but rather let them play wherever they happen to move.

When did the company start & where is it based?

QONQR was a Startup Weekend project from the first Startup Weekend held in the Twin Cities in September, 2010. Although legally the company began in the weeks following Startup Weekend, it was little more than a hobby for the next year. The company really began in earnest in late 2011 when three of the founding partners left their jobs to begin work on QONQR full time. QONQR is a bone fide garage startup, with offices over a garage in the north metro. The specific location of QHQ is not disclosed to avoid creating an artificially inflated battle zone in the game.

What is something unique about QONQR?

QONQR’s gamer statistics defy the patterns seen in most mobile games. On average, 20% of the players on any given day have been playing for more than a year. Between 3-5% of the players that registered on the opening weekend nearly 3 years ago, are still playing QONQR. Males age 30-45 make up the largest demographic, but many large cities in the world are dominated by female players. Windows Phone has always surpassed iPhone in both downloads and revenue since the original release.

Why do you sponsor TECHdotMN?

TECHdotMN is a vital component to the local tech and startup scene. The founders of QONQR have run a half-dozen user groups and meet-ups in the Twin Cities in the past decade and feel strongly about fostering and supporting the growth of those professionals in our tech and startup community. TECHdotMN has established itself as the leader in providing free or low-cost value to tech startups and we are happy to support their efforts.

How could MN tech industry improve from your perspective?

This question often elicits the same responses, which are generally all great recommendations for improvement. So I’ll offer something that is perhaps opposite of the traditional “more investment”, “more publicity”, and “more Silicon Valley.”

Focus on building. Stop hyping and start being authentic. Stop talking about being disruptive and prove that you can simply be productive. Too many startups predicate their success on someone else, typically an investor. Make your success your own doing. We (QONQR) always assumed, and were told that our type of startup couldn’t make it without an investor. That turned out to be false, but we didn’t figure that out until after we gave up on investors and put our heads down to focus 100% on building product.

We have since found that many of the great startups in town only received investment after they were profitable, many never needed funding at all. We (MN tech industry) should do a better job of telling this story. We may see many more successful startups if we built greater confidence that you already have what it takes to be successful, even if it looks impossible.

Not everyone can be successful without an investor, but many could if they simply put their heads down and focused 100% on building their offering.