Games have become an avenue for all kinds of communication, from entertainment to education to health.
Prodigy Game picked up on this trend and released educational software aimed at kids in grades one through eight. The Burlington-based company has seen massive success since their launch in 2011, now boasting over one million daily active students around the world. That number represents a huge growth from the 3,000 students Prodigy had in 2013, who at the time were all based in Ontario and mostly around Hamilton.
In total, there are over 24 million students registered on Prodigy, representing half of all elementary and middle school students in North America. The growth has been exponential for the company as they have seen total student numbers double year-over-year for the past four years, with some years seeing up to tenfold growth.
The company itself has been growing too, as only 22 employees worked at Prodigy at the beginning of 2016. There were 59 employees by the end of 2016, and the company just peaked over 100. Still, Prodigy has faced challenges when it comes to new hires as finding the right talent in a competitive landscape is difficult. This is all despite the company being the ninth-fastest growing company in the country and boasting a two-year revenue growth of over 1,100 per cent.
By providing games geared towards educating kids about STEM, Prodigy is hoping to alleviate their own scouting for talent concerns by making sure children develop a love for numbers and computers at an early age.
Prodigy is on a mission to expand past North America, recently releasing curricula in England, Australia and India. As the company grows, they are looking to build up their game and make it accessible for more children.
“The goal is to build a World of Warcraft for math,” a Prodigy spokesperson said, referencing the MMORPG with players numbering the multi-millions. “A massive online game that keeps kids engaged year over year while ensuring that they’re learning in the process.
Alex Peters and Rohan Mahimker, the founders and co-CEOs of Prodigy, still have a bit of work to do as they compete with games like Minecraft. They have found that some students prefer Prodigy over other popular games, which bodes well for the company’s plans to grow past 200 employees in the next 12 months.