College students can now turn hours spent playing social games into tuition grants and philanthropic giving with recently launched startup Grantoo.
The online gaming platform hosts brand-sponsored tournaments, giving companies the chance to earn recognition for their charitable giving. College students play games for free, with the hopes of winning money toward their education. Before they begin playing, students designate between 10% and 100% of their potential winnings to any charity of their choice.
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"Students are playing social games a lot so we want to make it useful to them by turning something that's a distraction or a waste of time into something that's positive," says Mikhael Naayem, co-founder of Grantoo. "We want to promote philanthropy at an early age, introducing students at no cost."
Grantoo launched with three original games: a crossword, Wordy Bird; a poker game, Grantoo Hold'em and a trivia game, Quiz Night.
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Naayim noticed that companies receive very little recognition for the money they donate to academic scholarships, among other causes. Grantoo provides sponsors ample branding opportunities of tournaments, making the platform an attractive donation model.
All of the money companies donate goes toward the combination of philanthropy and college grants for students, according to the ration determined by the game winners. Grantoo generates its own operating cost through on-site advertising.
"This is a great opportunity for brands because students associate their image with something that's charitable," co-founder Dimitri Sillam says. "It's time right now for small companies to step in and solve big problems in an innovative way."
Who do you think wins with Grantoo -- companies, students or both? Let us know in the comments if you'd be interested in Grantoo as a student or sponsor.
This story originally published on Mashable here.