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Cognitive Square, Inc.

Submitted by: David & Pamela Barret
State: California
City: Temecula

Business Description

Cognitive Square, Inc. creates & sells educational games. We are dedicated to spreading Constitutional Literacy mainly through the distribution of our flagship product, the Constitution Quest Game.

How does your business make a positive impact on the community?

Communities across the USA MUST know the US Constitution to protect the freedoms we enjoy here. Current studies show that our citizens don’t know the Constitution. So, Cognitive Square, Inc. created the entertaining Constitution Quest Game, to help Americans learn the Constitution & even pass exams. We facilitate Constitution Quest Game nights for public, private, charter, homeschool groups, & non-profit service clubs. We donate individual Constitution Quest Games to those same entities for their fund-raising events, & offer special fund-raising pricing so they can earn funds for their specific needs. Our game even provides opportunities for schools to celebrate “Constitution Day,” which all schools are federally mandated to observe.

What would you do with a $1,000 Sam’s Club gift card, training, and help from a SCORE mentor to grow your business?

Wow, a $1K Sam’s Club gift card will offset expenses, allowing us to put more money toward expanding our wholesale market (reaching a goal of having at least 1 small business retailer in each state sell our Constitution Quest Game in 2017, so customers can save on shipping fees) and defray expenses for trade shows, outreach, & shipping fees (shipping game samples & info to potential retail/wholesale customers across America)! SCORE has blessed us since 2011. Winning additional specialized training & work with SCORE mentors would give us valuable info & assistance to turn our physical board game, the Constitution Quest Game, into a mobile game, opening up a whole new market, spreading Constitutional Literacy exponentially!

The following responses will be considered in judging for a SCORE Award.

How has working with a SCORE mentor helped your business?

SCORE mentors were invaluable! Bob was our main contact & connection to terrific advice from other key SCORE mentors. He understood the nature of our business, & urged us to take the SCORE experts’ advice & adjust accordingly. By meeting with us on numerous occasions, he helped us define our goals & foster self-confidence. Other key SCORE counselors also had a hand in our success helping us understand our target market, informing us on how to write a successful business plan, giving us insight regarding our ads & reaching retail & wholesale customers, advising on trademarks, patents, paperwork, financing, & providing pertinent advice concerning our desire to possibly sell the licensing rights to a major US company in the future.

Have you had to overcome any obstacles along the way to build your business?

Our greatest obstacle as we began was how to pay for producing a high-quality, full-color, American-made board game. Initially, we tried to obtain a business loan, but the bank said, “No, you have no prior business experience,” even though we had an excellent credit history. Luckily, we had fresh open lines of significant credit. After nearly selling out of the first production run, we couldn’t get financing for a bigger production run because we hadn’t been in business for 2 years. But during a SCORE workshop, we were given an idea to combine our own profits with loans from our family & friends to finance a larger 2nd production run. We had no need to finance the bigger 3rd and 4th production runs! We’ve been cash and carry ever since!

How will you utilize the marketing video and national recognition of winning a SCORE Award to help take your business to the next level?

Because we can’t travel everywhere to meet new clients, the SCORE marketing video will help spread the news of our company, Cognitive Square, Inc. & our unique product, the Constitution Quest Game, over a variety of platforms! When we attend trade shows & educational conventions, looping the SCORE marketing video in our booth, will add validity to our product for attendees. Since SCORE is comprised of accomplished retired business pros, winning the prestigious national SCORE Award shows prospective customers that our small business & unique product have a level of quality, competence, and value. Finally, receiving one of the monetary SCORE Awards will take our already popular board game to the online realm to educate even more Americans!
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