Date of Paper/Work


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Leadership (Ed.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Jean-Pierre Bongila, Chientzu Candace Chou, David Deeds


This action research study examined how the use of two gamification tools (CreatiCUBE and Children Story Time) can increase the interest of venture capitalists to invest in the start-up company that designed both tools. Data were collected through interviews and field notes using convenience sampling. The eight participants in this study were people who had previous knowledge of and supported the two projects. The initial findings revealed that participants and potential investors were inclining to support Children Story Time rather than CreatiCUBE. The flexible nature of action research allowed a refocus of the study on the latter gamification tool. Four themes emerged from the analysis of data: 1) participants had no particular interest in funding; 2) funding was a byproduct of market demand; 3) Children Story Time was a market-disrupting tool; and 4) strategies emerged to secure venture capital investment. Three analytical theories shed light on the findings: Bourdieu’s cultural capital theory and Csikszentmikalyi’s flow and transactional leadership theories. Findings provide evidence that, to secure financial investment, startup entrepreneurs need to immerse in the cultural capital of their community and appeal to the support of close friends and family members to create a workable application, demonstrate the application has over 10,000 daily users, and hold a successful Kickstarter campaign.


gamification, early childhood development, venture capital, entrepreneurship, crowdfunding, marketing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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