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Serial entrepreneur launches allowance app for families

Midwest native Mark Lacek is launching a new app called FamDoo, which rewards kids for tasks like housework and schoolwork.

FamDooFamDoo, a new Minneapolis-based tech startup, on Tuesday announced the launch of its namesake app, which facilitates parents’ payments of rewards to children for completing tasks.
Billed as “The Modern Allowance,” FamDoo’s mobile app allows parents to automate their kids’ allowance systems by rewarding customized chores with a system that translates to cash value.
Mark Lacek, CEO and co-founder of the newly minted firm, is a serial entrepreneur and has professional experience in loyalty marketing systems—working with companies like Delta Air Lines and Best Buy to build consumer rewards programs.

This is the seventh company that Lacek has founded or co-founded. In 2008, he founded the startup BidPal, which creates technology solutions to help non-profit organizations maximize fundraising through mobile bidding. The company now employs 140 people and was ranked 74th on Inc. magazine’s 500 fastest-growing companies list in 2013. To learn more about Lacek and his six other businesses, read this 2010 profile in Twin Cities Business.
The FamDoo app is a patent-pending technology platform that integrates a rewards model with kid-focused chores under three categories: “Do,” which features common kids’ errands such as walking the dog or doing the dishes; “Learn,” which requires educational tasks like math, vocabulary, or geography lessons; and “Be,” which is designed to build character in kids by teaching them about core values and how to handle subjects like bullying.
The points system works through partnerships the company has made with online retailers such as Minneapolis-based Target and Richfield-based Best Buy, as well as iTunes and Amazon.
When a child redeems points using the app, funds are charged to the parent’s credit card on a pay-as-you-go system. A single point is equal to one cent and for each block of 1,000 points—or $10—that a parent purchases, FamDoo charges an additional $2 as a service fee.
The app is ad-free, requires no monthly subscription fees, and is currently available for free as a mobile app for iOS at the iTunes app store, and the company said it will also soon be available for Android devices.
Twin Cities Business“Rewards programs work very effectively in driving desired consumer behaviors. FamDoo is to kids what a favorite loyalty or frequent flyer program is to their parents,” Lacek said in a statement. “And because FamDoo is an online and mobile tool, we close the digital divide and meet our kids where they are, on their devices.”
Lacek founded the company and created the app alongside his wife Susan Lacek, who thought mobile technology was an attractive medium for promoting chores. 
“Like most families we know, we went through several chore charts posted on the refrigerator, job jars, and used fun icons and stickers for task completion,” Susan Lacek said in a statement. “Nothing seemed to work. With FamDoo, kids can use their devices to achieve and earn real tangible rewards, while doing, learning, and becoming a better person.”
In addition to spending their points at online retailers, kids can also donate their cash-value points to three different charity partners: The Children’s Cancer Research Center, Smile Network International, and Faith’s Lodge.

This article is reprinted in partnership with Twin Cities Business.