you think of video games, educational might not be the first word that comes to mind. However, Ntiedo Etuk launched Tabula Digita with the sole purpose of creating entertaining and educational games for children and teenagers. Sold primarily to parents, teachers, and school districts, Tabula Digita’s games help children learn complex algebra concepts, including linear equations and graphing.
Etuk, 31, relied on his experience as a math tutor with Big Brothers Big Sisters to hone in on what children need to engage themselves in the learning process. The missing element was simple: fun. Most importantly, the games are nonviolent–leaving parents no room for worry.
A partnership with The Princeton Review helped the company establish credibility and gain confidence among clients. Also, Etuk regularly attends educational conferences to generate additional publicity. Tabula Digita’s first game, Dimenxian, is available for both a PC and Mac and was named one of the favorite products of 2006 by Macworld. Designed to supplement traditional teaching methods rather than replace them, the game debuted to rave reviews. Sales in 2006 were $100,000, and he expects to reach $1 million in 2007.
In Square Circle Design Concepts
TYPE OF BUSINESS Interior Design, Event Production
OWNER Scott Tucker
LOCATION New York City
Chances are you’ve seen Scott Tucker before. The Brooklyn-based designer recently completed a series of television and print advertisements for Lincoln Navigator, one of which appeared in the March 2007 issue of BE. But Tucker’s path to success was filled with many detours. For starters, Tucker relaunched his business three times before finding his winning combination of timeliness, affordability, and customer satisfaction. The latest incarnation of In Square Circle Design Concepts has been in business for three years and offers a wide range of design elements, from remodeling commercial spaces to producing intimate events such as the 75th anniversary gala for the Apollo.
Despite the small staff of five, including Tucker, the company is successfully completing big projects. Tucker scored his first major contract with Evian, designing full-service day spas in New York City and Beverly Hills, California, as well as a mobile spa in Miami. Tucker, who is in his 30s, will tell you that he is more than grateful to be featured in Lincoln’s advertising campaign, which highlights black entrepreneurs who are living their dreams. The company grossed $250,000 in revenues in 2006.
TYPE OF BUSINESS Technology
CEO/PRESIDENT Chinedu Echeruo
LOCATION New York City
It’s no exaggeration that Hopstop has revolutionized both public transportation and the Internet. The site provides door-to-door subway and bus directions in New York City, Boston, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. Serving more than 50,000 users per month, the site is a staple for city residents who use public transportation on a daily basis as well as tourists who want to explore. Under Chinedu Echeruo’s leadership, the company has grown from a one-man operation to seven employees.
Since its inception three years ago, Hopstop has expanded to include city guides and trip itineraries. Users can submit their own guides and rate specific subway or bus lines. Directions can also be sent