Braincandy Raises $1 Million, Plans Launch with National Retailer

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News comes as former two-term Washington governor Booth Gardner joins Board of Advisors; children's media researcher and expert Dr. Michael Cohen joins Board of Directors.

The positive response Braincandy has received from the business community, the children's education market and from parents of young children, shows that we've tapped into a large, unmet need for early-learning products that engage while they entertain

Braincandy, award-winning creator of educational digital content for the early-learning market, today announced that it has raised $1 million in funding from angel investors as well as from distribution partner Rhino Entertainment, a subsidiary of the Warner Music Group. With this round of funding, Braincandy will complete additional titles in its first early learning series and also launch a broad marketing effort in support of national retail availability of its products in the fourth quarter of this year.

Braincandy also announced today that two distinguished advisors have joined the Braincandy team, including two-term Washington state governor Booth Gardner, who has joined Braincandy as Senior Advisor. Internationally acclaimed children's media researcher and evaluator Dr. Michael Cohen has joined the Braincandy Board of Directors.

"The positive response Braincandy has received from the business community, the children's education market and from parents of young children, shows that we've tapped into a large, unmet need for early-learning products that engage while they entertain," said Sam Reich-Dagnen, Braincandy CEO. "We are proud that we've attracted the participation of partners like Rhino Entertainment, as well as the support of Booth Gardner and Dr. Michael Cohen, as we move into broad retail channels and extend our product line."

Braincandy senior advisor Booth Gardner, Democratic Governor of the State of Washington between 1985 and 1993, was often noted as Washington's "education governor." Prior to serving as governor, Gardner was Pierce County Executive, where his service was notable for advancing standards-based education and environmental protection. Underlying this work was Gardner's belief that implementing higher educational standards was essential for the country's continued competition on the global stage and maintenance of a high standard of living.

"I have always been passionate about children and education. As governor, we clearly got the ball rolling on education reform. Now we need to turn our attention to our youngest learners and ensure they have the tools to help them be successful. When I saw what Braincandy was doing in the early learning space to achieve that end, I had to become more involved," said Governor Gardner.

New Braincandy board member Michael Cohen, PhD is a developmental psychologist, and currently President of the Michael Cohen Group, LLC as well as Principal Investigator for the U.S. Department of Education Ready to Learn Media Grant.

Internationally recognized as an expert in the areas of children's media, entertainment and education, Cohen's work with infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers has informed the creation and development of such products as Teletubbies, Sesame Street, Barney and Baby Einstein and earned the trust of networks such as Disney, Nickelodeon, PBS and many others. His contributions have been integral to the unfolding of the "infant through pre-school" early childhood media category. Cohen's expertise in these areas also made him an invaluable resource to Mayor Giuliani in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks; Cohen was tapped to serve as a communications consultant to the city, developing materials for teachers and young children. Dr. Cohen holds a Ph.D. in Psychology from The Graduate Center of the City University of New York.

"Braincandy is a meeting point for creativity, mission and cutting-edge knowledge of how our young children develop, play and learn. This extremely powerful combination has created a world where children enter and where they discover themselves. Braincandy is the future," said Dr. Cohen.

Braincandy products are designed to help very young children learn to think more creatively through exploration, experimentation and play, and have been endorsed by many industry and education experts, as well as parents everywhere. The Braincandy "world" -- a creative formula that includes a crew of dynamic puppets representing the five senses, real kids engaged in sensory activities, and innovative animation -- creates an interactive experience for kids that is unique in the market. Braincandy products are currently available in specialty retail stores, children's museums and science centers, major online retailers and through Comcast Select on Demand service as well as Video on Demand through Cox Cable and Direct TV.

About Braincandy
Braincandy is an award-winning children's products company offering enriching, entertaining DVDs, music CDs and will soon be expanding into books, toys, plush, apparel and more. Braincandy products are designed to help very young children learn to think more creatively through exploration, experimentation and play and have been endorsed by many industry and education experts, as well as parents everywhere. Braincandy products are currently available in specialty retail stores, children's museums and science centers, major online retailers and through Comcast Select on Demand service, Cox Cable and Direct TV. For more information about Braincandy, please visit http://www.braincandykids.com

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Kari Moe Straley
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