Curious Hat™ Joins 500 Startups’ 2012 Accelerator Program

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Dynamic investment and mentoring program set to propel new provider of educational mobile applications to forefront of children’s app market.

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I was struck by the Curious Hat team's mission to create beautiful children's apps that also interact with the physical world, and was very impressed with what I saw. Mobile applications and family/education are two priority investment themes for 500.

Curious Hat Inc.™ (http://www.curioushat.com), a new provider of interactive and educational mobile applications, is delighted to announce their participation in the 500 Startups 2012 Accelerator Program, which will launch in October of this year. The 500 Startups Accelerator Program experiments with early-stage startups, offering an explosive mixture of up to $250K in funding, superhuman mentors and designers in residence, platform-specific strategies for customer acquisition, and a dynamic creative workspace in the heart of Silicon Valley.

500 Startups (http://500.co/) is an early-stage seed fund and incubator program located in Mountain View, California. They invest primarily in consumer and SMB Internet startups, and related web infrastructure services. Founded in January 2012, Curious Hat produces innovative educational mobile applications for iPhone, iPad & Android for curious kids and explorers from 3 to 9yrs.

Curious Hat CEO, Luca Prasso, said, “We are extremely privileged to have the support of such an amazing group of people as the 500 Startups team. The 500 Startups Accelerator Program provides access to an incredible mentor network, with a deep understanding of market strategies, product design needs and online distribution channels. This is a major opportunity for us, offering international exposure at a crucial point in the early development of our company.”

500 Startups Partner, Christine Tsai, said, "We’re incredibly excited to have Curious Hat onboard with us for this fall’s Accelerator Program. I was struck by the Curious Hat team's mission to create beautiful children's apps that also interact with the physical world, and was very impressed with what I saw. Mobile applications and family/education are two priority investment themes for 500. All in all, it's a great fit for 500 and I look forward to seeing them grow even more with the Accelerator program."

Curious Hat is the brainchild of Luca Prasso and Erwan Maigret, both of whom are parents and seasoned professionals from the feature film production and software development industries. Their past film work, includes DreamWorks Animation’s ‘Shrek’ film series, ‘Madagascar’, ‘Kung Fu Panda’, ‘How to Train Your Dragon’ and ‘Over the Hedge’. The Curious Hat team is also composed of an international network of experts in graphic design and visual arts led by Creative Director, Nadia Andreini.

In addition to the boost offered by 500 Startups, Curious Hat also enjoys the support of an experienced international team of investors and entrepreneurs from across the US and Europe, mixing backgrounds as diverse as computer science, animation and software development, publishing, TV & radio, and biogas and solar fields. Having already attracted significant interest from seasoned investors, the Company is currently launching its bid to raise further funds for stage two of its ambitious growth plans.

Curious Hat investor, Paolo Giovine of H-Farmventures, Italy’s largest Venture Incubator said, “I am honored to participate in the adventure of Luca, Erwan and Nadia, three amazing wizards of fantasy. Curious Hat has important and ambitious goals. For them it is not just a question of money.”

“As a company, Curious Hat is the perfect combination of vision, experience and world-class technical skills,” said Curious Hat Business Advisor and Entrepreneur, Michele Simonato. “The apps industry is literally booming at the moment, and with such a great team onboard there is huge potential for this company to develop into something really special. "

For further information on the Curious Hat Investors & Board of Advisors, visit:
http://www.curioushat.com/investors/.

For further details on the 500 Startups Accelerator Program, visit: http://500.co/accelerator/.

Availability of PHLIP and other Curious Hat applications:
Curious Hat recently launched their second app, PHLIP, an intriguing and addictive picture puzzle aimed at children and inquisitive adults of all ages. The first of the Curious Hat applications, Color Vacuum, was also unveiled in May of this year.

For further information, visit http://www.curioushat.com, or contact: info(at)curioushat(dot)com.

About Curious Hat (http://www.curioushat.com)
Curious Hat is a provider of interactive and educational mobile applications that stimulate children to interact with the real world. These apps are not games, but rather discovery tools aimed at energizing kids to play, create, invent, explore and learn in enjoyable ways without the limitations of set parameters. Promoting self-exploration, Curious Hat encourages the use of mobile devices as tools for child/parent interaction through the introduction of the inventive and fantastical world of their fictitious muse, Professor Vapori, as well as through a range of other exciting applications.

Curious Hat was co-founded by Luca Prasso and Erwan Maigret, both parents and seasoned professionals from the feature film production and software development industries. The Curious Hat team is also composed of an international network of experts in graphic design and visual arts led by Creative Director, Nadia Andreini. Together, they are collaborating on projects that combine visually compelling design with truly innovative uses of mobile technologies.

Curious Hat apps result from an intensive research and development program with education professionals, parents and children. They are created for and tested by kids (and adults), from inception through to their public release. The Curious Hat products have no advertising banners or in app purchases, to ensure a safe and fun experience for children.

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Liz Tjostolvsen
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