First Lady Michelle Obama Names Boulder’s ZisBoomBah.com Grand Prize Winner
Boulder-based kid’s nutrition website, ZisBoomBah was awarded the Grand Prize and $10,000 in First Lady Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids competition to end childhood obesity in a generation.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Let’s Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper recognized teams from across the nation that answered the call to design games and apps that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.
“The First Lady is leading the charge to end childhood obesity and the Apps For Healthy Kids competition is another example of the innovation and dedication being applied to meet that goal,” Valisk commented. “Today, we are honored to award the talent of our Nation’s innovators while encouraging nutritious food choices and physical activity.”
Expressing gratitude to First Lady Michelle Obama, the expert judges, and the public, ZisBoomBah founder Karen Laszlo said afterward, “It is an amazing opportunity to be awarded this national award. Both Mike and I feel honored and blessed with a dedicated, talented team and set of advisers. This award will help us move faster to reach more children so that they too can learn the skills to choose healthier options.”
ZisBoomBah has been developing innovative software tools for families since its foundation in 2008. Working with a core team in Boulder and a small group of cherry-picked talents from around the country including developers, designers, writers and a videographer, the company launched its test site in October 2009 and had launched Pick Chow!, its first free online tool in March 2010.
When the Apps for Healthy Kids competition was announced, the team believed Pick Chow! exceeded the submission criteria. Still, “To place first in this national competition is a huge boost for our small startup,” co-founder Mike Carcaise states. “We flipped conventional wisdom by developing a pioneering online tool that actually gives the kids a voice in what they want to eat. The early response and acceptance has been overwhelming and this award is deeply gratifying—we are on the right path to changing the way kids make healthy meal choices.”
ZisBoomBah competed against nearly 100 technology innovators from across the nation. Top submissions were reviewed by the expert panel of judges based on the following criteria: potential impact on target audience; quality, accuracy and content of message; creativity and originality; potential for further development and use; potential to engage and motivate target audience.
Determined to offer Pick Chow! to all U.S. grade school children, Laszlo says, “We are thrilled to invest the prize money in gaining awareness among children wherever they may be: schools, camps, community events, and homes.” ZisBoomBah has already launched Pick Chow! Across America this summer, a cook-off between local top chefs where kids are the judges. ZisBoomBah plans to launch in schools and communities around the country to let kids experience for themselves how fun and easy it is to create healthy meals.
Brandon Saranik is a recent graduate of the Advertising & Psychology programs at the University of Colorado at Boulder. At ZisBoomBah, Brandon joins together his passion for kids, health and marketing to show families across America the fun in healthy living.