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Muecs: Boy Scout Meets Foursquare

Muecs

Muecs combines traditional orienteering with social gaming elements.

echelon 2010 is right round the corner, and we take the chance to catch up with Muecs, one of the technology companies that will feature at the upcoming web technology event.

Hong Kong-based Muecs, short for ”Make You an E-Communication Site”, is a startup focusing on web and mobile applications. It recently released a SaaS enterprise collaboration tool called Mulaboration end of 2009, and is an incubatee at Hong Kong Science Park’s Incubation Programme. Benjamin Law, Muecs‘ founder and executive director, explains that his company will be unveiling a new location-based service (LBS) with social gaming elements at echelon 2010.

Mobile Social Gaming Takes A Location-Based Spin

A location-based service and social gaming mash-up is not a new technology or idea – take Foursquare, for example. But Benjamin and fellow co-founder Billy Leung’s love for video games and travel inspired them to put together a mobile service that combined traditional orienteering with a social massive multiplayer online (MMO) game. Using a smartphone, a user playing Muecs can earn points and obtain achievements by completing in-game quests, which in turn unlock hidden items that the user can trade for special offers from sponsors. A snapshot function also allows a user to capture interesting snapshots, which is also made into a game element. These snapshots can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

“Another benefit of using Muecs will be taking the information as location knowledge base,” Benjamin, who has a background in computer science, reveals. “We are trying to bring the user-generated contents, for example, snapshots or the activities in spots to update the information on places.”

Muecs recently launched its beta site, with its mobile versions on iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile to be released from June 2010. The first to launch, unsurprisingly, will be on the iPhone. Benjamin admits that the most challenging part in the whole development is waiting for Apple to approve its mobile application on the App Store, of which the process can take up to three weeks to complete.

[Update: The Muecs iPhone application is now free for download here at the Apple iTunes store, (more information here). A paid version is coming soon.]

Benjamin says he first heard of echelon 2010 from a Hong Kong startup community. He says the timing is fortuitous – perfect for showing the mobile versions of its service. “Hopefully,” Benjamin says, “it lets us to find potential partners and investors.” Muecs is currently angel-backed as well as self-funded by the founders, to the tune of approximately US$150,000.

Entrepreneurship Is Exciting

Entrepreneurship is exciting, says Benjamin. “From the technical to business executive job role, you do something that never happened before.” He says he personally loves challenges, and keeps him going at work.

“I think people should use their time to do sometime what they passionate on when they were young.” It’s the key reason why he chose to quit his job to start Muecs.

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Daniel Goh is the founder and chief editor of Young | Upstarts, as well as an F&B entrepreneur. Daniel has a background in public relations, and is interested in issues in entrepreneurship, small business, marketing, public relations and the online space. He can be reached at daniel [at] youngupstarts [dot] com.

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