7 Generation Games is Closing Math Gaps in Underserved Communities

Maria Burns Ortiz, of 7 Generation Games, will be speaking at 1 Million Cups Fargo on September 11th. Join her and other community members at the Island Park Stage at 9:15 a.m.

Meet Maria

Maria, CEO and co-founder of 7 Generation Games, graduated from New York University with a major in Journalism and minor in Creative Writing. In addition to her major and minor, she had substantial coursework in Latin American Studies. She says, “If you had told me then that I’d be running a math video game company, I would have thought you were insane.” Maria has co-written a New York Times bestseller and previously wrote for ESPN.com. The thing she loves most about being a part of 7 Generation Games is that she is providing something to kids she wished she had when she was younger and that it helps kids repeatedly build skills they didn’t have before.

About 7 Generation Games

7 Generation Games was founded by Maria, AnnMaria De Mars, and Dennis De Mars in late 2012. In 2012, they started working on 7 Generation Games part-time and plunged into full-time efforts in August 2015. 7 Generation Games was created because one of the co-founders and an early founding team member were discussing data analysis for the National Indian Education Study and found that math proficiency among United States students was alarmingly low. In fact, Maria states, “75% of high school graduates do not meet math proficiency standard.” Maria explains that “7 Generation Games is a company changing the way math is taught and learned. We make interactive apps and immersive educational games aimed at closing the math gap in underserved communities. We talk a lot about serving the students that Silicon Valley is leaving behind, from rural and tribal schools to English-learners to inner-city youth.”

Currently, there is 12 games that are English or English bilingual. There is one game that is only available in Spanish. They have four games in the testing stage and three under development. So, there is plenty more to come in the future! 7 Generation Games has a long list of accomplishments but to name a few: best original learning games artwork at the U.S. Department of Education’s ED Games Expo, selected for the Chilean government’s Start-Up Chile initiative, and media and entertainment category pitch contest at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Their games help kids’ math scores improve by 30% in just ten weeks.

Event Details

Maria plans to discuss 7 Generation Games’ journey as a company and how companies and founders operating outside of the “innovation epicenters” can benefit at 1 Million Cups Fargo on Wednesday, September 11. She is eager to speak at 1 Million Cups Fargo because it provides a platform for people to learn from other’s stories and help break the stereotypes of what a founder should look like and instead making founders from all industries, regions, and backgrounds visible.

1 Million Cups Fargo is located at The Stage at Island Park and takes place each Wednesday morning from 9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. If you would like to learn more about 7 Generation Games and new things they’re working on, visit their website. To get updates more frequently like their Facebook page, Twitter, or blog.

Emily Avdem

Emily is a student at NDSU and a Content Creator for The Nice Center, the entrepreneurial department located within NDSU's College of Business.