We speak with Christian Simpson, founder of Chessplus, to talk about what inspired him to develop and refine such an interesting and slightly different concept of the traditional game of chess.

After watching his daughter Aimee move a rook and a pawn together to quickly gain a queen to beat her dad, Christian Simpson realised the potential of merging Chess pieces to create a new dimension to the traditional chess game and Chesspluss was born.

With the aid of Designer, Adam Laws, and IP firm, Davies Collison Cave, the concept of launching on Kickstarter (one of the world's largest funding platforms for creative projects) arose and the business was launched 10 years later. A further 18 months on, and production has now commenced to meet the orders from the successful Kickstarter campaign. The concept of Chessplus was a huge success, raising over 140% of its fundraising intention with over 500 international backers. 

Following a successful startup, the focus for the business is now on overseas production and distribution of their products, both locally and internationally. They also expect to fulfill their Kickstarter campaign pledges, as well as boosting their online presence through the likes of social media.

Just recently, Christian and his team at Chessplus were given the opportunity to present on the Australian Design and Innovation show, broadcast on channel Ten, and were selected in this episode as the judge's choice placing Chessplus in the running for a prize as an Australian Design Innovation.

Over the next 12 months, Christian hopes to broaden the acknowledgement and appreciation of the Chessplus game within the Australian and international communities, and expects to commence the development of his next project, an online app for Chessplus.

Christian explains the mindshifts in business attitude as "having to let go of personal expectations and maintaining a structure on goal setting and goal achievements on a regular ongoing basis. Most especially in maintaining and increasing the momentum in achieving goals within the company framework, its mission and strategies. This means constantly working through issues daily, being determined to achieve positive outcomes. No issue is too great or too small."

Through the setup of a new business, comes it's challenges - Christian and his team are now learning to overcome and understand:

  • production and shipping times, import tariffs and the applicable GST;

  • online sales platforms and Facebook advertising campaigns;

  • the most effective way in which to expand financial and human resources;

  • setting personal and financial KPI's; and

  • communication with production and shipping times given the distance.

Christian describes his relationship with Robson Partners - "We know we are in good hands here, and we can focus on business growth with quality support and guidance. The best thing about Troy is his professional attitude, enthusiasm and support for our product and business vision. Business mentorship - knowing we can turn to Troy for help. The team at Robsons have been supportive and encouraging."

Chess is a global game with 600-800 million players regularly. Chessplus is a better game and has the same potential, which includes variations for sets and boards, online games, tournaments, schools and sponsorship. 

If you would like to learn more about Christian's success, or would like to know more about Chesspluss - the game - please visit www.chessplus.com or email info@chessplus.com