Bring Frank N. Foode to Life!

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FrankKickstarter400Update: Our Kickstarter campaign has Launched!

Young scientists need your help to fund one-of-a-kind plush toy to further science communication about GMOs. Their Kickstarter campaign launches on Wednesday, February 5th, 2014 at noon Central Time.
(A PDF of the press release is available below the post)

Biology Fortified, Inc. (BFI) is an independent, non-profit organization devoted to fostering science-based discussion about issues in biology, plant genetics, and agriculture. BFI’s mascot is Frank N. Foode™, your friendly neighborhood genetically modified organism (GMO). This cute corn plush has gotten his photo taken with people, plants, and in exotic places, all to help make the science of biotechnology fun and approachable. Over the years, many people have said that they want a Frank of their own! Now BFI has a chance to make this happen.

Karl Haro von Mogel handcrafted the first Frank N. Foode™ plush in 2009. The goal of the “Bring Frank N. Foode™ to Life” Kickstarter campaign is to fund the design and creation of 500 Frank N. Foode™ plushes so everyone can have a Frank plush of their own. BFI is working with Gann Memorials to rework Karl’s original design to make it durable, safe for kids, and cuter than ever. “One day, I had an idea to make a plush corn with glasses to help people understand the science,” said Karl Haro von Mogel. “It’s amazing to see the enthusiasm that people have toward him, and how much people want this to happen. We’re actually doing it!”

Rewards for donating to this campaign include the Frank N. Foode™ plush, autographed books, dinners with bloggers, and much more. Anastasia Bodnar, Board Member of BFI, says “these rewards were selected with three goals in mind – rewarding backers of the campaign, and furthering our mission to promote science and critical thinking while having fun at the same time.”

Biology Fortified, Inc. started as a science blog that launched on Halloween in 2008. BFI incorporated in 2012 and gained 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status from the IRS in 2013. The Biofortified Blog and Forum create a civil and respectful environment where people can ask questions, give opinions, and even start up their own discussions. The blog includes interviews with and posts from scientists and other experts, recently passing 1 million views and 10,000 comments.

kickstarterimagefornewsarticleKickstarter is a website that allows organizations and individuals who want to create new works of art and products raise money from donors through a process called crowdfunding. Backers can pledge any amount of money to a project, and receive unique rewards for contributing to the project. Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing, so no one is charged and a project does not get funded unless there are enough backers to reach the fundraising goal. In 2013, more than 3 million people pledged $480 million on Kickstarter to successfully fund more than $19,000 projects.

The Frank N. Foode Kickstarter campaign must raise $10,000 in just 30 days. If the goal is not achieved, they go home empty handed. If more than $10,000 is raised, stretch goals include an exclusive t-shirt, and a plush Hawaiian Papaya, Indian Eggplant, or Florida Orange. The campaign ends on March 7, 2014.

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Media Contact:

Karl Haro von Mogel
[email protected]
608-284-8842

Please let us know if you write about our Kickstarter so we can link back to you!

Kickstarter Profile Link: https://www.kickstarter.com/profile/biofortified
Biology Fortified, Inc. Homepage: http://www.biofortified.org/
Frank N. Foode™ Photo album: http://biofortified.org/community/photos/
Frank N. Foode™ on Twitter (with daily updates on campaign): https://twitter.com/franknfoode/

Press Release (PDF)
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Karl earned his Ph.D. in Plant Breeding and Plant Genetics at UW-Madison, with a minor in Life Science Communication. His dissertation was on both the genetics of sweet corn and plant genetics outreach. He recently moved back to his home state of California. His favorite produce might just be squash.