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Frenel Djossa and Jamal Seaton

A quest to transform how we learn to manage our money

Frenel Djossa and Jamal SeatonFrenel Djossa and Jamal Seaton are an impressive entrepreneurial combo. In 2013 they launched Ignov8, an educational technology company that aims to ignite conversations about personal finance. The two University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) alumni believe many of the costly mistakes we make in life could be avoided with more opportunities to learn sound financial principles. Their inaugural product, Freedom Quest, is designed to enable kids and adults to become financially savvy and ultimately attain financial freedom.

“The topic itself is boring to most people, so we knew we had to make it entertaining,” says Frenel, Commerce, class of 2009. The partners came up with Freedom Quest, an interactive game that makes financial literacy fun. Players experience real-life financial challenges as they compete with friends or other players worldwide. They learn by making decisions and dealing with the consequences. The game is engaging, social and slightly addictive – in a good way!

This interest in financial literacy is a departure from the partners' goals when they were basketball buddies and roommates in their final year of university. Frenel intended to become a financial analyst. Finding little in the way of entry-level positions, however, he took additional courses and acquired the designations necessary to become a financial advisor. This led to a discovery: how little he knew about personal finances. The clients he works with today face similar challenges. “There’s lots of information available,” he says, “but it’s not in an appealing format.”

While Jamal, Game Development and Entrepreneurship, class of 2009, had the advantage of a family that frequently discussed money, after seeing numerous people make disastrous financial decisions, he realized others weren’t as fortunate. During a phone call, he and Frenel found they were both thinking the same way: There’s an important need here; how can we address it?

Knowing they needed assistance, they sought out their alma mater. The partners worked with a team of four UOIT students as part of a Capstone project. This provides an opportunity for students to integrate academic knowledge with real business experience by working directly with a company. Freedom Quest was underway.

Jamal and Frenel have completed a prototype and are now raising the funds needed to polish the game. They’re hopeful Freedom Quest will become the most popular application in the App Store. The partners are also working on an educator version.

Jamal and Frenel are offering an additional incentive to drive success. In the spirit of fun and competition, they’ve vowed to take ballet classes when they achieve their financing goal for Freedom Quest. Anyone care to support financial literacy and see six-foot-plus basketball players in tutus?

Jamal Seaton
Class of 2009
Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) – Game Development and Entrepreneurship
Game Developer,
Co-Founder and CEO, Ignov8 

Frenel Djossa
Class of 2009
Bachelor of Commerce – Finance
Financial Planner, Assante Wealth Management
Co-Founder and President, Ignov8