VentureBoard cofounder Lewis Kerwin grew up loving the outdoors and spending as much time as possible roaming around the creeks and hills outside his childhood home in rural Oregon. At the same time, he enjoyed the simplicity and elegance of chess, which his father taught him at a young age.
Lewis’ love for games continued into adulthood. He would often bring folding games on trips or devise makeshift board games at campsites. However, as he got more into chess he became increasingly frustrated with the difficulties in bringing this passtime on the go.
In 2020, on a long road-trip through Oregon, Lewis was playing chess and go with friends in the car but kept losing the game when the board was passed or the car hit a bump. Frustrated, he looked for a better portable game board online. When he found none, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He sketched up a blueprint for a new type of game board he thought could work for chess, go and other board games.
The sketch turned into a schematic, which turned into a makeshift prototype and Ventureboard was born.
Lewis would go on to spend another year testing different designs and drawing schematics, until he eventually found his way to a Seattle brewery known for board games. One afternoon while hunting for real-world feedback, Lewis ran into Kirk, a tech entrepreneur and fellow chess lover.
They hit it off, and were soon collaborating to make strategic improvements in VentureBoard’s structure and function. Kirk contributed his decade of experience bringing new products to market, and they began creating the ultimate chess board, one that could withstand their demanding and travel-filled lives.
Just 12 months after that first meeting, we are thrilled to have combined carefully tested design enhancements, and durability additions to culminate in what we believe is probably the world’s best travel chess board. We have completed most tooling at this point and have only final modifications to make to our moulds. Your funding will help us finish tooling and scale production so that chess (and soon other board games) can be more adventure-ready than ever.