‘Nerdies’ announces fundraiser to create gaming, alternative learning space in Fayetteville

There are a lot of opportunities for kids to play sports in Fayetteville.

There are places to play baseball, soccer, and basketball, places for dance and gymnastics classes. Other learning opportunities, like music classes for kids interested in playing the piano or guitar abound as well.

What local entrepreneur Brad Harvey realized, however, is that despite these great opportunities for local kids, there really wasn’t a place to learn about things that one of his young sons was interested in.

Harvey’s son Isaac is a bright kid who was recently diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome. And, as Harvey says, while he may never throw a ball or play a team sport, he is extremely gifted in areas like mathematics and science. And like a lot of kids, Isaac is extremely eager to learn.

“Isaac wants to learn how to program his own mods for Minecraft, and design and build his own video games,” he said. “I started thinking, ‘why in the world is there not a place for Isaac or kids like him to go and pursue the things that they love?'”

Harvey’s desire to provide such a place for his son, and kids like him, is what led to the creation of a new concept caled Nerdies, a new business he hopes to open next year in Fayetteville.

At its core, Nerdies is a combination learning space, gaming center, and coffee shop, Harvey said. Classes will be planned on a variety of topics, such as robotics, videography, programming, web design, and more.

“Nerdies is a revolutionary business in the education and learning space where people of all ages come and pursue the things that they love and are interested in,” states the description of Nerdies on the IndiGoGo crowdfunding site. “Whether that is participating in a technology class, playing video games with friends or just hanging out in the Nerdies Caffeine Café, Nerdies provides a unique environment for all those people who think ‘smart is cool’ and are interested in pursuing activities they enjoy in this new tech world.”

Harvey hopes he’ll find other parents who are interested in creating a place like Nerdies here in Fayetteville for their children, and he hopes to raise $60,000 via the IndieGoGo campaign help build out a space at 110 S. College Avenue.

If everything goes well, Harvey said, Nerdies will be open for nerding by January 2014.

Pitch Video for Nerdies