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Third Point Says KidoZen Numbers Were Too Good To Be True

Last summer, Jesus Rodriguez, founder of a South Florida startup called KidoZen that helped businesses create mobile apps, hosted several dinners for venture capitalists, financial analysts and other technology luminaries at upscale restaurants like Fleur de Lys in San Francisco.

While expensive bottles of wine were served to guests, Mr. Rodriguez explained that his company was taking off like a rocket ship, having signed up more than 100 high value customers, according to two people who separately attended two of the dinners

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Despite the internal struggles, market research company Gartner Research included KidoZen on a list of “cool companies” it published in mid April. KidoZen “needs to move quickly to maintain its competitive position,” the report said.  Van Miller, a vice president of research for Gartner who was one of the report’s authors, said the report was not meant as an endorsement of KidoZen.

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In meetings in 2013, Mr. Rodriguez would recite impressive numbers on the growth of the company.