Tag Archives: #WeArePlay

#WeArePlay | How Zülal is using AI to help people with low vision

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

Born in Istanbul, Türkiye with limited sight, Zülal has been a power-user of visual assistive technologies since the age of 4. When she lost her sight completely at 10 years old, she found herself reliant on technology to help her see and experience the world around her.

Today, Zülal is the founder of FYE, her solution to the issues she found with other visual assistive technologies. The app empowers people with low vision to be inspired by the world around them. Employing a team of 4, she heads up technological development and user experience for the app.

Zülal shared her story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which celebrates people around the world building apps and games. She shared her journey from uploading pictures of her parents to a computer to get descriptions of them as a child, to developing her own visual assistive app. Find out what’s next for Zülal and how she is using AI to help people like herself.

Tell us more about the inspiration behind FYE.

Today, there are around 330 million people with severe to moderate visual impairment. Visual assistive technology is life-changing for these people, giving them back a sense of independence and a connection to the world around them. I’m a poet and composer, and in order to create I needed this tech so that I could see and describe the world around me. Before developing FYE, the visual assistive technology I was relying on was falling short. I wanted to take back control. I didn’t want to sit back, wait and see what technology could do for me - I wanted to harness its power. So I did.

Why was it important for you to build FYE?

I never wanted to be limited by having low vision. I’ve always thought, how can I make this better? How can I make my life better? I want to do everything, because I can. I really believe that there’s nothing I can’t do. There’s nothing WE can’t do. Having a founder like me lead the way in visual assistive technology illustrates just that. We’re taking back control of how we experience the world around us.

What’s different about FYE?

With our app, I believe our audience can really see the world again. It uses a combination of AI and human input to describe the world around them to our users. It incorporates an AI model trained on a dataset of over 15 million data points, so it really encompasses all the varying factors that make up the world of everyday visual experiences. The aim was to have descriptions as vivid as if I was describing my surroundings myself. It’s the small details that make a big difference.

What’s next for your app?

We already have personalized AI outputs so the user can create different AI assistants to suit different situations. You can use it to work across the internet as you’re browsing or shopping. I use it a lot for cooking - where the AI can adapt and learn to suit any situation. We are also collaborating with places where people with low vision might struggle, like the metro and the airport. We’ve built in AI outputs in collaboration with these spaces so that anyone using our app will be able to navigate those spaces with confidence. I’m currently working on evolving From Your Eyes as an organization, reimagining the app as one element of the organization under the new name FYE. Next, we’re exploring integrations with smart glasses and watches to bring our app to wearables.

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#WeArePlay | Meet the founders changing women’s lives: Women’s History Month Stories

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

In celebration of Women’s History month, we’re celebrating the founders behind groundbreaking apps and games from around the world - made by women or for women. Let's discover four of my favorites in this latest batch of nine #WeArePlay stories.


Múkami Kinoti Kimotho

Royelles Revolution / Royelles Revolution: Gaming For Girls (USA)

Múkami Kinoti Kimotho – Royelles Revolution / Royelles- Gaming For Girls | USA

Múkami's journey began when she noticed the lack of representation for girls in the gaming industry. Determined to change this narrative, she created Royelles, a game designed to inspire girls and non-binary people to pursue careers in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, math) fields. The game is anchored in fierce female avatars like the real life NASA scientist Mara who voices a character. Royelles is revolutionizing the gaming landscape and empowering the next generation of innovators. Múkami's excited to release more gamified stories and learning modules, and a range of extended reality and AI-powered avatars based on the game’s characters.

"If we're going to effectively educate Gen Z and Gen Alpha, we have to meet them in the metaverse and leverage gamified play as a means of driving education, awareness, inspiration and empowerment.” 

- Múkami

Leonika Sari Njoto Boedioetomo

Reblood: Blood Services App (Indonesia)

Leonika Sari Njoto Boedioetomo – Reblood / Blood Services App | Indonesia

When her university friend needed an urgent blood transfusion but discovered there was none available in the blood bank, Leonika became aware of the blood donation shortage in Indonesia. Her mission to address this led her to create Reblood, an app connecting blood donors with those in need. With over 140,000 blood donations facilitated to date, Reblood is not only saving lives but also promoting healthier lifestyles with a recently added feature that allows people to find the most affordable medical checkups.

“Our goal is to save more lives by raising awareness of blood donation in Indonesia and promoting healthier lifestyles for blood donors.” 

- Leonika

Luciane Antunes dos Santos and Renato Hélio Rauber

CARSUL / Car Sul: Urban Mobility App (Brazil)

Luciane Antunes dos Santos and Renato Hélio Rauber – Car Sul: Urban Mobility App | Brazil

Luciane was devastated when she lost her son in a car accident. Her and her husband Renato's loss led them to develop Carsul, an urban mobility app prioritizing safety and security. By providing safe transportation options and partnering with government health programs to chauffeur patients long distances to larger hospitals, Carsul is not only preventing accidents but also saving lives. Luciane and Renato's dedication to protecting others from the pain they've experienced is ongoing and they plan to expand to more cities in Brazil.

“Carsul was born from this story of loss, inspiring me to protect other lives. Redefining myself in this way is very rewarding.” 

- Luciane

Diariata (Diata) N'Diaye

Resonantes / App-Elles: Safety App for Women (France)

Diariata (Diata) N'Diaye – Resonantes /App-Elles: Safety App for Women | France

After hearing the stories of young people who had experienced abuse that was similar to her own, Spoken word artist Diata developed App-Elles – an app that allows women to send alerts when they're in danger. By connecting users with support networks and professional services, App-Elles is empowering women to reclaim their safety and seek help when needed.Diata also runs writing and recording workshops to help victims overcome their experiences with violence and has plans to expand her app with the introduction of a discreet wearable that sends out alerts.

“I realized from my work on the ground that there were victims of violence who needed help and support systems. This was my inspiration to create App-Elles." 

- Diata


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#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | How two sea turtle enthusiasts are revolutionizing marine conservation

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

When environmental science student Caitlin returned home from a trip monitoring sea turtles in Western Australia, she was inspired to create a conservation tool that could improve tracking of the species. She connected with a French developer and fellow marine life enthusiast Nicolas to design their app We Spot Turtles!, allowing anyone to support tracking efforts by uploading pictures of them spotted in the wild.

Caitlin and Nicolas shared their journey in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which showcases the amazing stories behind apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with the pair to find out more about their passion and how they are making strides towards advancing sea turtle conservation.

Tell us about how you both got interested in sea turtle conservation?

Caitlin: A few years ago, I did a sea turtle monitoring program for the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions in Western Australia. It was probably one of the most magical experiences of my life. After that, I decided I only really wanted to work with sea turtles.

Nicolas: In 2010, in French Polynesia, I volunteered with a sea turtle protection project. I was moved by the experience, and when I came back to France, I knew I wanted to use my tech background to create something inspired by the trip.

How did these experiences lead you to create We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: There are seven species of sea turtle, and all are critically endangered. Or rather there’s not enough data on them to inform an accurate endangerment status. This means the needs of the species are going unmet and sea turtles are silently going extinct. Our inspiration is essentially to better track sea turtles so that conservation can be improved.

Nicolas: When I returned to France after monitoring sea turtles, I knew I wanted to make an app inspired by my experience. However, I had put the project on hold for a while. Then, when a friend sent me Caitlin’s social media post looking for a developer for a sea turtle conservation app, it re-ignited my inspiration, and we teamed up to make it together.

close up image of a turtle resting in a reef underwater

What does We Spot Turtles! do?

Caitlin: Essentially, members of the public upload images of sea turtles they spot – and even get to name them. Then, the app automatically geolocates, giving us a date and timestamp of when and where the sea turtle was located. This allows us to track turtles and improve our conservation efforts.

How do you use artificial intelligence in the app?

Caitlin: The advancements in AI in recent years have given us the opportunity to make a bigger impact than we would have been able to otherwise. The machine learning model that Nicolas created uses the facial scale and pigmentations of the turtles to not only identify its species, but also to give that sea turtle a unique code for tracking purposes. Then, if it is photographed by someone else in the future, we can see on the app where it's been spotted before.

How has Google Play supported your journey?

Caitlin: Launching our app on Google Play has allowed us to reach a global audience. We now have communities in Exmouth in Western Australia, Manly Beach in Sydney, and have 6 countries in total using our app already. Without Google Play, we wouldn't have the ability to connect on such a global scale.

Nicolas: I’m a mobile application developer and I use Google’s Flutter framework. I knew Google Play was a good place to release our title as it easily allows us to work on the platform. As a result, we’ve been able to make the app great.

Photo pf Caitlin and Nicolas on the bach in Australia at sunset. Both are kneeling in the sand. Caitlin is using her phone to identify something in the distance, and gesturing to Nicolas who is looking in the same direction

What do you hope to achieve with We Spot Turtles!?

Caitlin: We Spot Turtles! puts data collection in the hands of the people. It’s giving everyone the opportunity to make an impact in sea turtle conservation. Because of this, we believe that we can massively alter and redefine conservation efforts and enhance people’s engagement with the natural world.

What are your plans for the future?

Caitlin: Nicolas and I have some big plans. We want to branch out into other species. We'd love to do whale sharks, birds, and red pandas. Ultimately, we want to achieve our goal of improving the conservation of various species and animals around the world.


Discover other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | Learn how a childhood experience with an earthquake shaped Álvaro’s entrepreneurial journey

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

Being trapped inside a house following a major earthquake as a child motivated Álvaro to research and improve the outcomes of destructive, large-scale quakes in Mexico. Using SkyAlert technology, sensors detect and report warnings of incoming earthquakes, giving people valuable time to prepare and get to safety.

Álvaro shared his story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which spotlights the founders and creatives behind inspiring apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with him to find out his motivations for SkyAlert, the impact the app’s had and what his future plans are.


What was the inspiration behind SkyAlert?

Being in Colima near the epicenter of a massive earthquake as a kid had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling powerless to nature and very vulnerable watching everything falling apart around me. I was struck by how quick and smart you had to be to get to a safe place in time. I remember hugging my family once it was over and looking towards the sea to watch out for an impending tsunami – which fortunately didn’t hit my region badly. It was at this moment that I became determined to find out what had caused this catastrophe and what could be done to prevent it being so destructive another time.

Through my research, I learned that Mexico sits on five tectonic plates and, as a result, it is particularly prone to earthquakes. In fact, there've been seven major quakes in the last seven years, with hundreds losing their lives. Reducing the threat of earthquakes is my number one goal and the motivation behind SkyAlert. The technology we’ve developed can detect the warning signs of an earthquake early on, deliver alerts to vulnerable people and hopefully save lives.


How does SkyAlert work exactly?

SkyAlert collects data from a network of sensors and translates that information into alerts. People can put their zip code in order to filter updates for their locality. We’re constantly investing in getting the most reliable and fast technology available so we can make the service as timely and effective as possible.


Did you always imagine you’d be an entrepreneur?

Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. This was inspired by my grandfather who ran a large candy company with factories all over Mexico. However, what I really wanted, beyond just running my own company, was to have a positive social impact and change lives for the better: a feat I feel proud to have achieved with SkyAlert.


How is Google Play helping your app to grow?

Being on Google Play helps us to reach the maximum number of people. We’ve achieved some amazing numbers in the last 10 years through Google Play, with over 7 million downloads. With 35% of our income coming from Google Play, this reach has helped us invest in new technologies and sensors.

We also often receive advice from Google Play and they invite us to meetings to tell us how to do better and how to make the most of the platform. Google Play is a close partner that we feel really takes care of us.


What impact has SkyAlert had on the people of Mexico?

The biggest advantage of SkyAlert is that it can help them prepare for an earthquake. In 2017, we were able to notify people of a massive quake 12 seconds before it hit Mexico City. At least with those few seconds, many were able to get themselves to a safe place. Similarly, with a large earthquake in Oaxaca, we were able to give a warning of over a minute, allowing teachers to get students in schools away from infrastructure – saving kids’ lives.

Also, many find having SkyAlert on their phone gives them peace of mind, knowing they’ll have some warning before an earthquake strikes. This can be very reassuring.


What does the future look like for SkyAlert?

We’re working hard to expand our services into new risk areas like flooding, storms and wildfires. The hope is to become a global company that can deliver alerts on a variety of natural phenomena in countries around the world.


Read more about Álvaro and other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | Learn how a childhood experience with an earthquake shaped Álvaro’s entrepreneurial journey

Posted by Leticia Lago – Developer Marketing

Being trapped inside a house following a major earthquake as a child motivated Álvaro to research and improve the outcomes of destructive, large-scale quakes in Mexico. Using SkyAlert technology, sensors detect and report warnings of incoming earthquakes, giving people valuable time to prepare and get to safety.

Álvaro shared his story in our latest film for #WeArePlay, which spotlights the founders and creatives behind inspiring apps and games on Google Play. We caught up with him to find out his motivations for SkyAlert, the impact the app’s had and what his future plans are.

What was the inspiration behind SkyAlert?

Being in Colima near the epicenter of a massive earthquake as a kid had a huge impact on me. I remember feeling powerless to nature and very vulnerable watching everything falling apart around me. I was struck by how quick and smart you had to be to get to a safe place in time. I remember hugging my family once it was over and looking towards the sea to watch out for an impending tsunami – which fortunately didn’t hit my region badly. It was at this moment that I became determined to find out what had caused this catastrophe and what could be done to prevent it being so destructive another time.

Through my research, I learned that Mexico sits on five tectonic plates and, as a result, it is particularly prone to earthquakes. In fact, there've been seven major quakes in the last seven years, with hundreds losing their lives. Reducing the threat of earthquakes is my number one goal and the motivation behind SkyAlert. The technology we’ve developed can detect the warning signs of an earthquake early on, deliver alerts to vulnerable people and hopefully save lives.

How does SkyAlert work exactly?

SkyAlert collects data from a network of sensors and translates that information into alerts. People can put their zip code in order to filter updates for their locality. We’re constantly investing in getting the most reliable and fast technology available so we can make the service as timely and effective as possible.

Did you always imagine you’d be an entrepreneur?

Since I was a kid I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. This was inspired by my grandfather who ran a large candy company with factories all over Mexico. However, what I really wanted, beyond just running my own company, was to have a positive social impact and change lives for the better: a feat I feel proud to have achieved with SkyAlert.

How is Google Play helping your app to grow?

Being on Google Play helps us to reach the maximum number of people. We’ve achieved some amazing numbers in the last 10 years through Google Play, with over 7 million downloads. With 35% of our income coming from Google Play, this reach has helped us invest in new technologies and sensors.

We also often receive advice from Google Play and they invite us to meetings to tell us how to do better and how to make the most of the platform. Google Play is a close partner that we feel really takes care of us.

What impact has SkyAlert had on the people of Mexico?

The biggest advantage of SkyAlert is that it can help them prepare for an earthquake. In 2017, we were able to notify people of a massive quake 12 seconds before it hit Mexico City. At least with those few seconds, many were able to get themselves to a safe place. Similarly, with a large earthquake in Oaxaca, we were able to give a warning of over a minute, allowing teachers to get students in schools away from infrastructure – saving kids’ lives.

Also, many find having SkyAlert on their phone gives them peace of mind, knowing they’ll have some warning before an earthquake strikes. This can be very reassuring.

What does the future look like for SkyAlert?

We’re working hard to expand our services into new risk areas like flooding, storms and wildfires. The hope is to become a global company that can deliver alerts on a variety of natural phenomena in countries around the world.

Read more about Álvaro and other inspiring app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.



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#WeArePlay | Meet Steven from Indonesia. More stories from around the world.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

As we bid farewell to 2023, we're excited to unveil our last #WeArePlay blog post of the year. From Lisbon to Dubai, let’s meet the creators behind the game-changing apps supporting communities, bringing innovation and joy to people.



We’re starting off in Indonesia, where Steven remembers his pocket money quickly running out while traveling around rural areas of Indonesia with his parents. Struck by how much more expensive food items were in the villages compared to Jakarta, he was inspired to create Super, providing more affordable goods outside the capital. The app allows shop owners to buy items stored locally and supply them to their communities at lower prices. It's helped boost the hyperlocal supply chain and raise living standards for rural populations. Steven is keen to point out that “it’s not just about entrepreneurship”, but “social impact”. He hopes to take Super even further and improve economic distribution across the whole of rural Indonesia.


ALT TEXT

Next, we’re crossing the Java Sea to Singapore, where twin brothers – and marathon runners – Jeromy and Kenny decided to turn their passion for self-care into a journaling app. On Journey, people can log their daily thoughts and work towards their mental health and self-improvement goals using prompts. With the guidance of coaches, they can practice gratitude, record their ambitions, and learn about mindfulness and building self-confidence. “People tell us it helps them find time to invest in themselves and dedicate space to self-care”, says Jeromy. In the future, the pair want to bring in additional coaches to support even more people to achieve their wellness goals.


ALT TEXT

Now we’re landing in the Middle East where former kindergarten friends Chris and Rene decided to use their experience being expats in Dubai to create a platform for connecting disparate communities across the city. On Hayi حي, locals can share information with their neighbors, find help within the community and connect with those living nearby. “Community is at the heart of everything we do and our goal is to have a positive effect”, says Chris. They’re currently working on creating groups for art and sport enthusiasts to encourage residents to bond over their interests. The pair are also dedicated to sustainability and plan on launching environmental projects, such as wide-scale city clean-ups.


ALT TEXT

And finally, we’re off to Europe where Lisbon-based university chums Rita, João and Martim saw unexpected success. Initially, the trio created a recipe-sharing platform, SaveCook. When they launched its accompaniment, Super Save, however, which compared prices of recipe ingredients across different supermarkets, it exploded in popularity. With rising inflation, people were hugely thankful to the founders “for providing a major service” at such a crucial time. Next, they’re working on a barcode scanner that tells shoppers where they can buy cheaper versions of products “to help people save as much as they can.”

Discover more founder stories from across the globe in the #WeArePlay collection.



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#WeArePlay | Meet Steven from Indonesia. More stories from around the world

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

As we bid farewell to 2023, we're excited to unveil our last #WeArePlay blog post of the year. From Lisbon to Dubai, let’s meet the creators behind the game-changing apps supporting communities, bringing innovation and joy to people.



We’re starting off in Indonesia, where Steven remembers his pocket money quickly running out while traveling around rural areas of Indonesia with his parents. Struck by how much more expensive food items were in the villages compared to Jakarta, he was inspired to create Super, providing more affordable goods outside the capital. The app allows shop owners to buy items stored locally and supply them to their communities at lower prices. It's helped boost the hyperlocal supply chain and raise living standards for rural populations. Steven is keen to point out that “it’s not just about entrepreneurship”, but “social impact”. He hopes to take Super even further and improve economic distribution across the whole of rural Indonesia.

ALT TEXT

Next, we’re crossing the Java Sea to Singapore, where twin brothers – and marathon runners – Jeromy and Kenny decided to turn their passion for self-care into a journaling app. On Journey, people can log their daily thoughts and work towards their mental health and self-improvement goals using prompts. With the guidance of coaches, they can practice gratitude, record their ambitions, and learn about mindfulness and building self-confidence. “People tell us it helps them find time to invest in themselves and dedicate space to self-care”, says Jeromy. In the future, the pair want to bring in additional coaches to support even more people to achieve their wellness goals.

ALT TEXT

Now we’re landing in the Middle East where former kindergarten friends Chris and Rene decided to use their experience being expats in Dubai to create a platform for connecting disparate communities across the city. On Hayi حي, locals can share information with their neighbors, find help within the community and connect with those living nearby. “Community is at the heart of everything we do and our goal is to have a positive effect”, says Chris. They’re currently working on creating groups for art and sport enthusiasts to encourage residents to bond over their interests. The pair are also dedicated to sustainability and plan on launching environmental projects, such as wide-scale city clean-ups.

ALT TEXT

And finally, we’re off to Europe where Lisbon-based university chums Rita, João and Martim saw unexpected success. Initially, the trio created a recipe-sharing platform, SaveCook. When they launched its accompaniment, Super Save, however, which compared prices of recipe ingredients across different supermarkets, it exploded in popularity. With rising inflation, people were hugely thankful to the founders “for providing a major service” at such a crucial time. Next, they’re working on a barcode scanner that tells shoppers where they can buy cheaper versions of products “to help people save as much as they can.”

Discover more founder stories from across the globe in the #WeArePlay collection.



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#WeArePlay | Meet Geraldo from Utah. More stories from around the world.

Posted by Leticia Lago, Developer Marketing

Another month, another series of #WeArePlay stories from apps and games we all love. From a Salt Lake City-based music editing app to successful game studios from Indonesia, Uruguay and Türkiye - discover the inspiring founders behind them.

This time we’re starting in the US with Geraldo. Inspired by his mom’s studies in computer engineering, he decided to start his own tech company at just 16 years of age. But he was also a keen musician and merged both his passions in Moises, alongside childhood friend and co-founder Eddie. The app uses artificial intelligence to remove vocals and instruments from any song. Geraldo describes the process as like “getting a smoothie and removing only the banana” – complex, to say the least, but Moises makes it easy. He hopes “to democratize access to cutting edge audio tools for everyday musicians.”

#WeArePlay Diori & Agung MINIMO South Tangerang Indonesia g.co/play/weareplay Google Play

Next up, we’re crossing the Pacific over to Indonesia where colleagues and game enthusiasts Diori and Agung decided to collaborate outside of the office on their own independent project. This culminated in the launch of their studio, Minimo, with their most successful game, Mini Racing Adventures, accumulating over 38 million downloads to date. The pair channeled Agung’s passion for cars and mechanics into this particular release, but next they’re shifting genres and working on a new shooter game.

#WeArePlay Pablo & Gonzalo Ironhide Game Studio Montevideo Uruguay g.co/play/weareplay Google Play

Now we’re heading down to Uruguay where friends Pablo, Gonzalo and Alvaro had a dream of making games for a living and created Ironhide Game Studio in 2010, learning how to code for mobiles from scratch. As Pablo puts it: “Over the years we’ve realized that what we have is special, because we have the passion, but we also work really hard. This has allowed us to create something great.” Their popular title, Kingdom Rush: Tower Defence, is a strategy game set in a medieval settlement and chock-full of action-filled battles. Looking to the future, they’re hoping to branch into multiplayer games and expand their Kingdom Rush saga.

#WeArePlay Remi, Mithat, Rina, Fuat & Barkin SPYKE GAMES Instanbul Türkiye g.co/play/weareplay Google Play

And finally we’re crossing over to Europe to meet Rina. While working in private equity and meeting an array of business heads, she was inspired to pursue an entrepreneurial path herself. Seeing how popular gaming was becoming, Rina delved into creating titles for a Turkish audience. She struck gold with her first studio becoming a tech unicorn, and soon followed it up with Spyke Games, launched alongside her brother Remi and friends Mithat, Barkin and Fuat. Their title Tile Busters combine social multiplayer fun and skill-based puzzle solving. Soon, they’re releasing a follow-up, Blitz Busters, keeping their goal of being “great content developers creating games that people crave more of.”

Discover more global #WeArePlay stories and share your favorites.



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