Anshul, Meet, and Harsh became friends while living and working together. They never realised Meet used to stutter until he explained he taught himself speech therapy exercises to overcome the disorder. This motivated the trio to found their company Stamurai Speech Therapy, creating an app to help thousands of people just like Meet. Their inspirational story becomes our latest to be featured in #WeArePlay, our campaign celebrating the people behind apps and games around the world.
“Stuttering had a huge impact on me since I was a kid”, explains Meet. “It affected my professional and personal life. I decided to look for help as it is not only a speech disorder, it is an emotional disorder as well”.
After hours of studying medical books and practicing therapies, he learned how to manage stuttering and grow his confidence to complete seemingly simple tasks which previously made him anxious.
“I avoided ordering my favorite food, going shopping and talking to strangers. These speech exercises allowed me to do things that seemed simple for some, but were a struggle to me”.
Meet, co-founder of Stamurai Speech Therapy
They realized there was a gap in the market for people to easily find help to manage disorders like his. Having a background in coding for Android, they got to work and created their app Stamurai Stuttering Therapy on Google Play.
Now available in 150 countries, they’re looking to the future as they begin working on adding more languages and more exercises. The positive impact the app is having spurs them on – “we like reading the reviews to see how the app has changed people’s lives. Some are simply commenting they are now doing job interviews. This was something that could be a struggle for many”.
From exploring the great outdoors to getting your first computer – a seemingly random moment in your life might one day be the very thing which inspires you to go out there and follow your dreams. That’s what happened to four game studio founders featured in our latest release of #WeArePlay stories. Find out what inspired them to create games which are entertaining millions around the globe.
Born and raised in Salvador, Brazil, Filipe was so inspired by the city’s cultural heritage that he studied History before becoming a teacher. One day, he realised games could be a powerful medium to share Brazilian history and culture with the world. So he founded Aoca Game Lab, and their first title, ÁRIDA: Backland’s Awakening, is a survival game based in the historic town of Canudos. Aoca Game Lab took part in the Indie Games Accelerator and have also been selected to receive the Indie Games Fund. With the help from these Google Play programs, they will take the game and studio to the next level.
Next, Marko from Serbia. As a chemistry student, he was never really interested in tech – then he received his first computer and everything changed. He quit his degree to focus on his new passion and now owns his successful studio Peaksel with over 480 million downloads. One of their most popular titles is 100 Doors Games: School Escape, with over 100 levels to challenge the minds of even the most experienced players.
And now onto Liene from Latvia. She often braves the big outdoors and discovers what nature has to offer – so much so that she organizes team-building, orienteering based games for the team at work. Seeing their joy as they explore the world around them inspired her to create Roadgames. It guides players through adventurous scavenger hunts, discovering new terrain.
And lastly, Xin from Australia. After years working in corporate tech, he gave it all up to pursue his dream of making mobile games inspired by the 90’s video games he played as a child. Now he owns his studio, Pixel Starships, and despite all his success with millions of downloads, his five-year-old child gives him plenty of feedback.
There are millions of apps available on Google Play, created by thousands of founders across the world. Each single app is unique and special in its own right, but they all have one thing in common – their purpose is to help. From helping motorhome enthusiasts find somewhere to camp, small business owners manage their finances or waste pickers make a reliable income – in this latest batch of #WeArePlay stories, we celebrate app founders who are helping people across the world in extraordinarily different ways.
First we begin with Cristian. Originally from Villa Rica in southern Chile, he made his family very proud by being the first to go to university. During his studies in Santiago, he learned about the local waste pickers – people who make an income by searching through trash cans and finding valuable materials to sell. Despite his mother’s wishes, he was so motivated to help them that he dropped out of university and dedicated all his time to creating an app. Reciclapp works by helping waste pickers connect with local businesses, so they can collect resellable materials directly from them. So far, the app has helped waste pickers across the city save time and guarantee a more reliable income. As Cristian has grown his company to a team of 12 and expanded into Mexico, his mother is now very proud of his bravery and success.
Next, Kennedy and Duke. When they were children, their father’s business sadly failed because managing his finances and tracking spending was too hard. Years later, after a successful career abroad in tech, Kennedy decided it was time to return to his homeland of Nigeria and build his own company. Inspired by his father’s struggle, he partnered with brother Duke and travelled across the country to interview other business owners about their financial struggles. Using this research, they created Kippa – the app simplifies bookkeeping to make sending invoices, storing receipts and setting up a bank account easy. It’s now used by over half a million businesses in Nigeria, as Kennedy mentions “without Google Play, we couldn’t help as many business owners”.
To round up today, Gijs and Eefje. The couple adore renting campervans and travelling around to explore the natural beauty of Europe, but they always seemed to struggle with one thing – easily finding places to stay. Feeling like nothing out there could help them, they decided to give app development a go and create Campy. The app works as a digital camping encyclopaedia: helping like-minded campervan enthusiasts discover the perfect spots to set up camp, plan their trips and meet others who love the outdoors. A few years after Campy launched, Gijs and Eefje now have 2 little girls to bring on their big adventures, and are elated with the feedback they have received – “it never ceases to amaze me what a tiny app can do for so many people”.
Check out all the stories from around the world at g.co/play/weareplay and stay tuned for more coming soon.
A medical game for doctors, a language game for kids, a scary game for horror lovers and an escape room game for thrill seekers! In this latest batch of #WeArePlay stories, we’re celebrating the founders behind a wonderful variety of games from all over the world. Have a read and get gaming!
To start, let’s meet Sam from Chicago. Coming from a family of doctors, his Dad challenged him to make a game to help those in the medical field. Sam agreed, made a game and months later discovered over 100,000 doctors were able to practice medical procedures. This early success inspired him to found Level Ex – a company of 135, making world-class medical games for doctors across the globe. Despite his achievements, his Dad still hopes Sam may one day get into medicine himself and clinch a Nobel prize.
Next, a few more stories from around the world:
Aldo and Sandro from Peru – founders of Dark Dome. They combine storytelling and art to make thrilling and chilling games, filled with plot twists and jump scares.
Vladimir, Tomislav and Boris from Croatia – founders of Pine Studio. They won the Indie Games Festival 2021 with their game Cats In Time.
Kelly, Mikk, Reimo and Madde from Estonia – founders of ALPA kids. Their language games for children have a huge impact on early education and language preservation.
Our celebration of app and game businesses continues with more #WeArePlay stories. Today, we’re starting with George from Bristol, UK – a young entrepreneur taking the streetwear industry by storm.
After spending hours and hours searching for the latest styles in sneakers and streetwear, George realised there’s a market in helping fellow enthusiasts find the latest drops. At just 16 years old, he took it upon himself to learn to code and created his app, Droplist. It points people to upcoming special collections from major labels around the world. Find out more about his story.
Today we also spotlight few more stories from around the world:
Anica and Kristijan from an island in Croatia – founders of Dub Studio Productions to help music lovers around the global turn up the bass or lower the treble on their favourite songs.
Robert from Wyoming, founder of Bluebird Languages – language learning apps with over 6 million hours of audio lessons spanning 164 languages, from Hungarian to Haitian Creole.
And one more new story – because why not! This time, featuring Annabel from Kenya. After struggling to find a mechanic when stuck on the roadside in Nairobi, she and her co-founder created Ziada to help people find local service providers.
We’re back with more #WeArePlay stories to celebrate you: the global community of people behind apps and games businesses.
Following last week’s “virtual roadtrip” of all of the US, today we’re kicking off with Melissa from Greenville, South Carolina. She’s on a mission to make the world a more pet-friendly place. Her app, BringFido, helps people find somewhere to stay, eat or visit with their furry friends. In this film you will meet her, her dogs Ace and Roxy, and hear how she went from idea, to website, to growing app and thriving business.
This week we are also introducing you to game founders from other parts of the world:
Arnaud, an AI-enthusiast from Chartres in France, who founded Elokence. This 12-people team created Akinator, which has been downloaded over 260 million times on Google Play.
Daigo, a creative indie from Japan, founder of Odencat, whose games have won multiple accolades.
Keerti and Kashyap, a cricket-loving couple from Hyderabad in India, who used their life savings to start Hitwicket Cricket Games. Millions of fans worldwide enjoy their games.