Last summer #WeArePlay went on a virtual tour of the U.S. to spotlight the stories of app and game founders from every state, and earlier this year we visited India sharing stories from across the country. Today, we’re continuing our tour across the world with our next stop: Europe. From an anti-waste app to a puzzle adventure game, meet the founders of 126 apps and games companies pushing boundaries and building growing businesses on Google Play.
Here are some of my favorites:
Olio, United Kingdom
Best friends Tessa Clarke and Saasha Celestial-One were both raised with a strong ethos against waste. When Tessa was moving to a new country, the movers told her to throw away all the food she had left. While desperately trying to find someone to take her leftovers, she had the idea for an app to give away surplus food. Saasha jumped on board and they founded Olio. Over 100 million portions of food have been shared so far and the app has evolved, allowing people to also give away any household items that can have a second life. Their ambition is to have a billion people sharing via Olio by 2030. Discover more stories from the United Kingdom on our website.
Marian, Simon, Lucia and Filip, co-founders of Pixel Federation Games
Pixel Federation Games, Slovakia
Marian Fridrich, Simon Sicko, Lucia Sickova and Filip Fischer scrimped and scraped every penny to build their business. They took a leap of faith, quitting their jobs at the same gaming company to design the creative titles they really wanted to make. Their courage paid off: they've become pioneers of the Slovak gaming industry, with over 111 million downloads across their portfolio, which includes simulation and puzzle adventure games. They have a new game in the making and want to invest in more transport simulation titles. Discover more stories from Slovakia on our website.
Wendy, founder of TeachKloud from Ireland
Wendy Oke grew up hearing the story of how her grandfather had managed to break the cycle of poverty through pursuing education — but when she pursued a PhD in early childhood education, she noticed how much paperwork got in the way of teaching. This inspired her to create TeachKloud, an app for streamlining form processing, to "reduce the burden of paperwork for teachers so they could have more time to give attention to the kids and improve the quality of their teaching” she says. Next, she wants to take the app across the Atlantic to the United States. Check out more stories from Ireland on our website.
Octavi, founder of Agora Awards in Spain
Agora Awards, Spain
While traveling across Central America, filmmaker Octavi Royo wanted to share with others his experience and the amazing work of the communities he met. So he created Agora Awards, an app where artists can exhibit their work online around set themes, while people vote for their favorites. One of the contests was conducted in partnership with the United Nations to raise awareness about climate change. Looking forward, Octavi wants to host more contests, help launch the careers of fellow artists and create a platform that can “give opportunities to talented people and reflect the brilliance of mankind,” he says. Read more stories from Spain on our website.