#WeArePlay spotlights the global community of people building apps and games businesses on Google Play. And to celebrate International Women’s Day, we’re releasing four new stories of women founders who turned their passions into successful businesses on Play.
Ania from Victoria, Canada founded Rootd to help others with anxiety
At age 22, Ania started having panic attacks. They became so debilitating that she couldn't even go for a walk or meet up with friends. She sought help from books but couldn't understand why these resources weren't more easily available. So she created the app Rootd - Anxiety & Panic Relief with guided lessons and breathing exercises. Ania hopes to make the app, now available in 10 different languages, one of the most widely used tools in the world to overcome panic and anxiety.
Bria from Los Angeles, U.S. turned her love for bubble tea into a game
Bria worked for some big names in the tech world, but she wanted to start her own company based on what brought her joy. She always associated bubble tea with good times with friends, and she wanted to capture and share that feeling. In her game Boba Story, players restore an old boba shop and serve bubble tea to characters inspired by Japanese anime. She recently added a garden with beekeeping to harvest honey, as well as new boba flavors, teas and magic ingredients. An avid cook and baker herself, Bria hopes to release more cuisine-themed games.
Lauren and Christina from Melbourne, Australia grounded their game in well-being
As a child, Lauren played video games to distract her from the pain of chronic ear infections. She discovered gaming can be a healing experience for people — a sentiment she dedicated her career to. Intent on building a game that promoted well-being for women, she partnered with engineer Christina to make Kinder World: Cozy Plants. In the game, which was inspired by the popularity of gardening during the pandemic, players grow houseplants and perform well-being activities like gratitude journaling and box breathing exercises. Next, the pair want to add multiplayer features like communal art projects and vegetable plots so players can work together and build a community.
Jelena from Podgorica, Montenegro started one of the country’s first gaming studios
Despite having no tech background, Jelena has become a pioneer of the gaming industry in Montenegro. While working in HR, she was asked to set up one of the first gaming studios in the country. 3Hills' debut was Starblind, an endless adventure in outer space where players face UFOs and explore the universe. Apart from producing mobile games, 3Hills is also a tech academy, teaching hundreds of future developers digital skills for free. Jelena’s team is passionate about inspiring others and helping people take their first steps in mobile gaming and app design.
Read about other app and game founders featured in #WeArePlay.