#WeArePlay

Discover the stories of people from all over the United States building apps and games businesses on Google Play.

Ashlee Ammons

Kerry Schrader

Mixtroz

Birmingham

1,000+

3


Ashlee and her mom Kerry had a shared frustration: they found it tricky to engage with new people at events. So they put their heads together to create a networking app. With no tech experience, both left successful careers to build a platform that could spark meaningful connections and help avoid awkward encounters. Mixtroz lets people attending events connect and engage easily with one another. After the pandemic, they evolved the software, adding new features so that Mixtroz can be used for virtual meetings.

“My mom and I are helping to change the face of what entrepreneurship looks like. My mom is not a millennial. We are showing that technology is for everyone. We love being part of that movement”

Andrew Stone

Nick Sloan

Random Logic Games

Birmingham

45,000,000+

10


Andrew and Nick started Random Logic Games while working together at a tech company. They had design and sales expertise but no knowledge of app-building. So they hired a developer team to help them make simple mobile games. The business exploded when their breakout title, Guess the Emoji, captured people's affection for this new form of communication. Since then, they’ve had many viral successes, with installs jumping from tens to thousands in a day. This year, to support growth, they’re moving the majority of their business to Google Play.

“Any developer regardless of location, and with very little money, can sign up to Google Play and get started, which is what we did. Then there’s the amount of scale and reach that you can achieve”

Elliott Potter

Jared Mattsson

Patrick Sullivan

Linq App

Birmingham

42,200+

20


Originally studying music, Elliott moved into tech after becoming fascinated with coding and automating manual tasks. He met co-founders Jared and Patrick at a tech startup. Working on a marketing tool, they realized how complicated it could be to share contact details with potential clients. So they created Linq, a digital business card for people to connect and swap details. Scanning a QR code instantly downloads a person’s profile to your phone. Linq has made big strides over the past year, with the founders securing large-scale investment and growing their team.

“We were just three guys around our kitchen table and now we have employees. I would encourage anybody with an idea to just try it”

Stories from Alabama

Patrick Dulin

Here and Now Systems

Anchorage

600+

2


Patrick wanted a modern way to tackle alcohol abuse. As a psychology professor and addiction therapist for over 20 years, he often sees problems go unnoticed because of the stigma surrounding alcoholism. So he created two apps: Step Away and Stand Down, confidential ‘management tools’ that help people spot and track triggers and issues, then change destructive behaviours. Tailored support encourages progress, and success is celebrated over time. Ongoing trials show that the apps work, helping to reduce drinking by up to 50%.

"A lot of people don’t want to go to a therapist. The stigma is huge. We are taking away the barriers. This is a way for people to privately get help right there on their phone"

Bob Kaufman

Alaska.org

Anchorage

1,700+

3


Climbing Denali Mountain made Bob realize that in Alaska, local knowledge is everything. The trip inspired him to relocate and set up a company that shares local insights. He'd always felt that life is an adventure, and wanted others to have the same experience. With The Alaska App, people can get travel information and hear stories of the land and its people – as if they were chatting to a local. Over the past year, the growing number of independent travelers in Alaska has contributed to the app's popularity.

“You reach a whole different demographic with Google Play. There are young, adventurous people, who’ve never camped in a place like this, who’ll come to Alaska and hire someone to drop them off in the wilderness”

Ezra Jay

Greenstand

Anchorage

5,000+

6


Greenstand is a non-profit organization and movement founded by Ezra, a medical response bush pilot. With the help of a vibrant open source community, they created an app to monitor the impact of tree-planting projects, and their app Treetracker follows the progress of newly-planted trees via geotagged photos. This helps to fight deforestation, and build transparency into tree-growing projects. Greenstand has around 60 active members plus several hundred contributors across the US and beyond. The Treetracker database currently contains over 2.1 million trees.

“Google Play is available in over 190 countries, and that was key. Android was always the common language and common operating system that allowed us to gain access to the farmer on the ground”

Stories from Alaska

Gregg Murset

BusyKid

Scottsdale

100,000+

12


Gregg, a father of six and former financial planner, is passionate about instilling money confidence early on. His app BusyKid lets parents reward their children for chores like babysitting and lawn mowing. Money is added to the child’s account via bank transfer or credit card. Children are empowered to choose how much to save, spend, donate, or even invest. During the pandemic, with more children at home, BusyKid's usage flourished. The app also helps families to get their kids into good habits from a young age.

“The BusyPay feature is essentially a QR code a kid can show their neighbor after mowing their lawn, and have the neighbor pay them with a credit card. It facilitates kids being more entrepreneurial”

Gary Denham

Wamba Studios

Scottsdale

25,000+

10


Gary was interviewing the original designer of Waffle Smash for a job. The designer told him the reason why he created the game - to help his son, who has cerebral palsy, with mobility and finger dexterity. Moved by this story, Gary offered to acquire the rights and work with the designer to overhaul and develop it. The app, featuring Waffleton the Waffle and his mischievous breakfast friends, is a connect-three game focusing on hand-eye coordination. Launched a few months ago, it’s already been played by tens of thousands of people around the world.

“As an entrepreneur, I can't ask for more. The core of any successful business is for people to see your product and easily acquire it. Google Play has empowered independent game makers to get world class distribution directly”

Ron Robertson

Ken Robertson

Picmonic

Phoenix

202,900+

20


Studying for his medical board exams, Ron couldn’t remember much of what he’d learned in med school. Out of frustration, he created pictures and stories to help him remember tricky terminology. It worked, and he passed with flying colors. Keen to share his solution, he teamed up with his brother Ken to launch visual learning app Picmonic, with a mission to modernize education. The app, which now has four versions, helps medical students across 120 countries to learn and pursue their dreams. Picmonic was acquired in 2021 by online education platform TrueLearn.

“We get students telling us that Picmonic made the difference between them failing and passing exams, and that it enabled them to continue to pursue their dreams. That feels amazing to myself and the team”

Stories from Arizona

Christina Bharara

Christina Bharara

Rogers

66,000+

1


Christina, a self-taught developer, created her first app over a decade ago to learn Hindi, her husband’s native language. She then started blending the language lessons with simple games, finding that playing while learning incentivizes people. Her next game will be a love story set in India, with language quizzes at the end of each chapter. She also wants to revisit and develop her other published titles. For Christina, the joy of being an independent developer isn’t about the number of downloads, but the opportunity to be creative with no limits.

“I’m trying to see how people learn a language best. Having a little gamification in there, like solving the topics, helps people feel accomplished. They have an incentive to go back and learn more”

Ron E. Harbut, M.D, Ph.D

Nanolume

Hot Springs

3,000+

1


After 28 years as a doctor, Ron had helped a lot of patients. He found, however, that many struggled to explain the nature and intensity of their pain. So he created Pain Tracker & Diary, an app that uses visual aids to record complex or chronic pain in a comprehensive way. The patient can show the diary to their doctor, and determine if treatment is working. Ron launched first in English-speaking countries, then expanded. He continues to develop the app based on feedback, and recently added a feature which lets people remotely submit pain data to physicians.

“Medically speaking, it allows patients to better understand what they feel, and allows me and other doctors to pick the best drugs to treat the type of pain they feel”

Justin French

AngelEye Health

Little Rock

67,300+

39


Justin worked as a software developer at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Doctors and nurses in the university’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) saw how hard it was for new parents separated from their babies. Justin joined forces with the medical team, and they created a streaming video service, enabling parents to stay connected with their newborns when away from hospital. The AngelEye Mobile app started in the university hospital and is now available in 130 NICUs across the US. A recent new feature lets moms track and log their breast milk inventory, and parents chat with lactation support staff.

“It’s very difficult during a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit stay for families to be engaged with their baby, or engaged with the care team. Our role is to use technology to make that possible”

Stories from Arkansas

Alice Mongkongllite

Michael Gao

Chin and Cheeks

San Diego

471,500+

2


Married couple Alice and Michael were using an instruction book to train their dog Loki. Finding it impractical, they looked for an app instead – but struggled to find something that suited them. So, with the help of a celebrity dog-trainer, they created their own. Puppr breaks down training into easy-to-follow steps, from basic obedience like “sit” and “stay” to advanced tricks like “fetch leash”. Dog owners loved it, and it soon won the Google Play Editor’s Choice title. Recently, Alice and Michael added a feature that lets owners live-chat with pro trainers.

“Google Play, and just Android development tools in general have been very beneficial for us. Developing an app is not easy, but all the technologies just come together and that’s been amazing”

Jenova Chen

Thatgamecompany

Santa Monica

16,800,000+

93


While studying at film school, Jenova asked himself a question: could a game make you cry like a movie could? With a mission to go against mainstream gaming and touch people’s humanity, he created thatgamecompany. His latest release, Sky: Children of the Light, is a peaceful social adventure. Players return fallen stars to their constellations by solving mysteries, making friends and helping others. Jenova wants to evoke emotions – like compassion and vulnerability – in his players, and many consider his games therapeutic. Sky is constantly evolving, with new attractions, seasonal events and expansion of levels.

“We never really think about inventing technology. We're trying to touch people's humanity, and technology enables us to do that. Over two billion people use smartphones, and they are craving more diverse content”

Ivana De Maria

StoryPlace

Los Angeles

26,000+

4


After graduating in Business and Law, Ivana moved from Boston to LA – where she now works as an actress, producer and entrepreneur. Her love for true stories led her to her create StoryPlace: an online community where people can share their stories in a simple journaling style. The app also runs competitions, giving contributors the chance to have their stories adapted for content. StoryPlace now has 30,000+ stories worldwide, with one movie, three TV shows, a book and a podcast currently in development. Next, Ivana plans to add e-learning tools to help people improve their storytelling skills.

“The main audience is usually people who want to express themselves, but don't. People who maybe don't feel like their voice matters in other spaces. That's a very important thing I've seen.”

Stories from California

Daniel Miller

Daily Workout Apps

Steamboat Springs

42,000,000+

1


In 2009, Dan quit his job as a manufacturing engineer to be a stay-at-home dad with newborn twins. As they grew older, he craved a new challenge and wanted to get fit. So he taught himself basic coding and built an app, Daily Ab Workout. People loved it, and Dan ended up translating it into 35 languages. He now has 14 apps on Google Play, and his flagship app Daily Workouts has over 10 million downloads. It features short, step-by-step videos to target and strengthen the major muscle groups.

“I just jumped into it. I didn't have a developer background and I quit a good job to try this idea in app development. It really worked out and it's been an incredible journey”

Om Gupta

Dmitry Nikolenko

CryptoBees

Parker

3,500,000+

3


Om and Dmitry were colleagues at a software engineering company. One day over lunch, they were talking about how tedious and inefficient they found some of their tasks. They decided to take action, and set about building an app. miMind is a simple but powerful mind-mapping tool for organizing thoughts, laying out schemes, and sharing them with friends and co-workers. It helps people to be more productive in a fun, visual way. Om and Dmitry developed miMind using their own technology, which they recently made available to other developers.

“Google Play has been our primary tool to reach people because we haven’t had any funds for marketing but we still managed to move to the top of our category”

Matt Larson

Rustin Banks

Human Improvement Project

Boulder

1,200,000+

4


Matt is a philanthropist and serial tech entrepreneur. One day he posed a question to fellow CEO Rustin: what’s the single most important thing we could do to improve our families’ wellbeing? To find answers, they founded the Human Improvement Project, working with leading psychologists and neuroscientists on research that led to creating In Love While Parenting and The Happy Child. The apps – translated into 15 languages – offer free insights and lessons to help couples develop lasting relationships while raising happy, well-adjusted children. Matt’s next goal is to partner with organizations to reach as many families as possible.

“Google Play has helped us reach a global audience from financially bigger markets to lower income ones. In our perspective, every child’s worth is exactly the same and we want to reach people where they are”

Stories from Colorado

William King

Night Cat Productions

Clinton

4,800,000+

1


William caught the technology bug while working as a marine engineer. He studied computer science and, after helping a friend build an app, started searching for his own idea. A colleague’s ironic comment about some terrible weather provided the spark. What the Forecast?! is a weather app that tells you, with a healthy dose of humor, what it’s like outside. William’s company Night Cat Productions now has three titles, including What the Future?! and Back Seat Navigator.

“I feel like if I can make people laugh – a little bit – then somebody’s life is a little bit better than it was”

Nick

Jessica

Alex Ortner

The Tapping Solution

Newtown

588,000+

18


Nick is a filmmaker, writer and now, app developer. In 2007, he made a documentary about “tapping” therapy – also known as Emotional Freedom Technique – which combines modern psychology with ancient Chinese acupressure. His follow-up book became a bestseller, but Nick realized that an app would be the most effective way to reach more people. With the help of his siblings Jessica and Alex, Nick created The Tapping Solution. The app now features 400+ meditations for lowering stress, improving sleep, relieving pain, and more.

“Therapists and coaches working with clients say ‘When I'm not there at 2am, on a Tuesday night, and my client has an anxiety attack, they can use this tool to feel better.’ That's what motivates us”

Viva Chu

Good Boy Studios

Greenwich

794,000+

16


Viva studied computer science and always had a fascination for games. When he got his new puppy, Coder, he couldn’t help flooding social media with pictures. Seeing the joy people got from sharing, Viva decided to use his developer skills to create something fun for the community. Pet Parade is a photo contest app that lets owners play games and share pictures of their pets – from cats and dogs to parrots and hamsters. Photos with a high “cuteness score” earn rewards, such as toys, treats and gift cards from pet supply stores.

“Having Pet Parade within Google Play, where we can see the reviews, is really great. The tools are great too; being able to test different marketing messages, images and videos is very important to us”

Stories from Connecticut

Sam Dolbel

SINC

Wilmington

158,000+

10


Sam used to run construction companies, and often wondered how to log hours worked by employees spread across multiple sites. With no software available, he decided to create his own. The SINC Time Clock app lets employees keep track of their hours, and employers monitor tasks performed. This saves tons of time and paperwork, and gives insights to help with quoting for projects. With many construction companies moving to multi-site working, the app has seen significant growth. In 2021, SINC logged 5 million employee shifts from 6000+ businesses around the world.

“You don’t need a technical background. You can just teach yourself everything now on the internet. While it’s a super complicated problem that we’re solving, it’s not as out of reach as people might think”

Surinder Sharma

Smart Kidz Club

Bear

476,000+

5


Surinder worked for many years in the publishing industry. Her second child wasn’t that interested in books – and Surinder, an avid reader - wanted to change that. So she started Smart Kidz Club as a passion project for her kids’ school. Soon it became her primary business. An educational content platform, the app offers content such as read-to-me eBooks, learning games and toddler sing-alongs. Surinder now has three apps, and her library of 1,000+ books and 5,000+ resources is updated regularly based on parent feedback.

“In fourth-grade classes across the whole USA, 65% of kids are below proficient in reading. So we hope that every parent can use our app to actually bring up the reading levels of their kids”

Vivek Dave

RV App Studios

Wilmington

370,000,000+

55


When his daughter was born, Vivek already had a successful game company. But as a new dad, his perspective on life changed. He wanted his daughter to be empowered, and knew this would begin with a strong education. Inspired to help her and other families, Vivek and his team started creating free educational games alongside their revenue-making apps. The popular Puzzle Kids features animal-themed shape matching, guess-the-object and jigsaws. Vivek often hears stories of success, such as non-verbal kids who start talking because of his games, or illiterate adults learning math.

“I am lucky I have been able to bring my passion and purpose together, and I am able to make a living out of it”

Stories from Delaware

Justin Park

Intergalactic Education

Washington

2,000+

2


Since he was a teenager, Justin wanted to make video games. So he taught himself to code and went on to study computer science. His company, Intergalactic Education, creates games focused on space, science and math. It now has five apps, in which players can learn about launching rockets, discover new planets, and play sports in a microgravity arena. Justin works in partnership with schools in the local area, inspiring kids to learn useful skills, be curious about space and – of course – have fun.

“We're trying to teach kids that if they study hard, they can go into the space industry when they graduate”

Frederick Schaedtler

Rails-to-Trails Conservancy

Washington

100,000+

50


An outdoor enthusiast, Frederick works for Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and oversees the TrailLink app – a database of public paths created from former railroad corridors. His team has converted geospatial data of these trails into over 40,000 miles of mapped paths. Using this data, TrailLink allows people to discover trails nearby for cycling, jogging and walking. Since the pandemic, more people are looking for local outdoor activities – and most trails found in the app are urban, multi-use and accessible. TrailLink has filters for terrain, distance, use, popularity, and people can upload reviews and photos to share with friends.

“We wanted to cater for all audiences and be as inclusive as possible, so it was a no-brainer to add the TrailLink app in Google Play for everyone”

DeShuna Elisa Spencer

kweliTV

Washington

14,300+

2


With her background in journalism, DeShuna isn’t a typical tech founder. Frustrated by the lack of Black representation on-screen, she decided to do something about it. She created kweliTV, a streaming service that acts as a platform for Black voices. It works with 430+ global filmmakers – 91% of African heritage, and 50% women. Over the past year kweliTV has doubled in size, and is currently adding 20 new titles a month. The team is working on adding a chat feature, as well as crowdfunding for its filmmakers.

“Google Play has played a huge role in us getting to the next level. In the past year it helped us boost our subscriber base”

Stories from District Of Columbia

Gustavo Rodriguez

Juan Pablo Mejia

BabySparks

Miami

4,655,800+

18


When former investment banker Gustavo became a parent, he learned that 85% of a child’s brain is fully developed within their first three years. He wanted the best start for his son, but couldn’t find resources tailored to his needs, including possible developmental delays. So he partnered with Juan – who’d had plenty of startup experience – to create BabySparks. The app allows parents to track their baby’s developmental milestones, offering personalized daily activity programs plus research-based articles. Recently, BabySparks added a premium feature that lets parents talk directly to experts.

“The most rewarding aspect of our work is we're democratising access to support and having lifelong impact on millions of children and families”

Mike Newman

Sharon Newman

Big Duck Games

Miami

253,400,000+

4


While working at a big tech company, husband and wife Mike and Sharon started developing apps as a side project. As they realized they could make money doing something fun and creative, their hobby became a career. Within months of launching, their simple but addictive puzzle game Flow Free was number one in the US. The aim is to match colors with pipes to create a flow – without pipes overlapping (otherwise they’ll break). Big Duck Games now has eight titles on Google Play, and over 250 million downloads.

“This game was our first child. We made it and it's had quite a lot of impact and enjoyment for players. It's lasted way longer than we could have ever expected. It's been amazing to do it”

Jonathan Meson

Marcos Meson

Visual Blasters

Miami

39,600,000+

7


When brothers Jonathan and Marcos were kids, they’d spend hours splicing VHS tapes to create stop-motion animations. Now, their company’s most popular app FlipaClip makes this process easy, and is loved by people around the world. It lets you quickly learn photo or frame animation, draw pictures and turn them into gifs – then share what you’ve made on social media. Recently, the brothers launched Animatics: contests to challenge the creator community. Despite millions of downloads, they feel they’ve only scratched the surface, and have big things planned for the app.

“What keeps me motivated is the work of the creators who enjoy our app. It is pure entertainment and exciting to see”

Stories from Florida

Christian Zimmerman

Nate Washington

Qoins

Atlanta

11,360+

10


Christian and Nate know what it means to struggle financially. Christian was the first in his family to finish college, and after graduation he could barely pay his student loan or personal debts. Nate couldn’t afford to go to school, and for a while had to sleep in his car. After meeting at a networking event and sharing stories, they decided to create an app. Qoins is a personal debt manager offering tools and advice to help build healthy money habits. So far, it's enabled thousands of people to pay off over $20 million of debt.

“We're just a tool for making those changes in your financial life, to make better decisions. And I did that for myself, but that's what we're doing for our customers as well”

Jenna Jambeck

Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative

Athens

92,500+

2


Environmental engineer Jenna always loved technology. She took computer programming classes as a kid, at a time when girls weren’t encouraged to pursue tech. She developed the Marine Debris Tracker app after seeing colleagues struggle to manage data on ocean waste. It allows volunteers to report the litter they find in oceans and waterways – such as plastic bags, straws and fishing gear. This information is now helping policy-makers and businesses take action. Since the app was put on Google Play, over 5 million debris items have been logged in 90+ countries.

“Yes, I had this idea, but it's so much bigger than me now. Many people are engaging with it. That's special. And it wouldn't have happened, honestly, without a platform like Google Play”

Hannah Lucas

Charlie Lucas

Bee & Bug

Atlanta

18,400+

2


Diagnosed with a chronic illness that causes fainting spells, Hannah was bullied and sexually threatened at school. She found herself unable to cope and, following a suicide attempt, came up with the idea for an app. Her brother Charlie is a self-taught coder and built the prototype, aged just 12 at the time. notOK is a digital panic button to get someone immediate support via text, phone call or GPS. The kids pitched it to their mom, and the family hired developers to work with Charlie. Today Hannah is 19, in college, and CEO of this non-profit.

“I made this app for my sister, and what motivates me is never having to see anyone go through what she did. She had zero support because no one knew”

Stories from Georgia

Mark Watkins

The Hawaii Project

Kailua

7,800+

1


Mark has always been an avid reader. He gave his teenage son a copy of one of his favorite books – but it sat unread on the shelf. Ten years later, living far away in Chicago, Mark’s son finally picked up the novel and started to read. They began discussing it, texting back and forth. Inspired by this, Mark created Bookship, a virtual book club app that gives people a shared reading experience. Readers can meet online to discuss books, browse recommendations, post photos of favorite passages, and connect with authors.

“People are finding strangers from all over the world to read books with, creating relationships that didn’t exist before, and that’s really exciting”

Dr. Steven Businger

Paul Cynn

Rainbowchase.com

Honolulu

300+

6


As Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Hawaii, Steven has spent most of his life watching the weather. He and co-founder Paul decided to create a rainbow-finding app “to make people happy”. By combining radar and satellite data with the position of the sun, RainbowChase tells you when and where a rainbow is visible. Initially focused on Hawaii, they expanded last summer to the West Coast, and plan to reach all US states next. Steven and Paul want to help people experience the simple magic of rainbows across the world.

“We want to bring smiles to people's faces. That's our main goal. And to make people look at the environment, look at the sky. It provides people with an additional view of their surroundings”

Simone Kirstein, Ph.D

Dennis Jost

Kulana Media Productions

Honolulu

6,000,000+

2


Simone has built over 100 apps from scratch, from design to coding. She originally made Vacation Countdown for herself, as she’s always loved counting down the days until her next adventure. It’s now her most popular app, with new features added regularly. Kulana Media, which she runs with co-founder Dennis, currently has 28 titles on Google Play, including countdowns for birthdays, retirements and weddings. Simone and Dennis are proud to help people share the excitement and anticipation of big life events.

“I didn’t do any marketing until a couple of years ago, but because we just put a good description, nice images and screenshots on the store, I feel like Google Play did the work for us”

Stories from Hawaii

Mandi Hamilton

R.D. Sortor

Get Along

Idaho Falls

1,600+

3


Couple Mandi and R.D. love travel and adventure, and created Get Along to find like-minded people. The idea was sparked after R.D visited Colombia. As he couldn't speak any Spanish, he struggled to find a local who could show him around. The app allows people – at home or on holiday – to find and join nearby activities, or organize their own. From white water rafting to mountain biking, or a simple walk on the beach. Mandi and R.D. encourage people to use the app to connect and embrace new experiences.

“If we can put our own little mark on the world, and change even one person's life, that warms our hearts. We love helping people make a really good friend, or have an awesome time somewhere”

Michael Blood

Matraex

Boise

2,510,000+

8


Michael started coding as a teenager. He loved creating snippets of software to solve problems, like helping people list their antiques on auction sites. When a story hit the news that 3.3 billion email addresses were released on the dark web, Michael built an app so he could check if his own passwords were hacked. Then he pointed his family and friends to it, and it grew from there. Hack Check is now Michael's most popular app, one of 15 online security tools made by his company Matraex.

“I like how on Google Play you can just pin the apps you want to pay attention to and get the most important stats on them on the dashboard, like number of people using them, income and in-app purchases”

Jason Hausske

Cauze

Boise

1,100+

5


Jason worked in the tech industry for decades, and moved into apps when he discovered an unmet social need. He saw that people wanted to give more to charity but were often overwhelmed because donating was spread over so many platforms. Cauze was created to empower givers. It lets people search and donate to over 1.5 million non-profits, then post it on their personal profile so that friends and family can follow and donate too. After two years on Google Play, Cauze passed $2 million in donations, raised investment, and began expanding internationally.

“l like the speed at which updates can be made and approved with Google Play”

Stories from Idaho

Sam Glassenberg

Level Ex

Chicago

300,000+

135


Sam had a successful career in game development. He comes from a family of doctors, and one day his dad asked him to create a game to train medical professionals. Sam built it over a few weekends, published it and forgot about it. Two years later, he discovered it had been used by 100,000 medical professionals, and studies showed it improved their performance. His company Level Ex now makes games to accelerate specialist skills, from cardiology to anesthesia. In 2021, they launched Top Derm, which educates in recognizing disease on skin of color.

“We're able to attract top talent from the games industry and healthcare because of the company’s mission. They want to use those skills, not only to create great content but also to help doctors and patients”

Dan Novaes

Kiran Panesar

Mode Mobile

Chicago

30,000,000+

102


Dan’s first business, importing goods, was making $2 million per year when he left high school. In college, he built a music-streaming site that attracted millions of listeners. With experience in profitable startups, he joined forces with his friend Kiran, a software developer, and in 2018 they made what is now known as the Mode Earn App. It lets you earn money through everyday activities like playing games, listening to music, and more. With 30 million+ downloads, it’s paid out tens of millions of dollars to people worldwide. They’ve recently launched a “self-subsidizing” Android smartphone called Mode Earn Phone.

“Our vision for the next five years is to fully subsidize the phone and data plan and give it to everyone for free. If we could do that, we’d change the world for billions of people”

Mark Lawrence

Larry Kiss

SpotHero

Chicago

1,000,000+

210


After amassing thousands of dollars in parking-ticket fines, Mark and Larry thought there might be a need for a parking reservation app. So they built SpotHero, which in its first decade, parked more than 40 million cars in 300 cities. It's now helping millions of drivers in 7,500+ locations across North America sort out stress-free parking: airports, garages, lots, on-street and valets. They recently launched on Android Auto, allowing drivers to see, navigate to and redeem SpotHero reservations via their car’s head unit.

“Distributing on Google Play has allowed us to streamline our marketing efforts, and acquire an Android audience at scale. Without a stable distribution channel we would not be able to maintain consistent acquisition levels”

Stories from Illinois

BáiYù

Project Ensō

Mooresville

139,000+

1


Queer developer BáiYù loves writing stories, and started making games aged 16. Part of a game-development community, BáiYù wanted an affordable way to help get their creations out. So they set up Project Ensō, publishing queer visual novels and narrative indie games. With 10 titles on Google Play, BáiYù supports developers by polishing their games before release. They often get feedback saying the games changed people’s lives. The most popular is Yearning: A Gay Story, in which gamers play a newly-out gay man navigating his freshman year of college. New titles are being developed, all featuring characters not often represented in mainstream media.

“By bringing these stories to mobiles, you give young people the ability to explore gender and sexuality with more privacy. I wish there was something like this when I was growing up, because it would’ve changed my life”

Katara McCarty

Exhale App

Indianapolis

3,500+

1


Katara grew up affected by issues still faced by many Black Indigenous Women of Color (BIWOC). She was abandoned by her biological mother, became a single mom at 19 and escaped an abusive relationship. Realizing the traumatic stress that she – and others – held onto, she wanted to create something to counter the effects of oppression. With the help of her husband Ryan, she made Exhale, the first emotional wellbeing app for BIWOC. She wrote meditations and breathwork techniques, recorded them in her closet, and found a DIY app-making platform. Exhale is now available in 55 countries, and won a 2021 Webby award.

“We wanted to make it as accessible as possible. So putting it on Google Play was a no-brainer”

Wale Mafolasire

Givelify

Indianapolis

710,000+

96


Wale often found himself failing to donate in church because he didn't have any cash – and there was a long queue for the card machine. He’d always plan to donate later, but life got in the way. So in 2013, he created Givelify. Indiana University research guided the team in the app’s design and in better understanding the psychology of philanthropy. Givelify lets you donate – in three taps – to your place of worship, or any non-profit cause. Over $3 billion have now been donated through the app.

“Google Play helps you to get started very quickly. You don't have to go build everything yourself. The Android platform has very good documentation and design guidelines, even if you’ve never built an app before”

Stories from Indiana

Adam Keune

Ben O'Connor

Alec Whitters

Higher Learning Technologies

Coralville

4,500,000+

45


In dental school, Alec used paper flashcards to study for his exams. Eventually, fed up with having to carry them around, he had the idea to create an app. Together with his friends Adam and Ben, he built Dental Boards Mastery. It offers exam simulations, video lessons, quizzes and easy-to-follow explanations, so that dentistry students can revise for important exams on the go. It was a big success, and their company now has 120+ educational apps – most of them for health sciences – available in 190+ countries around the world.

“Google Play made it possible for three guys in Iowa who are passionate about changing education to go after it. How would we have built an education company and reach people in so many countries without this platform?”

Lee Bellon

Eggtooth

West Des Moines

129,400+

4


Like many, Lee and his family became tired of receiving unwanted gifts, and struggling to choose the perfect present for others. Lee wanted to solve this problem, so he developed Wishfinity. It's an app that lets people create a gift list and share it – via text, email or any social channel – with friends and loved ones. Lists can include any kind of gift: products, experiences, subscriptions or cash. Wishfinity also acts as a social network, where people can interact and get inspired by each other’s choices.

“I think the reason our apps have 5-star reviews is because we try to listen to customers, make them happy, and act on their feedback as quickly as we can”

Mike Montoya

Skater Dad Software

Eldridge

97,400+

1


Mike is a chemical engineer who loves programming as a hobby. He was inspired to create Santa Skate by his young daughters: he wanted to make a kid-friendly game, with simple controls, for them to have fun. Though Mike had no ambitions to achieve high downloads, the game was a big hit and inspired him to keep going. He was even more surprised when his second release, Apple Spider, was featured as Game of the Week on Google Play. After this great response, Mike is currently preparing a new combat-style shopping game, inspired by Black Friday.

“As far as impact goes, I really just wanted to have the reputation of making games that are just for fun. I try to keep them simple and pure”

Stories from Iowa

Deborah Gladney

Angela Muhwezi-Hall

QuickHire

Wichita

4,200+

10


While working as a career and education advisor, Angela saw the struggles people faced trying to find work – especially without a decent CV or access to computers. During the pandemic, it became even more evident that people needed to find work quickly. So she partnered with her sister Deborah, a PR professional, to create QuickHire. The app connects job seekers with the latest opportunities, focusing on the retail and hospitality sectors. A popular new QuickHire feature lets people add a video introduction to make their CV stand out.

“Originally, being able to connect people to jobs quickly, effectively and efficiently was our big thing, especially in the pandemic, when people were losing jobs. Now, we're very much focused on career development and talent retention”

Ken Lord MD

Vinay Shah MD

Rohit Krishna MD

Cloud Nine Development

Overland Park

140,000+

10


As smartphones became popular, eye care professionals Ken, Vinay and Rohit decided to create an app. They wanted to share their passion, and be at the forefront of technology. Eye Handbook makes diagnostic and treatment tools easily accessible to physicians and eye care professionals. Almost a decade after its launch, Ken and his partners came up with a new app to expand their reach. With Eye Patient, people can find information on eye conditions, test and track their vision, and connect with their doctor. The three plan to keep improving their apps to meet patients’ and doctors’ needs.

“Google Play is easy to work with. From a distribution standpoint, the reach is in 190 countries. The platform has broadened our capability to be in many people's hands”

Rick Perry

Starflower Solutions

Olathe

410,000+

1


Rick is always looking for new problems – because he loves to solve them. His company Starflower Solutions makes apps to help people do complex math in a simple way. He created his first and most popular app, a car loan payment calculator, as a final project in community college (and got an A). He now has seven apps on Google Play, including calculators for mortgage payments and restaurant tips. Rick’s latest release is Farm Feed Calculator Pro, helping farmers to work out weights and percentages of different supplies.

“Creating apps is fun and it is psychologically rewarding to see people downloading them. It is motivating to notice that I’m helping people solve problems”

Stories from Kansas

Kenny McPeek

Horse Races Now

Lexington

514,700+

1


A thoroughbred horseracing professional, Kenny was disappointed to find his sport wasn’t included on a leading app. Determined to change that, and make a difference to the industry he loves, Kenny launched Horse Races Now. The app lets people stream live races and replays from North American racetracks, share race updates via social media, and follow their favorite horses, trainers and jockeys. It also explains how racing works, and brings in newer, younger fans – a rewarding driver for Kenny. He plans to keep growing the app by adding international data and multiple languages.

“I think we’ve delivered the sport to a lot of young people that weren’t previously involved or didn’t know how to follow it”

Darren Keese

Cypher Cove

Lexington

7,630,000+

1


Mechanical engineer Darren became fascinated by live wallpapers. Just for fun, he taught himself how to make them, to customize his phone’s home screen. His company Cypher Cove now has 21 apps, including Audio Glow, which brings music to life on a phone with graphics that move to the beat. The popular Digital Embers, a live wallpaper, shoots hypnotic brightly-colored patterns across the screen to follow your fingertip. With customizable options, people can reflect their personality through their phone. Darren is currently busy working on updates and new themes.

“I enjoy the freedom of developing for Android; I can do it part-time, decide what projects I actually want to work on, and how much time I want to invest in them”

Jonathan Erwin

Red e App

Louisville

133,000+

25


With 30 years’ experience in tech companies, Jonathan knew how inefficient workplace communication could be – especially for those who don’t work at a desk. So he created the Red e App, a mobile-based hub that lets employees connect with their managers, access documents from anywhere, get benefits information and receive training. The app helps workers to feel more engaged and efficient in their roles. Since launching, it’s had a major impact on industries like construction, manufacturing and hospitality. Next, Jonathan wants to keep improving the app, and partner with software companies dedicated to workforce management.

“The turnaround, the efficiency, the productivity and the security, which is very big for us, have all been efficient on Google Play. And without any headaches or conflicts”

Stories from Kentucky

Tymeka Lawrence

Tymedia

Slidell

385,000+

10


Tymeka has always loved video games and being creative with computers. When her kids started mobile gaming, she noticed that there were very few authentic African American characters. So she created Kitchen Clout, a competitive cooking game that weaves in community culture, live-recorded music and culinary skills. Her trivia game, Know It or Blow It, features African American characters, based on her own family. Tymeka plans to update the games with new features, and release more titles to keep combatting underrepresentation.

“I was looking for games that featured more African American people and more of our culture. I didn’t see that. So, I thought that maybe we could create something, for others looking for the same thing”

Laurel Hess

Hampr

Lafayette

27,000+

14


Laurel, a working mom, was fed up with spending her weekends washing her kids’ clothes. She wondered why doing laundry wasn’t as simple as ordering groceries online. So, after doing some research, she decided to create an easy-to-use, affordable laundry service app. Hampr helps people reduce their chores by picking up their laundry, and returning it clean and folded the next day. It also helps the people doing the laundry to make some extra money from home. Hampr recently expanded to 15+ cities across eight states.

“It surprised me how much 'favoriting' would impact the washers. When they see a heart next to their order, they know they did a great job, which gives them pride in what they do”

Joe Landry

JPL Technical Solutions

Baton Rouge

50,000+

1


Joe has loved technology since the age of five and studied computer engineering at college. It was the norm, living in Louisiana, to keep an eye on storms during hurricane season. Joe couldn’t find an app for this, so he built Tropical Hurricane Tracker. It uses forecast data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to give people live updates on storms – including push notifications – so they can make quick decisions about their safety. Joe aims to expand to other parts of the world.

“I love seeing feedback and hearing how the app has helped people make decisions and be safe during hurricane season”

Stories from Louisiana

Kerry Gallivan

Chimani

Yarmouth

250,000+

1


Kerry has a big passion for the outdoors. One day while hiking, he was inspired to create something to help people have the best possible experience in America's national parks. The Chimani National Parks app offers maps and guides for 400+ locations across the US, including parks, monuments, seashores and historic sites. People can also collect badges and earn points for each park they visit, and create a wish list of places they’d love to see in the future.

“I'm a perpetual entrepreneur looking to solve problems, so I can help people have the best possible experience in our national parks.”

Amy VanHaren

Pumpspotting

Kittery

8,000+

4


After her second child was born, Amy returned to running a marketing agency. She was traveling the country and still breastfeeding, shipping milk home. One day, struggling to use a breast pump in an airport restroom, she felt fed up and isolated. This moment sparked the idea for Pumpspotting. It shows you the nearest places to pump or nurse, gives access to lactation consultants, articles, and a community of mothers for connection and support. In the past year, Amy overhauled the app after a funding boost, and – via their work programme – it’s now available to 30,000 employees in Maine.

“I bought a 40-ft RV and turned it into a nursing suite, living on it for months while traveling across the country. It was a literal vehicle to unite parents and introduce them to the app”

Christopher York

Blue Ox Family Games

Caribou

1,750,000+

19


As a kid in the 80s, Christopher programmed simple games for fun. A few decades later, the rise of smartphones allowed him to revisit his passion. When his mother fell ill, he started making word games to keep them both occupied during her treatments, and later set up Blue Ox Family Games. 7 Little Words, a bite-size word puzzle, took off unexpectedly in 2011. Now with a team of 19, Christopher still finds it unbelievable that – from a small rural town in Maine – he can reach hundreds of thousands of people every day.

“It's amazing that from a small rural town in Maine, surrounded by trees and farms, every day we can reach people all over the world”

Stories from Maine

Ryan Hanna

Benjamin Young

Gregory Coleman

Sworkit Health

Bethesda

9,602,600+

14


In 2012, Ryan was in the US Army Reserve, working as a computer technician. He hated the gym but had to stay fit for the army. Wanting a more engaging workout, he taught himself to code and built an exercise app. He wore a green-screen suit to make the videos, and his wife recorded the voiceover (under a duvet). Sworkit is all about customization – users choose exercise type, length and the instructor’s voice. It became popular and was bought by Nexercise, where co-founders Greg and Ben helped Ryan expand. Sworkit is now in 13 languages, supports businesses with “company challenges”, and is used in 15,000+ schools worldwide.

“We can innovate faster with Google Play. We can get our releases out faster, get feedback and fix bugs quicker. You need to be a fast-moving company to give people the support they need”

Greg Anderson

Simplicial Software

Baltimore

63,000,000+

1


Greg was a software engineer and had the urge for something more creative. He loved gaming and remembers writing games on his TI 83 calculator in middle school. So he founded his company Simplicial, and began developing apps and games. Nebulous is a real-time, multiplayer game with one mission: grow your “blob” by collecting dots and gobbling up other players. Set in space, it’s deceptively simple while obeying the laws of physics. Players can team up with others worldwide for mini games – like Battle Royale and Capture The Flag. One of nine Simplicial titles, Nebulous has 50 million+ downloads on Google Play.

“It’s been really exhilarating. I enjoy the freedom of setting my own requirements and working on my own creations. Overall, it's really helped me grow as a developer and as a business owner”

Dominic Crapuchettes

North Star Games

Kensington

500,600+

10


Since he was a kid, Dominic loved playing and making board games. After a near-death experience during his time as a captain of a fishing boat, he decided to switch careers and started programming. He set up North Star Games - a company that makes beautifully illustrated digital and physical games with a science backbone. The award-winning Evolution, a “strategy game of adaptation”, is used as a study tool by hundreds of educators. North Star Games recently expanded Evolution with climate components, and their upcoming title Nature adds new elements to the ecosystem such as avian species and different biomes.

“There's a couple of things I really like about Google Play. One is the bug reports – that's been very helpful. And the new managed publishing tools have been awesome”

Stories from Maryland

Tony Liu

Peter Lee

Billy Lan

JobGet

Boston

700,000+

60


After seeing his mother struggle to find a new job, Tony teamed up with friends Billy and Peter on a mission to shake up the job-hunting process for hourly workers. They were shocked at how time-consuming and stressful it was, so they created JobGet: an app that speedily matches workers to suitable jobs. Candidates can chat to employers online, and get hired almost immediately. This year they added a Community feature, and are focused on making it even easier for people to connect. JobGet has won several awards, including the Global Grand Prize in MIT’s Inclusion Innovation Challenge.

“We had a user who could not find work. He downloaded the app, got hired and was so grateful because he can now support his daughter and wife. It is really hard to measure the exact impact because it is intangible”

Andrey Vyshedskiy

ImagiRation

Boston

1,000,000+

15


As a neuroscientist, Andrey understands the importance of imagination in a child’s development. With co-founders Rita, Alex, Jonah and Lisa, he set up ImagiRation, which builds language tools for kids. Their app uses MITA (Mental Imagery Therapy for Autism), with fun visual activities to educate and engage, and is intended for long-term daily use. For Andrey, a highlight is enabling parents to become language therapists, by offering the right resources and guidelines. A recent clinical study of 6,000+ children with autism showed that those who used the app had twice the improvement of those who didn’t.

“The Association of Pediatricians recommends that these children have 40 hours a week of therapy but most only get a couple of hours. This app helps parents to fill the gap and become therapists themselves”

Patrick Wetherille

FitNow

Boston

19,100,000+

47


Before Patrick started working at FitNow, he’d already lost 50 pounds with their app Lose It! – a calorie-counting food tracker recommended by a friend at a party. Now CEO, Patrick has transformed the business to be more profitable and sustainable, while keeping focused on supporting those seeking a healthier lifestyle. Lose It! has helped people shed over 100 million pounds in excess weight. During the past year, Patrick oversaw the buyout of their initial investors, making the company 100% employee and founder owned.

“Google Play has been really at the cutting edge of helping app developers do their best to optimize their marketing. The ability to test your assets is a marketer’s dream”

Stories from Massachusetts

Roger Bassous

Richard Bassous

Rerware

Rochester

4,000,000+

2


Brothers Richard and Roger shared a love of computers from an early age, and eventually worked as software developers. 15 years ago, when mobiles were entering the market, Richard had the idea to create a backup app – because he hadn’t been able to find one. MyBackup started as a platform for saving contacts to SD memory cards. Over time it developed, and now people can backup their music, apps, photos, contacts and more to any Android device, card or cloud. Richard and Roger plan to keep updating their app, while maintaining its simplicity and reliability.

“Google Play has the channels, the reach and the distribution. We didn't have to do much, except post it”

Nadine Lee

Throdle

Ypsilanti

1,100+

1


Nadine had long been a member of car-enthusiast chat groups, but wanted a better way to share her passion. So she created Throdle, a niche social network that lets people connect with other motorheads, explore car clubs, join events and show off their car collections. Throdle also produces video content to inspire enthusiasts and bring members' stories to life. Recently, the app became an official sponsor of the US motorsports series Formula DRIFT and offered exclusive behind the scenes content allowing fans to engage with their posts. Next, Nadine wants to promote more women-led car groups.

“For an app to succeed you need to build a growing community, but it is even more important to find a way to keep that community engaged”

Ken Morse

Ilium Software

Plymouth

63,900+

4


When the first mobile devices were launched, Ken became very intrigued and decided to go into this industry. He joined Ilium Software to lead the company as devices became faster, smaller and more powerful. Their most successful tool, eWallet, organizes and protects all the information we carry in our wallets such as credit card numbers, IDs and passwords. The app became a trailblazer in the tech space, influencing many other password-management tools. Recent additions include biometric features that let people unlock their digital wallet using a fingerprint, iris scan or facial recognition.

“Google Play has a broad distribution as it's available on a variety of Android devices, so using it was a no-brainer for us”

Stories from Michigan

Keith Pichelman

Mike Lehne

Concrete Software

Minneapolis

61,296,300+

30


Keith grew up playing computer games with his dad and tinkering with old phones. He was working in software engineering, selling simple games to mobile brands, when he felt inspired to make his own. He co-founded Concrete Software with Mike in 2003, and they launched their first blockbuster hit. Concrete now has eight titles on Google Play, from Golf to Gin Rummy. PBA Bowling Challenge is a favorite with fans, with 10 million+ downloads. Recently, they took part in Google Play's Indie Games Accelerator program, and are planning to launch an 80s-inspired arcade game.

“We’re really excited about Google Play's Indie Games Accelerator program. It's so unique. It feels like they're really here to help us out and bring us to the next level”

Maria Burns Ortiz

AnnMaria De Mars

Dennis De Mars

7 Generation Games

Minneapolis

16,000+

11


After a successful sports journalism career, Maria wanted to build something inspired by growing up as a Latina in rural North Dakota. She teamed up with her mom AnnMaria, a teacher and computer programmer, and software developer Dennis, to set up 7 Generation Games. They make educational apps – in English, Spanish and indigenous languages – to improve math skills of Hispanic and Native American children. Making Camp Ojibwe is a village-building simulation where players earn points by answering math and social studies questions. During the pandemic, new funding helped get 7 Generation Games to more teachers and parents.

“We were so excited to see that kids who played our first game saw their math scores improve by 30% in the first ten weeks”

Shane Loeffler

Flyover Country

Minneapolis

119,700+

3


On flights, Shane was always captivated by the view from the window seat. But as a geologist, he wanted to share the stories behind the landscapes. After receiving funding from the National Science Foundation, he worked with a team to develop and launch Flyover Country while studying at the University of Minnesota. The app combines geological maps, fossil locations, points of interest, and more into a live mobile view that people can follow as they fly. The app works in less carbon-intensive settings too, such as road trips, train journeys and boat trips.

“Being an earth scientist, I could look down at the landscape and see stories playing out.”

Stories from Minnesota

Kaylin Brassfield

Crystal Game Works

Hernando

571

1


Kaylin started drawing her own visual novels and making role-playing games in high school. After winning a business competition at college, she founded Crystal Game Works with the prize money. She now has seven story-driven games on Google Play. Kaylin is passionate about making Otome (Japanese-style dating simulation games), and is proud to say they're created by women for women. She wants to keep producing fun games that feature underrepresented groups – and hopes they'll have a positive impact on players' lives.

“I want to create games that I'm passionate about, like romance games that include LGBTQA+ people. I'm just writing the world as I see it.”

Anne Turner

6 Brix

Madison

2,800+

1


Anne, a lawyer working with startups, always struggled with procrastination. When she noticed her teenage son was having the same problem, she decided to tackle it. Anne studied the psychology of putting things off, and designed an app. 6 Brix lets you create a to-do list for your goals, gently reminding you each day what’s important. Anne now uses it for new projects and her son uses it for viola practice. Her next step is to make the reward system more enticing, and expand 6 Brix to help as many procrastinators as possible.

“It's been an interesting road. It turned out that I had a worldwide development team. I've met a lot of interesting people on the journey that, when I started out, I never would have imagined meeting”

Toxey Haas

Mossy Oak

West Point

120,000+

125


Toxey set up Mossy Oak in 1986, with a mission to connect people with nature. They educate and inspire on habitat conservation, sell outdoor apparel and make video content for fishermen, hunters and nature lovers. It’s a family business, and his son Daniel works as Marketing Director. Their app Mossy Oak Go offers free streaming content to all US states and Canada. People can learn things like freshwater angling, mushroom foraging, recipes for wild game or how to make a bird box. The app has also helped Haas increase their product sales.

“In the past couple of years, we’ve seen lots of people who live in major metro areas aspire to get outside and be in nature, from fishing to planting trees. Our app helps them do that”

Stories from Mississippi

Adam Coster

Sam Coster

Seth Coster

Butterscotch Shenanigans

St. Louis

4,987,000+

6


Brothers Seth, Sam and Adam started Butterscotch Shenanigans back in 2012. A decade on, they’ve added two more family members to the team and have six games on Google Play. Butterscotch has a unique style: goofy and outlandish on the surface, beautifully crafted and thought-out underneath. In Crashlands, the player inhabits a galactic trucker whose shipment gets derailed by an alien menace, leaving her stranded on a foreign planet. The game was a big hit, and featured in many top-ten lists. The family take huge pride in their craft, always prioritizing players’ enjoyment.

”When we started and were still trying to figure out how to build the game, we found out that Google Play was very easy to work with. They have a nice focus on the developer experience”

Andrew Glantz

GiftAMeal

St. Louis

10,000+

11


After a boss introduced him to the idea of companies with a purpose, Andrew designed an app to support his local community. He had been brought up to give back – and that's what GiftAMeal does. Each time a customer uses the app to take a photo of their food at a participating restaurant, a meal is given to someone in need through a local food bank. Andrew estimates that 300 restaurants have now taken part, donating over 850,000 meals. His team is growing, and next he wants to go national and work with larger chains.

“We've created a high quality app that people can find and download easily. Being on Google Play has expanded our audience tremendously, supporting more restaurants and providing meals to our community”

Joe Duemig

Rose Duemig

Armstrong Software

Troy

20, 700+

2


In 2017, Rose and Joe were camping with their family. While at the RV resort, they planned to play mini-golf but it was closed, then missed a kids’ train ride, and couldn’t find the store’s opening hours. This sparked an idea: a white-label app for campgrounds and resorts to communicate with guests. Armstrong Software now serves over 100 US and Canadian resorts, and is expanding to towns and schools. Resorts update their own apps, which guests can use 24/7 to book excursions and even order firewood. Recently, the family did a road trip to research and improve their service.

“Our customers have expectations of distribution and Google Play has really helped. Are people using it? How many downloads do I have? We see the analytics, and we can go back to our customers”

Stories from Missouri

Doug Fales

Falesafe

Livingston

1,500+

2


A Livingston resident, Doug believes that Montana roads aren't snowplowed as much as other states in the winter. Partly because there are lots of roads but not many people. Wanting to make driving safer, Doug had the idea of creating PassWarrior. The app gives real-time information on road conditions or nearby incidents, and displays the latest snow and ice warnings – all easily readable on mobile. His goal is to provide safety and better quality of life in winter for fellow Montanans. He recently launched a new version of the app for neighboring Idaho, and has become a Google employee as of January 2022.

“For me, the goal is safety and improving the quality of life for fellow Montanans. One woman downloaded the app and said ‘Thank you, this takes my anxiety down for winter driving”

Mike Maser

Big Sky Health

Big Sky

2,500,000+

31


When Mike saw the benefits of intermittent fasting in helping him recover from cancer, he decided to make his next venture his most purposeful. He bought the fasting app Zero, and took it under the wing of his new wellness company Big Sky Health. People add their goals in the app, which creates a personalized fasting plan supported by leading content from health and longevity experts. Mike wants to encourage others to maintain a healthy lifestyle – not just for a few months, but the rest of their lives.

“We can make the best fasting tools in the world, but if we limit our reach, we won’t realize our mission’s full potential”

Jerry Bromenshenk

Bee Health Guru

Missoula

500+

7


Jerry has spent decades researching bees, and how their sounds communicate danger. For the US Army and the Department of Agriculture, he trained honey bees to detect chemical agents. In 2019, he teamed up with three other scientists to create Bee Health Guru. It listens to a hive via a cellphone’s microphone and reports in seconds on its health. For example, if the queen has died, or there's a mite infestation. This rapid assessment saves commercial beekeepers money and helps build community databases. Jerry now wants to enlist beekeepers and beekeeping associations to continuously improve the app and map outbreaks of bee pests and diseases.

“Rather than having to do lengthy visual inspections, commercial beekeepers running on very tight margins can quickly determine things like which colonies might have infections, or are failing, which saves money and makes beekeeping more efficient”

Stories from Montana

Kellee Mikuls

Richard Tom

Swish Boom

Omaha

900+

2


Kellee is a commercial real estate broker and mother of three. When she struggled to be present during professional events – or find quality time with her husband – she had the idea of creating an app that would make it easier to book babysitters. Her brother-in-law and co-founder, Richard, is a software engineer and father of three. They worked together to design Swishboom, an app that connects parents and child carers through people’s networks of friends and family. Every babysitter comes recommended, doing away with interviews and concerns about hiring strangers.

“It's cool to see how people across the country are using the app. I've never been in the tech space before, but I feel proud that my idea is making people’s lives a little easier”

Luke Hansen

CompanyCam

Lincoln

227,400+

169


Luke wanted a way for his family’s roofing business to organize job site photos, so he created CompanyCam. Contractors can take photos in the app, which are instantly visible to the whole team. Homeowners can also see how a project is progressing, which helps build trust between contractors and their customers. Luke hopes that CompanyCam encourages consistency, quality and accountability. The company is expanding, and constantly planning or adding new features and integrations - like a portfolio feature to help contractors attract new business.

“People search on Google Play for the kind of functionality we provide, and we run ads. So, we could not have the company we have without the platform. It wouldn't work”

Bryan Seck

Bill Udell

Lori McCarthy

MyLink

Lincoln

9,900+

3


When Bryan worked as a homeless-outreach specialist, he helped people find shelter, get their car fixed and anything else they needed. He had a 100-page catalog of great NGOs in Lincoln provided by the Center for People in Need, but it wasn’t easy to share all this information. So Bryan partnered with Lori and Bill to create MyLink. The app – which works without Wi-Fi or 4G once downloaded – connects people with organizations that provide resources such as food, diapers, housing and mental health services. It also translates into multiple languages offline, for vulnerable communities that don’t speak English.

“My cornerstone belief as a person is equity. If everyone had an equal opportunity to succeed, we would be a different country”

Stories from Nebraska

Alex Pasykov

Jake Vygnan

Social Impact

Las Vegas

7,030,100+

100


Alex and Jake grew up in an environment that didn’t accept the LGBTQIA+ community. A shared friend introduced them, and they started building apps together. When they realized that queer people were looking for a platform that offered support and meaningful connections, they created Taimi. A dating app exclusively for LGBTQIA+ groups, it's also a social network where people can bond and feel safe. Alex and Jake are proud to partner with NGOs that provide mental health support for the community.

“Google Play is one of our key distribution channels as 50% of our audience uses the platform. I’d highlight the analytics on Google Play Console - it’s convenient and accessible”

Josh Simons

Baz Palmer

Vampr

Henderson

954,300+

23


Josh had achieved rock fame in Australia, but failed to replicate his success in England. Without a manager, publicist and reliable band members, he found it hard to thrive in the music industry. Wishing there was a networking app to help, he was inspired – with fellow musician Barry – to create Vampr. The app is a collaborative platform, and has now enabled 7 million connections worldwide between musicians and industry professionals. With many early-stage performers using Vampr, Josh plans to add educational features about how the music industry works.

“We've gone from being a free platform that didn't generate any revenue to raising over 3 million dollars. Vampr is directly responsible for the creation of about 220,000 new original songs that have been released”

Al Mancini

Neon Feast

Las Vegas

1,430+

1


As an entertainment journalist in Vegas, Al often found himself at the city’s best restaurants. He discovered a passion for food, and started writing about it. Al wanted to bridge the gap between traditional media and food apps, so he asked his network of chefs, critics and industry insiders: “Where do you send friends and family for a great meal?” Their recommendations formed Neon Feast, which lets Vegas tourists and locals find great food, from hotdogs to Michelin-standard dining. Next, Al plans to add more specialized lists, and explore expansion to other regions.

“Many people are intimidated by the idea of creating an app. I could never reach this audience without having an app available on Google Play. It's a way for me to connect to the most active audience out there”

Stories from Nevada

Len Morrissey

Mike Moore

DraughtPick

Manchester

200+

4


Although Mike and Len came from different backgrounds – computer science and banking – they shared a love of technology and craft beer. This led them to create DraughtPick, an app that connects people to a wider range of breweries, based on their tastes. After officially launching in 2021, they've used their subscription service to partner with struggling breweries: they encourage members to spend their "draft tokens" trying out a new place in exchange for a free pint or appetizer.

“Google Play is great because it allows our app to be reputable. People can trust applications once they are available on this platform.”

David Coffin

Jennifer Coffin

Cubby Notes

Dover

20,700+

2


Juggling parenthood and work can be difficult. When David and Jen had their first child, they wanted to know everything about his day – but constantly texting their nanny wasn't ideal. So David learned how to code, and together they created Daily Nanny. The app allows parents and childcare professionals to share information and pictures, log naps, meals, medicines and even developmental milestones. It can also be used to schedule a nanny's working hours. The couple's next step is to add a social feature, for parents to network and discuss their challenges.

“I’d like to create a community where nannies can discuss their profession, ask questions and get answers, and where parents can talk to other parents who might be struggling with the same things”

Bryn Lottig

Kendra Bostick

Kikori

Durham

1,000+

6


Kendra was a school social worker, and Bryn an adventure program coordinator. They met at a Master’s program in Experiential Education – a methodology that promotes learning by doing. Facing a lack of resources for team building and social emotional learning, they decided to create their own platform. Kendra and Bryn launched Kikori in 2021, which offers 400+ activities for the classroom, as well as physically-distanced and virtual settings. They’re now looking to expand their reach, after receiving proposals for over 4,000 licenses.

“Social emotional learning is becoming more prominent, especially after the pandemic. Kids love the activities, and it's making teachers' lives a lot easier”

Stories from New Hampshire

Sergey Oreshko

Vasili Smaliak

MyNetDiary

Cherry Hill

3,600,000+

20


Working in tech, Sergey and Vasili wanted to build a long-lasting business. They knew that people would always strive for better health – and food apps were scarce at the time – so they settled on nutrition. MyNetDiary is a calorie counter, food log and meal planner. Its food database contains over a million carefully-verified items. This year Sergey and Vasili have focused on new content, adding 500+ recipes and articles about nutrition. Their next step is to partner with professionals, such as personal trainers and dieticians, to increase their reach.

“There are hundreds of people saying that our service changed their lives. We have diabetic people using this app to get their glucose under control. That makes me happy, people getting healthier by using our app”

Jhamar Youngblood

The Blast App

Newark

400+

1


Supporting disadvantaged people is one of Jhamar’s guiding principles. His interest in technology blossomed when his mother got a computer – the first person in their building to do so. After launching an app for women’s safety, Jhamar was approached by a mentorship program about a new project. Mentor Newark provides a safe, engaging environment for mentors and mentees to connect. It's currently being used in 15 high schools across the city, and next Jhamar wants to add some fun features to increase exchanges within the app.

“Google Play gives more access to distribution. We test on different Android devices to make sure as many people as possible can use the app”

Sapna Rajput

Crazy Money

South Plainfield

27,000+

12


When the pandemic hit and many lost their jobs, Sapna felt inspired to create something of value. Crazy Money connects entrepreneurs with investors who have the funds to make new projects possible. The platform allows people to post their business plans, and investors to bid on them. For those who already have a company, Crazy Money lets them sell the business or stakes. Sapna’s next step is to reach out and support college students, who typically have brilliant ideas but little money.

“There are investors who are willing to put money into projects, but don’t have time to work on it. And there are people with ideas but no funds. My app is a platform where these people can meet”

Stories from New Jersey

Maurizio Leo

Colin Cochran

Joe Rakolta

Terminal Eleven

Albuquerque

19,933,300+

3


Maurizio was a “typical engineer kid”, taking everything apart to see how it worked. After graduating, he joined an aerospace company, where he met co-founders Joe and Colin. In 2009, their prototype stargazing app came third in an Android Developer Challenge, and they used the prize money to set up Terminal Eleven. Their app, SkyView, lets people hold their phones up to the sky and see constellations, galaxies, planets and satellites overhead. The app now has millions of downloads worldwide, with the pandemic bringing a huge influx of people raring to get outside and try something new.

"There is an innate curiosity, people want to see what's happening above. Skyview helps them to unlock what's up there."

Andrea Landaker, Rachel Helps and Clarissa Helps

Metasepia Games

Albuquerque

50,000+

3


Andrea is an elementary teacher and educates girls on STEM careers. She has written games since childhood, making choose-your-own-adventures on spreadsheets in the 90s. While raising her family, she founded Metasepia Games with her sister Rachel, and Rachel’s sister-in-law Clarissa, who draws the characters. They make games that help people be more mindful about relationships. Our Personal Space is a “marriage survival simulator” set on a space colony. Currently, Metasepia is experimenting with multilingual games, and a simulator about taking care of an older parent.

“Parenting and marriage skills are really important. But there’s no low-risk way to practise them. In a game, you can try things and see the consequences. Practice making good decisions and get those neural pathways in place"

Mengyuan Du

Lubap

Santa Fe

44,600+

4


Computer enthusiast Mengyuan Du wanted to make an app that helped protect online privacy. Flash Number allocates people one or more temporary phone numbers and re-routes incoming calls automatically to their main number. This makes it more secure to buy and sell online, list multiple numbers for businesses, or swap details when dating new people. Mengyuan Du has been refining Flash Number's security to stop misuse, adding an images feature to text messages and voicemail. She's also lowered the cost for subscribers and improved the user experience.

“I like that you can have different stages of testing before rolling out. Even for the production, when you submit your new release, Google Play will automatically check it and run some testing reports”

Stories from New Mexico

Matt Cooper

Skillshare

New York

3,100,000+

190


Matt is passionate about online marketplaces, and believes that connecting teachers and learners can transform lives. He started his career in investment banking before working for several startups. He's now the CEO of Skillshare, an online learning platform with more than 30,000 video-based classes to inspire creativity and encourage growth through learning. People can subscribe to the catalog of classes, learn at their own pace on any device, and receive feedback from teachers and other students. Skillshare’s ethos is a free market for education, where anyone can learn and anyone can teach.

“Skillshare has amassed millions of members and 13,000 teachers from all over the world. There is no way we could achieve such a global audience without being on Google Play”

Andrew Garrahan

Kati Nawrocki

ComputerLunch

New York

20,000,000+

5


Andrew is a computer programmer from Washington DC, Kati is an illustrator from Germany. It was New York – and a shared love of art – that brought them together. Their studio, ComputerLunch, now makes free science-based games that are beautiful to look at. Recently, they’ve worked on a huge expansion of their human evolution game Cell to Singularity, adding a whole new solar system. The couple is proud to have a diverse team, with women making up half of their team.

“Some people would assume that a company with as many downloads as we have would be a much bigger operation. We are very indie, a very small team. Google Play has helped us a lot with that”

Tanya Van Court

Goalsetter

New York

186,000+

47


Tanya’s mom was a teacher, so she's always considered education vital for closing the gaps in society. After two Stanford degrees in industrial engineering, she'd made a career running tech businesses. When her eight-year-old daughter asked to open an investment account for her birthday, Tanya was inspired. She thought that, if she could give kids access to financial education, she might change their world for the better. So she created Goalsetter, a banking app that explains economic concepts to kids in a fun way – while helping the family build healthy money habits.

“Black and Latino families might have a negative net worth in the coming years. Part of my mission is to reverse that curse and close the wealth gap in America by providing financial education to next generations”

Stories from New York

Grant Williard

Joe Elliot

John Williard

JouleBug

Raleigh

89,000+

10


Combining his passions for technology and the great outdoors, Grant created an app to encourage people – in a fun and social way – to care about the environment. Together with co-founders Joe and John, he built JouleBug. The app weaves together gaming, social media and educational tools. With nudges, badges and a points system, people compete with friends and family to save the most energy and reduce the most waste. JouleBug has partnered with companies to run challenges which reward and incentivize its audience worldwide.

“When we added JouleBug in Google Play, the audience doubled”

Dan Gardner