Human-Centered Design Matters

06, 02, 2017|

There’s a famous case study circulated in business schools about literally building the proverbial “better mousetrap.” As the story goes, a company in the ‘60’s set out to do just that, invested lots in design and unveiled a high-tech electronic masterpiece for the market. Its technological features were unparalleled.  It was guaranteed to rid homes of vermin forever and save money in the process since it could be reused. [...]

Open-sourcing all of our educational content

27, 12, 2016|

Today, we’re releasing our entire literacy training path for free online, for anyone else to use. In the past 2 years of building SEMA, one of our largest challenges was finding pre-existing literacy content that followed the specific literacy training methodology focused on letter sounds and blending that we were committed to using. Since we couldn’t find any appropriate content, we spent countless hours building our own. Our literacy [...]

Kukua’s Team Retreat: office-on-the-ground in rural Kenya

27, 12, 2016|

In early November, most of our team packed their bags and flew to Nairobi for our annual team retreat. As a globally-distributed team – with team members based in Rome, Nairobi, Modena, London, New York and Palo Alto – we do all of our work through Skype and Slack, but meeting in person provides a rare opportunity to deepen our bonds, discuss learnings, map out our goals and set the [...]

SIMA’s Beta version is finally ready!

27, 12, 2016|

When we applied to NORAD’S EduApp4Syria contest – thinking we'd adapt and translate the work we were already doing for children in Sub-Saharan Africa with SEMA – we had no idea how challenging this was going to be. We followed our drive to reach more children who could benefit from what we were doing, and felt we had to try to help children who suffer from the consequences of [...]

Building our capacity to test literacy impact

13, 10, 2016|

While our European engineering and design team is hard at work finalizing our game Sema, our local Kenyan team is equally hard at work running test sessions in slums around Nairobi, most notably in Kibera. We’ve been present on the ground for over a year, drawing insight and inspiration from the ground and observing children who play with Sema to inform every piece of the game, but we’re [...]

Kukua is selected for EduApp4Syria to teach reading and writing to Syrian refugees

18, 02, 2015|

We are excited to announce that we are an initial winner in EduApp4Syria, an innovation competition promoted by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) that aims to help Syrian children learn how to read and write through the use of mobile technology. Kukua is one of five teams chosen amongst more than 79 bids from 31 countries. As a consequence of the Syrian crisis, millions of families [...]

Our most popular game amongst our users!

18, 02, 2015|

After spending time with children in the slums of Nairobi, we discovered that one of their favorite mobile games was Temple Run. Together with our developing team, we therefore decided to build a number of levels of our game that revolved around similar dynamics: running and jumping. A screenshot from one of our most popular levels to learn letter sounds on SEMA In our [...]

Kukua aiming for the Global Learning XPRIZE!

18, 02, 2015|

Last month, we traveled to Paris and Nairobi to attend the two Global Learning XPRIZE summits. What is the Global Learning XPRIZE? The XPRIZE Foundation is a California-based nonprofit that catalyzes global innovation by running incentive prize competitions to solve some of our time’s grand challenges. In the past few years, they’ve awarded prizes such as the $10M Ansari XPRIZE to launch a reusable manned spacecraft into space [...]

High engagement from our users during this month’s field testing of SEMA

17, 02, 2015|

The building and testing of our literacy and numeracy mobile-game, SEMA, is advancing each month driven by our user-centered design approach. This past month, our team was testing the latest prototypes of SEMA in Nairobi with children living in low income communities with little or no access to quality education. Testing our game as we build it allows us to acquire invaluable feedback to optimize game [...]

We’re building our game for smartphones. Here’s why:

16, 02, 2015|

One of the most common questions we get is why we’re focused on building a game for smartphones: do people in Sub-Saharan Africa have phones? What types of phones? I thought I’d take a few minutes to answer that question. In 2011, Marc Andreessen, a famous and outspoken Venture Capitalist, famously declared that “software is eating the world.” Two years later, Ben Evans, a partner at Andreessen’s VC [...]

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