PARRY SOUND – Local moms Kirsi Henry and Kelly Hergaarden are entrepreneurs at heart.
Bubble Tea Pop.
Bubble Tea Pop
With full-time jobs and kids, the long-time friends found time for a new passion, developing mobile apps with the added bonus of giving back.
For the last three or four years Henry and Hergaarden have been working on a variety of ideas on the side, that include a group of five environment-saving friends called Team Yochi-Yo.
“We always knew we wanted to try and start some business together, some venture and the first one was around environmental animals – teaching kids about the environment, and they’re called Team Yochi-Yo,” said Henry.
Through a story and games, Team Yochi-Yo teaches children about saving energy, clean water and air and protecting the Earth.
After coming up with the ideas and concepts for the apps, Henry and Hergaarden approached a friend to help them with the app programming and graphic development.
They also began the corporation, Moms Mobile Apps, that features all of their games, which are family-friendly and advertisement-free.
“It’s the company we started,” said Hergaarden. “The two of us are co-owners of it and we’ve started to develop various apps. They’re educational and are fun and are geared towards kids, because we both have kids. We tried to develop something that they would like that has that education piece at the same time.”
The first game the women released, Bubble Tea Pop, is available on iPhone, Android and iPads, with 10 per cent of proceeds from the sales going to Free the Children.
Geared towards children from 3 to 10, the game provides children with hours of entertainment, through the 75 “prizes” gamers try to collect and win for their prize shelf, the partners say.
“We’re trying to put educational pieces in most of (the games), some of them are just games, because kids just want to play games,’ said Henry. “We’re keeping them advertisement-free, none of the annoying pop ups, no violence in them, they’re all family-rated. We’re finding because this is completely part time, we do this on the side, it’s taking a lot longer than we thought. We’ve got 100 app ideas and we’ve got some that are up already.”
For the Android, there are other versions of the Bubble Tea Pop game, including Bubble Tea Pop Fable, Bubble Tea Pop Ninja, and the soon-to-be-released, Bubble Tea Pop Tot for pre-school-aged children.
Also there is a colouring book app and a memory app featuring characters from Yochi-Yo.