It took an impulsive nature, hard work and a little bit of naivety for Anne-Marie Walton to turn her ten-year business plan from a tangible game to a smart phone app.
Anne-Marie saw an ad in the newspaper to win a six month membership to Firehouse 101, and within two weeks she had applied, made an app prototype and received feedback from prospective users.
After teaching herself app development online and consulting with friends and peers alike, Anne-Marie made her pitch for her Firehouse 101 membership. Apparently, she had progressed the project way more than what was expected. Having impressed the judges, she was deemed the winner of the short-term membership to Firehouse 101 – and thus her journey to successful app developer began.
The app is called ‘Wantu’, and Anne-Marie was inspired when raising her own children to make a game, which in turn, turned into the Wantu app.
After noticing the lack of two-way communication and play time between busy parents and kids, Anne-Marie decided to do something about it.
“From very early on, I identified what was really important was interaction and two-way communication,” Anne-Marie said.
“I made it a routine and a habit that we continually did things that involved face to face communication, to build their communication skills and to help them build their creative thinking.”
Placing these core values at the forefront of her business plan allowed her to develop customised ideas for fun and interactive activities for parents with children aged 2-7.
Even if it is only 15 minutes of play time, Anne-Marie believes the app serves as an alternative to screen time while building better bonds and relationships between the child and parent. “I want to make a positive, social impact in the world and I encourage as many families as possible to use and share it.”
The Wantu app is now live and available for download the app via the Wantu website at www.kidswantu.com.
Anne-Marie encourages parents and children to try out the app, to see if it makes a difference in their two-way communication, while having some fun with technology along the way.