Our Team Values

Since making the first draft of our team values in 2015, we always believed that building a company based on a strong and authentic values lied at the heart of the company we wanted to build. Over the past few years our values have shaped our team culture, have...

L is for Local

“While mass education is a nationally-controlled institution, it clearly has a worldwide and universal character. Indeed, the curricula of mass educational systems show increasingly worldwide homogeneity and stability. Everywhere it is put forward as a...

Gaming: The fun, engaging and effective future of education

Learning can be, and must be, fun and magical.  And that is not simply a wish stemming from our own days as students bored to tears memorizing multiplication tables or listening passively to hour-long lectures.  It is science. Study after study, such as...

Human-Centered Design Matters

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...

Open-sourcing all of our educational content

oday, 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...

SIMA’s Beta version is finally ready!

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...

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

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...

Building our capacity to test literacy impact

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,...

Our most popular game amongst our users!

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...

Kukua aiming for the Global Learning XPRIZE!

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...

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

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...

Back from Nairobi where we tested our prototype

We just got back from Nairobi, Kenya, where we spent an intense two weeks testing our very first prototype with over 150 primary school children in Kibera slum. It was rewarding, exhausting, and amazing at the same time. To set up the pilot, we partnered...

What are “Learning standards” and why are we making them?

We’re thrilled to announce that Kukua is a partner in a consortium developing standards frameworks for twenty-first century learning. Our job for the consortium is to create an international standards framework that can describe educational outcomes at...

Gambia: On the ground findings

To gain an intimate understanding of our potential users, we went to live in a small village called Mbollet Bah in rural Gambia. The community had 400 children, mostly illiterate or struggling to learn, both in and out of school, and whose families live on...

Packing for Gambia

Part of the Kukua team is packing for Gambia, a small country in West Africa. Steve and I will be spending time in a farming village called Mbollet-ba, typical of one section of our target market: rural subsistence village, low connectivity, solar power,...

Our Team Values

From our first conversations, we felt strongly about building a company based on strong and authentic values. From past experiences, we saw that companies that lack a culture built on recognized values too often fail to rally teams and other...

Focusing on girls

Lately, we’ve been discussing whether we should build products for boys and girls alike, or narrow our scope and focus on girls. I’m inclined to push us towards the latter. Though our mission is to democratize and ease educational access for all children,...

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