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Portuguese Startup Showcases at the Pittsburgh Maker Faire

inRes 2015: Playsktech Portuguese Startup Showcases at the 1st Maker Faire in Pittsburgh

Playsketch maker faire1 The Portuguese early-stage startup Playsktech, linked with the CMU Portugal inRes Program, is currently in Pittsburgh and CMU, in the scope of a six-week visit. During this period, the team showcased its technology at the 1st Maker Faire held in Pittsburgh, in the US. “Our technology allows everyone to make its own games in a very simple and instant way, through drawings on the paper,” explains Pedro Santa, co-founder of Playsktech.

More than 60 kids, families, teachers and other visitors approached the Playsketch booth at the Maker Faire curious about, at first, with what was going on with all the “Play-doh”, crayons, marker and paper mess on the tables. “So as the story goes, you really just need a sheet of paper (or that napkin or paper table cloth) and a pencil, then you pick your mobile or tablet loaded with a Playsketch app, take a photo of the drawing, setup a few parameters, and in seconds your drawing comes alive as a simple playable game,” explains Pedro Santa.

“For one, we just felt there was a lot of untapped creative potential among us to think about game or play activities. I mean, as kids we invented simple games all the time on the playground,” says Luís Lucas Pereira, the other co-founder of Playsketch. “And we also feel that games are becoming a more and more popular instrument for creative expression and entertainment,” continues Luís Pereira.

Luis Pereira and Pedro Santa, two Computer Science alumni from the Universidade de Coimbra, in Portugal, have been knowing each other since high-school, but it was only when working on a Human Computer Interaction and Game Design research lab together, that they started ‘playing’ with the idea of drawing simple videogames.

Playsketch maker faire2 Playsketch maker faire3

The 1 st Maker Faire in Pittsburgh gathered more than 200 makers, this October, which was a celebration of technology, art, electronics, engineering and the maker and DIY movement. “This participation allowed us to gather feedback, to promote and validate our product, and to accelerate the process of launching the first app to the first semester of 2016,” says Pedro Santa.

October, 2015
inRes 2015
Launched in 2014 by the CMU Portugal Program, funded by the Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (Portuguese funding agency), inRes is a very early stage acceleration program for Portuguese entrepreneurial teams working in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) that push them past their comfort zones, and requires them to work at a steep pace, cope with high levels of uncertainty, and constantly reach out for contacts to further build and validate their business projects. inRes is based on the Lean LaunchPad method. inRes provides a training period in Portugal, followed by a seven-week structured immersion period in Pittsburgh, in the U.S., anchored at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). inRes is organized bu the CMU Portugal Program, in cooperation with Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Caixa Capital, Pittsburgh Regional Alliance (PRA), UTEN Portugal, and INESC TEC.