LUMOplay makes it easy for agencies, installers, and artists to create and sell out-of-home interactive experiences.
Tell us about yourself?
My background is in computer graphics and animation. I graduated from Red River College in 1997 with a certificate in Computer Animation and was immediately drawn into early game development tools, especially lightweight, web-based platforms like Flash. I’ve always been interested in combining the magic and entertainment of interactive games with the transformative power of projectors and large digital displays to create experiences that large groups of people can enjoy.
In 2008, I met my co-founders while working at a small web design agency in Winnipeg, and we started projecting interactive experiences in galleries and on buildings. In 2010, we started LUMO Interactive, and in 2011, we received a loan from the Canadian Media Fund as well as smaller loans from BDC and Futurepreneur Canada. We used these loans to develop and launch LUMOplay.com, where we sell subscription-based software used to create interactive floor, wall, window, and table experiences all over the world.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Going back a year or two would put us back in the pandemic, which was not a great time for most of our industry. We had to make some hard choices, like moving over to full-time remote work and letting some of our junior staff go. I don’t think I would have done anything differently, but I probably would have done it sooner if I could have known how long the world was going to take to recover.
What problem does your business solve?
We give agencies, installers, and artists no-code software to create high-quality interactive experiences at scale, so they can focus on making a cool interactive games or effects without having to worry about things like computer vision code, device support, or ongoing software maintenance and updates for their installations.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
Originally, we created LUMOplay for teachers, who often seek out interactive floor and wall systems for their classrooms, especially in K-six schools, daycares, and special needs and sensory rooms.
When we started LUMOplay, the existing solutions on the market were, on average, about $40K and required special hardware that was difficult to fix or update. LUMOplay works with equipment most schools already have, and it’s easy for a teacher with no technical skills to install themselves.
What is your magic sauce?
LUMOplay is a software-only solution with a free tier for not-for-profits and schools who can’t afford to pay for the software.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
We’re expanding our partnerships with system integrators and installers around the world to make it easier for our customers to reuse equipment they have or source hardware and installation locally. This is better for the environment and for local economies.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Aside from the loans we were able to access in our first year (and which have long been repaid in full) and some marketing support from New Media Manitoba, we’re entirely bootstrapped. We are a woman and indigenous-led company, but none of the supports offered through BDC or the federal government are accessible to us.
This is, in part, due to the fact that we are all neurodiverse and have difficulty with lengthy funding application forms and in part due to the nebulous and political nature of a lot of the programs. As a result, we’ve stopped seeking funding and focused entirely on organic growth. It’s slower, but it’s a lot less frustrating.
How can people get involved?
If you’re an installer, system integrator, or agency interested in offering LUMOplay to your customers, please contact us through our website at LUMOplay.com