App ‘Gepeto’ Marries Puppets and iPads for Next Generation of Creative Storytelling

It’s amazing to watch creativity or all sorts in action. It’s our life-blood in many ways and the energy we get from creativity is contagious. Yet creativity is typically lost over time with most people and technology does little to help fix this incredibly significant societal issue.

Having had the opportunity to work with children over the past few years, the team at Toronto’s Gepeto could clearly see that they were naturally creative and that storytelling was deeply interwoven in that creativity. Gepeto founder and CEO Ram Puvanesasingham saw that.

“Kids create narratives during play all the time and it was that notion that resonated with us,” Puvanesasingham said. “Could we tap into this natural storytelling tendency and give kids digital tools that helped them express themselves even better? And could we help kids use digital media to tell stories in actively creative ways, rather than passively consuming content?”

This learning sensitized the team at Gepeto to the idea that augmented reality and tablets could remove boundaries (such as writing or typing) that would open up the way kids could intuitively be creative. (for readers interested in a significantly deeper dive into this subject, here is an excellent study by Kyung Hee Kim that shows a decline in creativity since 1990).

Cofounder Khabir Bhola feels that Gepeto has the right stuff at the right time.

“Our team has been pretty amazing,” Bhola says. “Everyone’s done an incredible amount of work as we’ve bootstrapped ourselves with the main incentive of making Gepeto a reality. We’ve got a strong mix of developers with augmented reality and gaming experience, designers and business minds with experience in digital media. We’re all interested in being collaborative and creative and that’s some of what makes Gepeto tick.”

Now Gepeto is ticking at a much faster rate. They’ve ​just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo Canada, with a goal of $25,000.

It’s worth noting that this is the same team behind Price My Ride (featured here in Techvibes two years ago).

“Price my Ride was an incredible learning experience that took us through building a company from the ground up – everything from the algorithm that drove it to the design, marketing, and sales. Lots of mistakes were made, of course, but that’s helped us really hone in on a clear approach in building Gepeto,” said Puvanesasingham.

With the right team in the right space at the right time, Gepeto is a Canadian education technology startup about which many more people will learn over the coming months.​