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The founders of Encantos, BiteSight, and Yana recently sat down to discuss how their identities and experiences have helped shape their apps.
Often, a truly great app is a reflection of the people who built it. Entrepreneurs around the world are launching apps on the App Store to provide meaningful avenues for connection and empathy, make the world more inclusive and accessible for everyone, and honor their rich cultures and identities. The teams from Encantos, BightSite, and Yana — comprised of Hispanic and Latin founders and developers — showcase how creativity combines with passion and skill to bring best-in-class apps to life.
For Encantos co-founders Steven Wolfe Pereira and Susie Jaramillo, diverse representation has always been at the heart of their work. Earlier this year, Wolfe Pereira participated in the inaugural Apple Entrepreneur Camp for Hispanic and Latin founders. Encantos, the pair’s flagship app, offers a comprehensive children’s library featuring uplifting content and stories from creators around the world. Canticos — the company’s first app — is now the top bilingual preschool app on the App Store, and provides an interactive way for young children to dive into the Spanish language and Latin heritage.
As part of the first cohort of students at the Apple Developer Academy in Detroit, teammates Alejandra A. Enriquez, Juan A. Rubio, Gabe Martinez, and Joshua Gomez collaborated to create an app that puts accessibility at the forefront. Though they all come from different backgrounds, their drive to help others brought them together to launch BiteSight — an app that helps people who are blind or low vision quickly scan and identify food allergens on product ingredient labels — on the App Store. The app also uses haptic feedback and VoiceOver to alert users of allergens they’ve identified, helping blind and low-vision users gain more independence in their daily lives.
Andrea Campos, the creator of Yana, first began working on her chatbot-based app as a side project that combined her two interests — coding and wellness. Yana is designed to tackle negative thoughts linked to anxiety and depression, and focuses on providing access to mental health tools for Spanish-speaking people. The inspiration came from her own childhood struggles with mental health and her desire to offer a widely accessible resource in Spanish. The app climbed from 80,000 downloads to over 1 million after being featured on the App Store at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We got a cacophony of iconic characters from Latin American culture and created a beautiful, charming nursery rhyme world where kids could fall in love with learning through play.” Listen to Susie Jaramillo, CEO and co-founder of Encantos, describe the origins of the Canticos app.
Below, the founders of these app companies share how their personal experiences have fueled their passion for helping others and enabled them to turn a simple idea into an app that can reach millions of users around the world.