Maya’s road to Venture Cup

Maya Umar from Malaysia came to Sweden 2016. She now lives in Luleå and together with her business partner Ingrid Fridesjö she won the regional final in the Venture Cup with their mobile game BUMI: Next stop, Earth! Maya is also one of the international academics who has participated in Korta vägen, a program run by the Swedish Public Employment Service in collaboration with LTU Business and Luleå University of Technology.

Hi Maya, congratulations to winning Venture Cup! Tell us, what kind of game is BUMI: Next stop, Earth?
“Thanks! It is a mobile game that combines gamification with interactive features focusing on creating environmentally conscious players, as well as a global community to share ideas, solve environmental problems and be inspired to new innovations.”

How did you go about implementing your idea?
“Thanks to an internship during the “Korta vägen” program, I landed a job at Blamorama. My boss Ingrid and I had talked about creating a game in the future as we are both big gamers. Since my husband and I had started gamification in Malaysia before moving to Sweden, we brought up the idea of ​​offering gamification as a service in the company. Not long after, we met a friend who mentioned that she wished there was a game her son could benefit from, and so the idea behind Bumi was born. It has really been a team effort. We have now decided to register a subsidiary so that we can continue to develop Bumi and make more games in the future.”

How did you find your way, career wise, in Sweden?
“I understood that language plays a very big role if you want to get into Swedish society so the first thing I did was to practice Swedish. Then I tried to open as many doors as possible to working life, mainly by participating in several programs offered by the Swedish Public Employment Service, and one those programs was Korta Vägen.

I have since been an intern at two different departments at Luleå University of Technology and also here at Blamorama before I was offered a job! So the key for me has really been a combination of patience and the willingness to learn. It feels really great now to be able to work in the field that I am trained in, and also to work with other creative media.”

Korta Vägen is a national program funded by the Swedish government, aiming to fast track international professionals into work that is relevant to their academic background. What did the program mean to you?

“Korta vägen has meant a lot! Not only did I get a good education and preparation for working life in Sweden, I also got many good friends that I still hang out with today. Participating in Korta vägen is something I highly recommend.”

Read more about Korta vägen here.