How one founder build a startup around compassion and care facilitated by AI – TechCrunch


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In the second episode of our new podcast Found, our guest is Brie Code. Code is the founder and CEO of TRU LUV, a startup based out of Toronto that has its roots in the game industry, but that is taking a radically different approach to designing interactive experiences based on a historically-overlooked motivating paradigm called ‘tend-and-befriend,’ an alternative to the ‘fight-or-flight’ response aimed at by most AAA game studios.

Code’s startup developed #SelfCare, a mobile app that encourages users to explore a variety of interactive experiences that are meant to do more than simply encourage them to engage in competitive behavior either with other players, or with computer-controlled antagonists. The motivation for creating this kind of thing for Code came from recognizing its absence in the existing market, and identifying a huge demand gap that just wasn’t being addressed. Building on her expertise in the game industry engineering interactions for non-player characters (NPCs) and her exploration of academic research on the subject of ‘tend-and-befriend,’ Code set up to build a venture-scalable business to define a new category of entertainment.

TRU LUV’s first touchpoint with users may be its app, but the startup has big ambitions that extend all the way to a larger mission of “healing our relationship with technology.” Chatting with the founder behind that pursuit reveals how deeply that mission runs both with her, and her startup.

We hope you get as much out of this deep and engrossing discussion as we did, and don’t forget to subscribe in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your podcast app of choice. We always love to get your feedback, too so please reach out via Twitter or email, and check back next week for our next episode.


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