Burlingame start-up takes on tech giants with new mobile word game

BURLINGAME, Calif. (KTVU) -- A group of game developers from Burlingame hope their new take on a classic game will soon be the latest addiction for mobile gamers.

"It's definitely a really big challenge you are taking on really big companies like Zynga and Electronic Arts that are here in the Bay Area," admitted co-founder and CEO Kahn Jekarl

The game is called Letter Up. The founders of Flow State Media say it's more like the interactive board game than anything else out there.

"I think for the live crossword I think we are the first to build the live thing," said co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Redentor Quiambao.

Letter Up is designed to be social, which means the game is timed and you can chat the entire time you are playing.

"Once the game gets started, you only have about 75 seconds to get the game started and then play a word," said Jekarl.

The entire game lasts about 7 or 8 minutes.

The game was released last fall but this week launches it's most significant update yet, allowing mobile users to invite their Facebook friends to play.

"We have over one million installs on Facebook. Right now, there's over ten million games played and probably hundreds of millions of words have been submitted," said Jekarl.

It's a labor of love for a group of gamers who are chasing a dream.

Quiambo says he's always wanted one thing: "I want to make my own games."

Flow State Media is the first company to be featured in KTVU's new Made in the Bay segment that spotlights innovative local businesses. If you want to nominate someone to feature on Made in the Bay, you can go to KTVU.com. The submission form is on our home page to the right.