Weyn Seeks to Develop Mobile Games Targeting Women, People of Color

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Byrd-Hill said the company got lots of valuable feedback about My Jewel Empire, and that’s what they were hoping for.

“Techweek Chicago is a good place to go and see if your idea has merit,” she said. “My Jewel Empire generated a lot of excitement. Women and people of color recognize that they’re not being represented in video games, and they don’t like it. The whole entertainment market is trying to be devoid of color and you can no longer do that.”

Byrd-Hill is especially proud of recruiting Ryan Hauer to join the Weyn team as its chief quality officer. Hauer has 20 years of experience in the video game industry, and has contributed to the development of the Call of Duty and Lost Planet games.

Weyn plans to pursue a seed funding round to help get My Jewel Empire to market. The company is currently looking for beta testers to play the game and offer feedback. (To participate, send an email to ida@weyn.biz and put Private Beta in the subject line, then put your name and email address in the body of the message.) She also plans a Kickstarter campaign to support the formal, public launch of My Jewel Empire.

Byrd-Hill said she recently traveled to the Bay Area to pitch Weyn to potential investors. In Silicon Valley, she said, she’s a “novelty” because she’s an older African American woman, and that helps her to stand out and be noticed.

“I spoke to a lot of people there who were interested in the project,” she said. “One thing I’ve learned is that I get more traction outside of Michigan. I’m excited for Weyn because it gives us the chance to impact what goes on on Main Street, Wall Street, and Silicon Valley simultaneously, and that’s how we’re going to change the wealth game forever.”

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