Inventures: Stockton start-up makes smart app for smartphones

STOCKTON - Abandoned buildings litter a once bustling part of downtown Stockton, but inside the old Elks building, Kenny McCann is trying to change the script.

"There's a lot of great potential within the city," McCann said.

He's one of three co-founders behind Petros Media. The company specializes in app, video, and web development for clients but recently created a mobile game of their own called FlipSquare.

"It starts out very simple but gets really complex and actually helps with spatial reasoning," McCann explained.

One of the partners came up with the idea a few years ago. After seeing the success of games like Candy Crush, Angry Birds, and Clash of Clans, Petros Media decided to take the plunge.

"The gaming market is exploding," McCann said.

The company publicly launched FlipSquare at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January.

FlipSquare is free to download. Petros makes its money off in app purchases.

So far, FlipSquare has 25,000 downloads.

"When I'm working on it, it's all about thinking about patterns and mistakes I made," player Alicia Valenzuela said. "And how I can undo them."

McCann, a Stockton native, went to Delta College and Sacramento State University. He worked at a local television station as a photographer before becoming his own boss. There was no doubt he'd stay in the area.

"It's an open market to start something," McCann said, addeding "In a sense, it's a blank slate."

A blank slate that McCann saw as an opportunity to make his mark. In 2011 Forbes magazine named Stockton America's most miserable city. It still struggles with violent crime, fairly high unemployment rates and recovery from bankruptcy.

"I see a bright future in the next few years, especially within the next six months," McCann said.

Right now, FlipSquare is only available on iTunes but the company is working on an Android version.


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