Mitu Khandaker

Mitu Khandaker

CEO and Co-Founder
Glow Up Games




How Glow Up Games is Reinventing the Future of Play

As an all-woman of color-founded studio that centers Black and brown joy, Glow Up Games builds games around fresh new “culturally informed” game mechanics - starting with inventing a new genre of games based on rap composition and hip hop. Hear from founders Mitu Khandaker and Latoya Peterson about the business opportunity based on this massive global and cultural force that has barely been addressed within games; a detailed dive into how they’re solving design issues within this new blank space including how AI plays a role; and the lessons, challenges, and successes that the team has learned in delving into an under-explored space for previously unaddressed audiences.


Dr. Mitu Khandaker is a game designer, engineer, scholar, and entrepreneur. As well as being CEO/co-founder at Glow Up Games, a game studio centering diverse voices & unlocking the future of play, she is also an Associate Arts Professor at the NYU Game Center, where she teaches game design and development. She holds a PhD on designing games for immersive interfaces such as VR and AR, and has a background in computer engineering.

She was previously on the founding team at Spirit AI, an AI tools company since acquired by Twitch, and she also launched a location-based games startup. She also worked in the indie game space on titles such as the social simulation game Redshirt. She has received a number of international accolades, including as a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit in 2013 and the Creative English Trailblazer Award in 2014.

Mitu has a particular interest in encouraging diversity in game development and STEM-related fields, and has served on the advisory committee for the Advocacy Track at Game Developers Conference since 2014. She has also previously served on the board of directors at Feminist Frequency, and is a AAAS IF/THEN Ambassador to champion more middle school and teen girls into game development.