Friday, 8 April 2016

Taking app ideas further


It's been a couple of weeks since the Student Mobile App Competition (SMAC) finals, which took place on the 18th of March. SMAC, is an enterprising opportunity for all students, and is run by IT Innovation Centre in IT Services. We caught up with a few of the winners to know more about their plans for the apps they created, and to know how the competition helped them be more enterprising. 





Gwilym Webb - The winner of the Best Prototype award for the app to calculate the risk score for Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.  
The app’s already out in the open so I basically consider it finished (https://goo.gl/WsXeQR). There are however a few tiny bugs that I’d like to change. The next step will be to sort out porting it to Android.                                                               I think that SMAC has made me keen to try and make some more apps. There’s a lot of potential within medicine (I’m a doctor taking some time out to do a PhD). 

Federico Stillitano - Winner of an ITIC placement for his team's app, Talkfest, that offers students new ways to learn languages.

We are extremely excited to have won an internship with the IT Innovations Department, where we will now proceed with the development of Talkfest. We will be working closely with their developers, do more market research and seek further endorsement with the long term goal of creating a simple, intuitive and effective product. 
 SMAC was an extremely enriching experience due to its focus on mobile applications, which helped me develop additional important skills like design and mock prototyping that I will be able to apply in future enterprising projects.

Sam Welch - Winner of the Best Design award for his app, Glocal, that allows employees to view and book on the advertised volunteering opportunities and employers to view metrics about how their employees volunteer,
I’m planning to secure funding to develop my app by speaking with charities and corporations about their use of my design, and potential funding.          SMAC has motivated me to be more enterprising. I have the confidence to go beyond my degree. .

Christopher Hill - Winner of a technical placement in IBM, for his app PMA (Positive Mental Attitude), that helps people to monitor their happiness. 
I intend to get all the features shown in the prototype app working, tested and refined, based on some user feedback from ‘beta testers’ – family, friends and the IT Innovation team. The app is intended to be used everyday so it needs to be reliable, enjoyable and provide value in return for the time that a person invests into it. I will then bring it to other platforms which will be a good opportunity for me to learn more about how they work and expand my skillset in the process. Timescale... that’s still to be worked out but hopefully I’ll get it into at least one app store, publicly, before the end of the year.
SMAC has given me a lot of confidence as a developer and an entrepreneur. To hear from people that they ‘get’ your idea and that they like it is immensely satisfying. It spurs you on to tackle the next challenge, whatever it may be. It can only open doors for you.

 Filippo Galli - Winner of a DB training bootcamp, for his app that helps people find their way to different rooms within a building
First of all, I would like to develop the app for iOS and Windows Phone 10. Meanwhile, my prototype currently works in the Bullring, so I am going to show the project to the managers of the shopping center and see if they would be interested. Also, implementing new features in the app by adding NFC tags and offline maps would be very valuable.
SMAC has been an important experience and opportunity for being more enterprising because at the end, everybody has created something interesting. After this experience, I am sure that one of my future ambitions is to create my own startup company and developing an idea that can change this world.

Lakshmipriya Venkatesan
Student PR team



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