By: Diane Stirling
For a second year, students across the Syracuse University campus can showcase their software and hardware application creativity while competing for a total of $2,500 in prizes at the fall SU App Challenge.
Competition founder Keisuke Inoue, PhD., an instructor for the School of Information Studies who teaches social web technologies, initiated the idea for a student competition last year. He wanted to offer students the opportunity to compete in a different sort of entrepreneurship competition—one whose main focus was on the building of mobile and web applications, and the elegance and innovation of product and system ideas—not necessarily the revenue aspects and the process of bringing those innovations to market, he said.
The SU App Challenge lets student teams compete and win prizes based on three "I"s – the innovation, integrity, and impact of their application. The competition opens for entries October 1. Applications will be accepted until November 15.
Students will compete in two rounds of competition. The first round takes place November 18–23, when judges will interview teams and assess the applications developed based on the three “I’s” impact. The second round of competition occurs at a Demonstration Day event on December 5. That final-round competition will take place at the ICEBox, the new collaborative and ideation space on the second floor of Hinds Hall at the School of Information Studies on the SU campus.
At its inaugural event last year, Inoue described the SU App Challenge as a competition “about the product that’s been built. It’s about the system itself. We’re looking for people who have made amazing things, who are really good at building apps.” He said that the competition also brings people together in ways that are beneficial to both students and entrepreneurs. “The challenge tech entrepreneurs face is finding tech talent and connecting them to business talent, and this competition provides a way to showcase tech talent to business people,” he added.
Each competing team must develop an app--a set of software programs that run on one of the following platforms: smart phones, tablet computers, desktop computers, programmable hardware, or web browsers.
Prizes of $500 will be awarded in each category, and entry categories will be determined based on applications received. In terms of team eligibility, at least one member of the team must be a student at Syracuse University. More information about the contest details is available at http://appchallenge.syr.edu.
Inoue, himself an app developer and entrepreneur, created a mobile app and built and brought to market the company,“PsyQic,” which lets users share predictions. He and a fellow student, Jennifer Hawk, also created the mobile/web platform Chase My Racer, which has won several prizes in entrepreneurship competitions in the last couple years.