FAMU App Challenge rewards top student techie innovators


TALLAHASSEE — Technology wizards partnered up to show off pure creative science and the benefits of collaboration at the 2017 App Challenge (AC3) sponsored by the Division of Research at Florida A&M University.

This event continues to produce practical applications that make every day living easier to manage.

During a week packed with activities, student techies, entrepreneurs and makers came together to build teams and innovate unique applications. Participants had to design a business model/marketing plan, build branding concepts, establish user experience design, mobile app and web development along with programming and product design.

Meeting the challenge requirements begins with ice-breaking activities, brainstorming and team formation around app ideas. Faculty mentors worked with their teams for a week that ends with the hackathon.

On the final day, the teams pitched and demonstrated their app project to a panel of business leaders, technical innovators, and design experts. Three teams won for having the best ideas and execution.

1st Place: Kurl Box users see actual online reviews and testimonials of natural hair care products featured in the app. Product owners pay a fee to app custodians to showcase products on Kurl Box.

2nd Place: DU-Y is an app that estimates a user’s blood alcohol level (BAC) while they are drinking to determine if they can drive safely.  The app evaluates gender, weight, number and type of standard beverages and the time frame consumed to determine the BAC.  The app can be enabled to warn users against driving and can automatically call chosen contacts when a high BAC has been estimated.

Prize: $500 per team member, faculty team leader – $750

3rd Place: Shotgun is an application that enables college and graduate students without transportation to carpool and plan rides home or other destinations during breaks.  It would also allow car owners to give rides to common destinations and earn money while doing so.

Prize: $250 per team member, faculty team leader – $375

“I was amazed at the challenging work and creativity these young people put into their visions of electronic tools,” said to Reis D. Alsberry, J.D., Director of Technology Transfer at the FAMU Division of Research.

Alsberry adds that many students go on to create and market apps that are becoming a major part of our daily lives. FAMU’s App Challenge is helping to launch those important career paths.

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