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Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

September 20, 2017   |   Ithaca, NY

News

Students to compete in developing apps

From left, Adam Peruta, assistant professor in the department of strategic communication, points to a Chipotle app as junior Noah Delin looks on.
Durst Breneiser/The IthacanFrom left, Adam Peruta, assistant professor in the department of strategic communication, points to a Chipotle app as junior Noah Delin and Stacey Lawrence look on.

Many people say there is an app for everything. However, some Ithaca College students will soon be working to prove that’s not entirely true.

Young entrepreneurs, developers and designers at the college are participating in a nine-week app design competition with a chance to win up to $1,000.

The app can be any web-based or native software application for a computer, tablet or mobile device.  Students sign up individually, whether or not they have an idea in mind.

The kick-off meeting for the competition is at 4 p.m. Friday in Park 220. At the meeting students will be able to pitch ideas for apps, listen to ideas from other students and form teams of two to five members.

Adam Peruta, assistant professor in the department of strategic communication, who developed the idea for the competition, said he selected the nine-week time window so students would have to work intensely to develop their product over a short period of time, like they would in the business world. The competition will end April 12.

Peruta said more than 35 students have signed up to participate.

A panel of judges will include college professors, local businessmen and women, and alumni. At the end of the competition, the panel will determine the first-, second- and third-place winners, who will receive $1,000, $500 and $250, respectively.

“One of the goals from the beginning was to have this really be an interdisciplinary experience for the students,” Peruta said. “We really want the student teams to form with people from different majors, different schools, different interests, different talents.”

The sponsors of the event include the college’s Dr. John Keshishoglou Center for Global Communications Innovation, the School of Humanities and Sciences and the Provost’s Office.

The Kesh Center housed in the Roy H. Park School of Communications, was created to nurture and critically examine new media innovation as it impacts global society.

Robert Regan, director of the Kesh Center, said he believes the next big idea will come from students and entrepreneurs, not big corporations.

“We’re going to be an incubator,” Regan said. “We’re going to be able to help and work with students to create the next generation of media and innovation.”

Senior Stacey Lawrence said she is thinking about working in user experience design after graduation. She said she decided to participate in the competition to gain some experience in the field.

Lawrence compared the competition to a similar one held by the School of Business earlier in the year. The Business Idea Competition provided an opportunity for students to present original business plans to a panel of judges and receive feedback while competing for monetary prizes.

“I’m hoping it’s structured like the Business Idea Competition where you propose your idea and you get a lot of feedback, because I really want this to be a learning experience,” Lawrence said.

Junior Noah Delin also joined the competition to gain experience in the design aspect of the app industry, which he thinks will be extremely valuable in his future.

“It’s a huge industry coming up, and I think that it’s good experience that I should have,” Delin said.

Peruta said he expects the contest to be a success and is interested in turning it into an annual event.

“We have great students everywhere at Ithaca College,” Peruta said. “There’s no doubt that we’re going to see some really good work.”