Undergrads think local to win big
November 02, 2009
Deals and discounts mobile app wins grand prize in AT&T Big Mobile On Campus Challenge
Dallas, Texas, November 2, 2009 - The Rover platform invented by a team of Harvard undergraduates---Alex Bick '10 (Engineering Sciences), Joy Ding '10 (Computer Science), Drew Robb '10 (Physics and Mathematics), Cameron Spicker '10 (Computer Science) and Winston Yan '10 (Physics)---won the grand prize in AT&T's Big Mobile On Campus Challenge, fetching a cool $10,000 and a trip to the EduCause 2009 conference where they presented to university CIOs from across the country.
Rover re-packages the 2009 Unofficial Guide to Life at Harvard into an easy-to-use application (“app”) for an iPhone or iPod Touch.
Fueled by GPS technology and social networking features, the interactive guide provides students with an up-to-date window about what is happening in their “campus microenvironment”.
By offering a live feed of “local deals, events, and transportation” the creators hope to better connect students with their campus and extended community. Practically, that means the moment Ben & Jerry’s in the Square offers a free scoop, users would find out the details, including the fastest route to their favorite flavor.
The innovative app earlier won the campus venture track of the 2008 I3 Harvard College Innovation Challenge. It was further developed in the Innovation Space, which opened last November as Harvard's first dedicated environment for experiential innovation and entrepreneurship education, providing undergraduates across campus with resources to learn and work in teams on entrepreneurial projects.
Both the Challenge and Space are part of the innovation program of the Technology and Entrepreneurship Center at Harvard (TECH) in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and are run in collaboration with Harvard Student Agencies (HSA) and the Harvard College Entrepreneurship Forum.
Rover co-founder Alex Bick explains, “We have been incredibly fortunate to have access to the combined support and resources of TECH and HSA. TECH executive director Paul Bottino and HSA chief executive Jim McKeller, have helped us with Rover at every stage of its development and have created the optimal resources for students like us to pursue our ideas.”
To learn more about the winning applications for the AT&T Big Mobile On Campus Challenge, visit www.att.com/higherEDcontest.
To learn more about "Rover":