This week the University of Kent hosted its very first App Challenge. Facilitated by Kent Innovation and Enterprise and the School of Engineering and Digital Art (EDA), the Challenge saw teams of Kent students from across the different faculties spend six weeks developing their idea for a new mobile app concept.
Launched at the beginning October, the students worked in teams and as individuals to develop their concepts, all of which needed to solve an existing problem or issue. On the 6th December seven teams arrived at Jennison Building, where EDA is based, to pitch their ideas to the Judging Panel. The panel was made up of Carole Barron, Director of Innovation and Enterprise, Dr Christos Efstratiou, Lecturer in in Ubiquitous Computing from EDA, Gary Robinson, Senior Commercialisation Manager for KIE, and Alice Heggie, Communications and Events Coordinator for KIE.
The seven teams presented a variety of different ideas, tackling a wide range of problems from finding the perfect gift and getting your ideal volunteer opportunity. The overall winner of the challenge was Kriss Bailey, who is currently studying with EDA and Biosciences, with his idea “Local Eye”. Local Eye takes the idea of Neighbourhood Watch and makes it digital, encouraging the community to look out for one another’s vehicles to prevent theft and help quickly reunite owners with their car or motorcycle should they be stolen. The idea has scope to ultimately be developed to cover more crimes such as bicycle theft, burglary, vandalism or assault.
The winner was presented with trophy a cash prize of £200 and additional teams will be shortlisted and given the opportunity to pitch their app concepts to EDA masters students to potentially prototype the app with a view to commercialising their idea.