Archive for App

Fathering.me

Praxis is an organization whose goal is to inspire, guide, and integrate the Christian faith into the education of young entrepreneurs to bring about cultural change. This summer, I had the opportunity to visit a Praxis gathering at Biola University in California. While at Praxis, I met an entrepreneur named Justin Stimpson who started a company called Fathering.me.

Justin Stimpson grew up in a single-family home, where he never had a father figure to guide him through life. After growing up in a fatherless home, he realized the important role that fathers play in a child’s life and the negative effects that a fatherless child often experiences.

People who grow up fatherless are twenty times more likely to be incarcerated, nine times more likely to drop out of school, and twice as likely to commit suicide. In addition, eighty percent of adolescents in psychiatric hospitals come from fatherless homes and ninety percent of all homeless and runaway children are fatherless. As a result, fatherlessness has become a serious epidemic in our country.

However, unlike many people, Justin understood the fatherless epidemic to a greater extent than most people and thus started a company in order to combat it. As research shows, fatherlessness is often rooted in unplanned pregnancies and many of the fathers of these children are just teenagers who are too afraid to raise a child due to inexperience. Also, many of them have never had a father of their own. To solve this problem, Justin started a website called fathering.me which acts as an online resource center and mentor networking site. The site acts as a robust, engaging, and relevant collective of valuable resources for young men, who want to learn how to be great dads and it provides a national network of local, well-trained, and committed mentors ready to walk alongside young men for a full-year on their journey throughout their unplanned pregnancy and into fatherhood.

What I liked about his idea was that Justin saw one of the world’s greatest needs and fulfilled it by recollecting his own past experience as a fatherless child and created a website that would encourage fathers to stay with their children and be the best fathers they can be. I believe this website will help battle the fatherless epidemic and bring joy back to so many families.

Anyone Can Code

Imagine destroying Angry Birds in the competition with just learning to code one month ago. Robert Nay, a 14 year old had no coding experience. He decided he wanted to learn so he went to the public library and started to teach himself. 4,000 lines of code later he came out with Bubble Ball. A physicals game that had users create the track to get a bubble to a end point goal. Its a very simple game, but ended up beating Angry Birds for the top downloaded free game on the app store. The simplest game turned out to be the biggest.

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As a computer science major I love coding. I taught myself to build my own websites using html. It is really something anyone can do if they have a brain and a computer. This kid decided to teach himself to code and turned a passion and something fun into a company that makes a pretty big profit. I love the idea of apps. It opens a whole new market and allows people to connect to more consumers. I think before anyone graduates college, take a summer to learn how to code. Create a cheesy app. I think it is a skill everyone should know and it can possibly lead to some surprises, like beating out the most popular apps on the app store.

Convenient Store At Your Door

Yakir Gola and Rafael Ilishayev launched goPuff when they were only sophomores at Drexel University in 2013. GoPuff is your convenient store on wheels, bringing over 3,000 items ranging from snacks and drinks to necessities and electronics – straight to your front door in 30 minutes or less. The idea came to them as car-less freshmen roommates constantly asking for rides to get basic necessities or cigarettes. There were apps for full-blown grocery shopping or gourmet food, but what about just a plain old convenient store run? – and goPuff was born.

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Before they had even fully launched, they were already getting orders from fellow college students and residents of Philadelphia. At first, the roommates worked 17-18 hour shifts with their (new) cars to deliver the snacks and goodies, but with time came employees and they now have dozens of drivers in twelve different cities across the US.Image result for gopuff

Gola and Ilishayev don’t see other food delivery services as their competitors – they see the brick and mortar convenient stores as their primary competition. Competition is a loose term however – in 2014, they already had 25,000 customers in Philadelphia alone just a year after launch.

While it’s unfortunate that their services don’t extend to Grove City, they are constantly expanding and setting up camp in more major cities across America. So the next time you’re in a big city with a hankering for Ben & Jerry’s, goPuff’s got your back.

Dropbox- A Coder Turned Entrepreneur

Drew Houston, co-founder and CEO of Dropbox, has all the symptoms of being an entrepreneur! The creation story of his company, Houston claims, came from an idea that came to him after constantly forgetting his USB flash drive during his studies at MIT.  During his time as a student he found a multitude of problems with storage services and decided to set out to solve this problem for himself.  Little did he know that his solution would end up benefiting millions of others as well.

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In 2007, he and his co-founder Arash Ferdowsi were able to secure enough funding to begin the development of the program were soon launched Dropbox. Within 24-hours of its launch, Dropbox “had 75,000 people signup for the wait-list.”  When they were only expecting 15,000, tops.  Dropbox had an enormous success rate, and, by the end of 2013 Dropbox had gained over 200 million users.

So what sets this company apart from others? Well Dropbox is a technology company that claims to build simple, powerful products for people and businesses.  Unlike many other companies, Dropbox is innovative in that they value the creation of products that are easy to use and are built on trust. When people put their files in Dropbox, they can trust they’re secure and their data is their own. The users’ privacy has always been their first priority, and it always will be.  Image result for dropbox images

Houston believed that technology should get out of the way, so there’s no limit to what people can do. And his tightly-knit team seems very committed to realizing ambitious ideas and making technology work for the world, and I’m sure that the best from them is still to come.

“Sometimes you just get this feeling — it’s a compulsion or an obsession. You can’t stop thinking about it. You just have to work on this thing,” words from the entrepreneur himself, Drew Houston.

Bubble Ball Builder

In 2011 at the age of 14, Robert Nay coded the app bubble ball. He knew little to nothing about code before he decided to take on the endeavor. He learned all the coding from the library! He wrote over 4,000 lines of code for the app. The app was a huge success–seeing more than 2 million downloads in only two weeks! I encourage you to read some more about him if that interests you, Robert Nay. One more amazing part of Robert’s story is the advice that he gives young people, “You can do amazing things if you just try.”

Airbnb

Once upon a time, on a cool October night in San Francisco a pair of roommates by the names of Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia were just too broke to pay rent on their apartment. They had to get money and get it fast so what did they do? Three air mattresses later and they had an Airbed and Breakfast for people who were attending a conference nearby and didn’t have a hotel room because all of the hotels were full. The pair were then able to get paid by renting said air mattresses and thus were able to pay rent. The end…or maybe not. Why not use this ingenious idea on a bigger scale? That’s exactly what Chesky thought. A few months later Airbnb was started. Airbnb is a trusted community marketplace in which people can rent out their spaces to travelers for both a cheaper price and a more authentic experience. This clever business gives college students and younger families the ability to travel cheaper and better and also allows homeowners to make extra money even while they are away from their homes. Airbnb now connects people to over 34,000 cities, 191 countries, and even 1,400 different castles. So how about we take a trip? Maybe to a castle?

StyleSeat

Have you ever received a bad hair cut? Melody McCloskey has, and she turned this experience into a business. McCloskey in the founder and CEO of StyleSeat, which is an app that connects hair stylists and customers looking for a haircut.

McCloskey was tired of the hassle of booking hair appointments. She found it frustrating when she called a salon sometimes stylists wouldn’t answer the phone or when they did, you just received a random appointment with a random stylist that wasn’t even good at what she wanted to be done. McCloskey decided to fix this problem with her app. StyleSeat makes it easy to book hair appointments with specific stylists. You can search for stylists by where you are and even by what the stylist specializes in. This is such a wonderful tool not only for people in need of a haircut, also stylists. Stylists can promote themselves for what they are really good at and what they prefer to do.

Melody McCloskey really stood out to me because she experienced a problem and made it into a successful business idea. This is such a great entrepreneurial quality to have. I love how she tapped into an industry that pretty much everyone utilizes and made it better. The cosmetology industry is already a saturated industry, but McCloskey found a way to innovate and come up with something new.

 

 

 

Did Someone Say Scholarships?

In the big bad world of college searching and funding every student will ask the question “how much?” This question almost always refers to both how much it actually is to go to a school and how much scholarship said school will allot them. However, most students do not know about outside-of-school funding, whether it be state or private funding. The reason being is because of the hassle of the applications for said other scholarships and thus students leave a great asset and well of wealth to the wayside. But now there is a brilliant App/Website designed by a student to help students with their funding needs. Scholly is the brilliant and much needed brainchild of Christopher Gray. Being a low-income student himself, Gray searched for months during his latter years of high school applying for various scholarships until he had racked up enough cash to cover all college fees and then some. The process he went through however, was not an easy one nor a quick one. Thus, Scholly was born. Designed to easily connect students to private scholarships, Gray and his co-founders Nick Pirollo and Bryson Alief came up with an 8 parameter algorithm for easy scholarship connections. Even though it is practically a brand new company, Scholly has helped give out over $20,000,000 to 600,000 users since early 2015. From Chris Gray and me to my fellow broke classmates who are required to write comments; you’re welcome.

Pit It! Pinterest.

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There is an online platform that many individuals, particularly millennials, enjoy. Well, often it’s a procrastination mechanism, at least it is for me. Pinterest allows you to save links to various sites including (but not limited to) retail sites and blogs. “Pins”, as they are called, are categorized and browse-able. With one simple click on the image, your computer, tablet or smartphone immediately links to the site from which the picture was pinned. This allows a user to collect and share others ideas, styles, thoughts, quotes, travels and just about anything you could think to take a snap shot of. I have certainly found myself spending a lot of time on this virtual creativity board.

Ben Silberman, born in 1982, co-founded the virtual pin-board known as Pinterest. Silberman is an internet entrepreneur and acts as the CEO of Pinterest. Silberman is quite the accomplished man. He participated in a prestigious high school research program at MIT, and he later graduated from Yale with his undergraduate degree. Silberman worked at Google in the online advertising group, until he started creating his own apps. Silberman said he thought of Pinterest because he has always liked to collect things. Now, with Pinterest, we can all collect ideas!

Are You Thinking of the Children?

Alain Nteff was, and he was thinking about the mothers too when he created his lifesaving app Gifted Mom.

In 2012, at a twenty years of age, Alain Nteff visited a rural hospital to see his friend Conrad Tankou at a medical practice. At this hospital, Nteff was shocked to learn about the high number of deaths of both mothers and children during the process of birth. Many of these tragedies would be preventable with proper antenatal care. Both Nteff and Tankou set out to see how they could to minimize this affliction in their community.

“The problem of maternal and infant death is not a woman issue — it’s a humanitarian issue. Everybody should take seriously. We all have mothers, we all have sisters, and it’s not just a problem for women or girls.” – Alain Nteff

Nteff and Tankou’s part in solving this problem is an app called Gifted Mom. Gifted Mom offers the following services to women in Cameroon and Nigeria:

– Weekly Antenatal care guide and notifications for pregnant women.
– Vaccination guide and notifications for mothers with children under 5 years.
– Breastfeeding guide for mothers and Career Women.
– Pregnancy Calculator for calculating the expected date of delivery.
– Guide for first time pregnancy and teenage mothers
– Send your concerns to a Doctor and get instant reply.
– Journal your journey

This is a free app and the information it offers is crucial in minimizing unnecessary deaths of mothers and children. If moms have a question, all they have to do is text it to Gifted Mom and they will receive immediate, reliable information. This app also tracks vaccinations in an effort to minimize the 4,000 deaths babies suffer from vaccine-preventable diseases. So far 13,300 mothers and children have been registered through this app. That day trip to the hospital turned into a project that’s give life and hope to many.