Archive for Smartphone

Garrett Gee: Lucky Hunch

Just before the Ipad 2 came out, a young university student named Garrett Gee had the hunch that there would be blog posts all over the web listing the top 10 apps for the new device. Garrett then came up with the idea that there should be much easier QR code software and apps to use with the new device. Because Garrett felt that he was on to something, he go to work immediately.Had to act quickly to be the first to implement his idea. After quickly getting an Ipad 2 into the hands of his ios developer, Garrett spent two sleepless nights developing his service before it was completed. He named his app Scan and recruited two fellow classmates to help develop the service further and it was finally launched in February of 2011. In the first year, Scan earned over 10 million downloads and made over 1.5 million dollars from venture capitalists such as Google Ventures.

In class we have talked about how many ideas originally stem from a lucky hunch like Garrett’s. When a hunch is taken seriously, it can lead to big ideas and successful accomplishments like the scan application. Hunches are able to develop by clashing with other people’s ideas and hunches. After getting the input of his two fellow classmates, Garrett’s hunch was improved and transformed into the extremely successful idea of Scan.

Fever Smart – Colin Hill, Aaron Goldstein

In 2012, Colin Hill was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma right as he was about to start college at the University of Pennsylvania. Hill had to undergo extensive chemotherapy treatments, leaving him susceptible to life threatening infections, and a constant need to monitor his temperature to detect these infections as soon as possible. He would check his temperature consistently throughout the day, but at night, this became difficult. One night before he went to bed he had a normal temperature reading, but hours later he woke up with a dangerously high fever and was sent to the emergency room to treat the infection that he did not detect during the night.

He and other U Penn students, William Duckworth, Aaron Goldstein, and Becca Goldstein, began thinking of a solution to this problem. They developed Fever Smart, a smart device that constantly monitors the wearer’s body temperature, sends alerts to a smartphone/tablet/etc. via Bluetooth, as well as uploads the data to the cloud for access anywhere in the world. The device is only 32 mm long and is worn comfortably under the armpit. Although the hospital applications of Fever Smart are wide ranging, Fever Smart is marketed toward parents who want a way to effectively monitor their child’s temperature all throughout the night or when they are not present. Within months, they had a working prototype as well as FDA approval on the device. After an Indiegogo campaign for manufacturing funds raised 75% of its $40,000 goal in the first 24 hours, and then exceeded their goal with $65,000 raised, they launched Fever Smart in January of 2015.

Colin Hill and his group of entrepreneurs identified a significant problem through his own medical experiences, and the insight that those experiences gave them allowed them to formulate an innovative solution. None of the students had any medical background, and yet created a product that was a winner of Entrepreneur Magazine 2014, and can be utilized in the entirety of the medical field to improve healthcare. Fever Smart is just another example of a good idea coming from your personal experiences.

Resources:

http://www.businessinsider.com/fever-smart-patch-from-upenn-students-monitors-fevers-2014-8

http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/09/prweb12181431.htm

Aditya Argawalla: Innovation In India

Aditya Agarwalla- Co-Founder of Kisan Network

Kisan Marketplace is an online marketplace connected to farmers in India through a mobile phone app. The farmers use the app to sell their crops to buyers. This system generally makes things cheaper for both the farmers and the buyers, because it cuts out the middlemen and geography which limits them in India.

This business is unique due to the new rise of cheap smartphones in India. Until recently, smartphones were not commonly available to people in India. But with this recent rise, has come a great opportunity to use technology to help the farmers more efficiently deliver their crops to sellers. Aditya Agarwalla 22, dropped out of Princeton University to start this business with his father, a farmer in India. They have a simple app, which farmers download onto their smartphones, and it connects them with a vast marketplace of buyers, with Kisan Network acting as the middleman connecting the two.

Aditya Agarwalla saw a need to sell crops more efficiently for farmers. He tapped into the technology, which at that point was a relatively unexploited field. As the first innovators in this market, the Kisan Network’s success has been remarkable. They have moved over one million pounds of crops in under one year.

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.

uBreakiFix

Justin Wetherill built a multi-million dollar business out of his bedroom in Orlando, FL. What started out as a simple problem – a broken iPhone screen – turned into an idea that Justin developed into uBreakiFix, which is now an international franchise operation.

After working as a staff accountant for a few months out of college, Justin quickly realized that he didn’t want to be stuck behind a desk for the rest of his life. He and his friend David Reiff tried their hand at a few different business ideas, including an online custom t-shirt business and a custom gaming computer business. Neither of them picked up much traction though. It wasn’t until Justin dropped his iPhone 3G and broke the screen that the idea for uBreakiFix was born. Not wanting to pay $200 to have the phone fixed by Apple, Justin ordered some parts online and decided to learn how to do it himself – and proceeded to break his phone even worse. But that didn’t stop him. He went on to buy a bunch of broken phones on eBay and learned how to fix them through trial and error. David built a website to advertise their services. For $79.99 you could mail in your phone and they would fix it and mail it back. The business took off, and they quickly realized that customers wanted same-day repairs, so they opened up a storefront. In the first month, they made $18,000 in revenue and $28,000 the second month – Justin quit his job in the third month.

The business expanded from one store to two quickly. Justin would hire and train his friends and paid them $10 an hour with a deal that if they worked hard for six months, they could own a store. Within three years, uBreakiFix went from zero to 47 corporate stores and a revenue of $27 million. Currently about 15% of the stores are owned by former employees.

Justin’s story shows that entrepreneurship is a lot of trial and error and learning to get back on your feet when something goes wrong. It’s also about accepting risk – the reason why his company was able to grow so fast was because they put almost all the revenue back into the company, betting on the fact that their idea would be successful.

To read more about Justin’s story, see this interview with him in Forbes.

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.

 

 

 

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!

The Supercapacitor

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In 2013, Eesha Khare showcased her energy supercapacitor at an intertnational science fair.  Her invention, a “super battery” in nature, has the ability to fully charge and hold a large amount of energy within 20 to 30 seconds.  This supercapacitor can pack a ton of energy into a tiny amount of space and hold the charge for a very long time.

Eesha has been and is currently working on its future applications.  She believes her supercapacitor can revolutionize phones and other electronic devices in the near future.  Eesha has also stated that her supercapacitor is 10 times more efficient and long lasting the current rechargeable battery.

Eesha is currently working through the second part of her product innovation.  Her prototype and technology were a success and she is currently working on how to ready her invention/product for the mass market.

While it’s been 3 years, her and the supercapacitors future is very promising.  The supercapacitor has the capability to revolutionize the technological industry.  The concept of “waiting for your device to charge” would be completely erased.  Eesha’s idea for faster and longer lasting energy will “literally” be in our hands sooner than we know it.

Gifting Africa

Eighteen year old Alain Nteff was alarmed by the high death rate of newborn babies and pregnant women in his community. When he was  20, he developed a mobile app called “Gifted Mom” to help solve this problem. The app helps teenage mothers and health workers calculate due dates. It also collects and sends information to women in the community. His app has more than 500 downloads and is integrated with locally made phones. It has 1,200 pregnant women and mothers as beneficiaries and has led to a 20% increase in antenatal attendance rate for pregnant women in 15 rural communities. Nteff is also working with 200 medical students to reduce brain drain in Cameroon. He plans to reach 50,000 pregnant women and mothers by end of 2015 and 5 million across the continent by 2017.

Sadly, over 7000 women still die per year in Cameroon from pregnancy related complications which can be prevented by a simple educative SMS. The company  notify subscribe women by SMS on when they should do their ANCs and tell them why. Subscription to their SMS solution is free and be done on the companies homepage. The company has the inspiring campaign and goals to use low cost technologies to fight ignorance and Maternal and Newborn Health issues. They organize monthly outreach sensitization projects, one village at a time to help Africa for the better.

Robert Nay

Robert was 14 when he created Bubble ball- an app that took competition from angry birds. This game launched his game company Nay Games. Over two million people downloaded his app in two weeks. He created the app with no previous knowledge of coding. He researched how to code at the library and took ideas from games that he liked on his phone. His only investment was a macbook given to him by his parents.

This is amazing as it shows not only that kids can be creative and do amazing things, but it also shows how powerful reading is. Reading is sometimes ignored or forgotten in the new technology age, but he was able to gain enough knowledge to code over 4000 lines of code on his own without previous schooling. I think that some of the smartest people are really just avid readers or self taught geniuses.

Lesson to take away- read a lot and you will be too smart to unsuccessful.