If the true purpose of college is preparing young minds for the professional world, then the University of Minnesota’s Mobile App Challenge would seem to be very much in line with that directive.
Mobile devices are quickly growing toward a ubiquitous state and those who can successfully develop useful software are gaining an edge in the technical job market. This competition – entering its second year after Monday night’s kickoff event on the U of M campus – puts teams of contestants through the entire process, from conjuring a conceptual idea to pitching for buy-in to actually building their app over the course of two semesters.
“It’s sort of a mini-entrepreneur experience,” says Farhad Anklesaria, a professor in the Office of Information Technology (OIT) who runs the event along with his colleague Patrick Haggerty. “You have an idea, you put it in front of judges, and if your idea gets selected somebody helps you along the way to realize it.”