Taking the pulse of the social scene, especially on college campuses, was the winning idea of the Miclot Business Plan Competition Sunday.
Pulse, a mobile application designed by Nicolas Walker ’17 and Ryan Gies ’17, is already under development and a majority of the funds have been raised for the project. Gies said beta testing could begin at Vanderbilt University this fall.
Walker and Gies are calling the app “The Heartbeat of Campus” since it can be used to highlight major events to very, small “micro-events.” Gies said Pulse would give transparency to what is actually happening based on the users’ preferences and friends.
Their idea netted the pair $5,000 and the opportunity to move on to The Next Launch, which will be conducted May 17 in Fishers, Ind. Also moving on to the regional competition will be first runner-up Oscar Casas ’17 with CPIphones, a mobile phone repair and resell business, which received $1,000, and second runner-up ClassWrap, a collaborative project system for students and instructors designed by Rebecca Sun ’18, Helen Johnston ’18, and Will Levan ’18, which earned $500.
Pulse allows sororities, fraternities, and other student organizations to post events. Each event could show in real time the number of people in a person’s friends group attending, provide a map for the exact location, and even provide the girls-to-boys ratio. Friends would also be able to text each other and post photos of the event within the app. Activity at each event would be highlighted by the color and blinking of the location balloon at each site listed, Walker said.
CPIphones’ Casas said he has found that the majority of damaged smart phones can be easily repaired. He has personally worked on 156 phones and he believes there are up to 1,000 used or broken phones up for sale on sites like eBay every day. By hiring high school seniors and college students as subcontractors to do the work, he will be able to repair and resell the refurbished phones at a lower cost than corporate competitors.
ClassWrap can be used by students and instructors to maintain contact when circumstances prevent it. Students unable to attend class could watch video lectures, do video conferences with classmates, participate in virtual study sessions, take and share notes, and find other students to collaborate with. Professors could use the application for video conferences, stream their lectures, and provide information on assignments.
If used at the secondary school level, ClassWrap could also allow parents to check on assignments and grades along with the student and teacher applications, they said.
The other five finalists presenting during the competition were CelebConnect by Miles Clark ’17, EasyTask by Casas and Wali Mohsin ’20, NextPlate by Manuel Flores-Ramirez ’17 and Sebastian Hernandez Rojas ’18, RetroFit Irrigation, Inc. by Evan Neher ’19, and SummerJob by Caroline Sem ’18.
Serving as the judges for this year’s competition were parent Kevin Carroll, founder of Placement Loop; Julie Hanna ’78, who operates a college consulting business; and Jahon Hobbeheydar ’91, who leads the Strategy Function at Cummins, Inc., in Columbus, Ind.
Pulse, CPIphones and ClassWrap will now present at The Next Launch on May 17. They will compete against the qualifiers from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and Fishers High School. The competition will be conducted at Launch Fishers, a business incubator in Fishers, Ind. The winner will receive $10,000, with the first runner-up receiving $5,000 and the second runner-up $1,000.
The Miclot Business Competition, endowed by Culver parents Andy and Sharlene Miclot of Boca Raton, Fla., is part of The Ron Rubin School for the Entrepreneur.