Apps for Students, by Students

On Friday, March 15, Cypress College held their second networking event for the Cypress and Modo Lab Ideathon 2019, an event where students, “take their ideas and build them into an app,” with no prior skill necessary.

The meeting was held in Lecture Hall 216, where all participants gathered to obtain more details regarding the Ideathon and assemble their teams of 3 to 5 students and ideas for their expected apps. Participants had the option to create original ideas or could choose from one of the themes mentioned on the website such as Food/Housing Insecurity, Life Skills, Mental Health, as well as others.

34 year old Jessica Button, a business major said, “My idea was like a financial app, based on your financial aid..”

Julian Fernandez, a 32 year old electrical engineering major said, “I want to emphasize more on mental health and ways that students can help overcome their fears and enable their success in student life because a lot of us struggle with little things such as procrastination.”

During the meeting the students received a video presentation from a former winner of the Ideathon from Argentina. She explained how she won first place at the local level and now works for Modo Lab Inc. and does ideathons for students as well as her coworkers.

The Ideathon was presented by Modo Lab Inc. and was a weekend long competition where students were able to create apps that were designed to help solve problems that students on campus may be facing. Participants were not required to have any coding skills or background, allowing anyone with ideas to participate.

Participants were required to be an undergraduate or graduate student currently enrolled in any degree program that their school offers. Minors could also participate with written consent of a parent (Cypress College/Ideathon).

There is a local level and a national level to the Ideathon as well. Students who make it to the national level will get the chance to fly to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) for the final competition.

The prize at the local level is $2,000 and the prize at the national level is $10,000 according to the Cypress College/Ideathon website. Among the cash prizes, teams also get the bragging rights and their app gets published and put to use. The national competition will be in June 2019.

The winning team this year goes by the name +C. The members are James Nguyen, Bryant Hernandez, ChiaYuan Wu and Urjaa Ghimirey. They won the local prize of $2,000 and will be moving on to the national championships where they will compete for the $10,000 prize. Their app is a “campus sustainability mobile app focused on cost of textbooks, resources and access to these services using Cypress Connect” said Peter Maharaj.


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