Appathon UK extends deadline as industry holds workshops for app ideas

Companies such as Kuato Studios have hosted workshops to generate app ideas for the Appathon UK competition

The Appathon UK competition deadline has been extended to 3 November 2014, as students rally to submit ideas for apps.

Appathon UK is a competition launched by Founders4Schools and Silicon Valley Comes to the UK (SVC2UK) which challenges young people to find technology solutions for the challenges around them.

The competition is part of the Create! campaign, which aims to help students link the science, technology, engineering and maths (Stem) skills they are learning at school with creating the IT businesses of the future.

School students are asked to think up an app that could change their lives for the better and submit their idea to the public voting platform.

The deadline to submit prototypes remains 9 November 2014, with students from several universities – including the University of Cambridge, Southampton University and Imperial College London – building the ideas.

Biotechnology company 23andMe recently announced it is offering university students access to their application programming interface (API) data to generate app prototypes.

Industry hosts Appathon UK workshops

Partners of the Appathon UK are hosting workshops up and down the country to generate ideas and build prototypes.

Founders4SchoolsKuato Studios and Innotech Summit recently hosted an Appathon workshop to bring together three London schools with the aim of generating ideas for entry.

Pupils from Snowfields, Fulham Prep and St Thomas The Apostle College gathered at gaming expert Kuato Studios, near Shoreditch, to share ideas; meet with designers, developers and artists; and learn about careers in the IT industry.

Among the ideas, gaming apps were most popular, while some groups focused on social networking. The students then designed logos and wrote pitches for investors, before presenting their apps to judges in the “Kuato Den”. The students also shared ideas on how to make the apps profitable with advertising, partnerships and revenue share schemes.

Director of learning at Kuato Studios David Miller said the competition is about highlighting where digital skills are needed and enabling students to bring those skills to industry.

“The Appathon UK is about a journey bringing together young kids and university students, with both learning the language of business to become entrepreneurs,” he said.

One idea from the day was “Go Go Pete”, which was developed by a group aged between eight and nine. The app is about a boy who needs to make his way home from school, but has to overcome several everyday obstacles such as traffic, needing to stop to get milk and meeting a friend who delays him.

Fulham Prep teacher Piers Young told Computer Weekly taking students on trips, such as to the gaming studio, helps them embrace learning skills such as coding, 

The Appathon UK is about a journey bringing together young kids and university students, with both learning the language of business to become entrepreneurs

David Miller, Kuato Studios

Appathon UK also recently hosted eight workshops at Technopop – a festival for 100,000 students and families to learn about technology, design and innovation during a four-week event near the Olympic Park in Stratford, London.

Supported by Oxley International Holdings, the festival aimed to inspire young people to consider IT in both their future careers and social lives.

The Appathon UK workshops were attended by 150 people, generating a further 40 app ideas for the app competition. Other recently hosted events include workshops at IncuBus London and Playfair Capital.

Student Hack will be hosting a workshop between 31 October and 2 November 2014, while Skills Matter is holding one from 1 November until 2 November 2014.

Growing list of competition prizes

More prizes for the competition have been added to the growing list on offer, which have been provided by the Appathon UK’s supporting partners.

Twitter has offered a tour of its headquarters in California for the overall winner; IncuBus London have offered a mentoring opportunity for a team of winning students; and University College London (UCL) AppLabs have offered the winning university students a fast-track launch of their app to Beta-testing phase.

More companies have offered trips to to the USA, including Facebook which has offered to host both the winning school and the winning university students in Silicon Valley, while PayPal and Square have offered a tour of their headquarters in California.

In addition, GradFactor has offered to broadcast the winning university team’s app and name(s) on the UK’s largest student TV network, which reaches 1.6 million students nationwide across 93 different UK universities.

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