Students Address Global Business Demand for Innovative Mobile Applications
Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative (BMIC), a non-profit dedicated to creating strategic relationships between mobile companies, innovative universities, and entrepreneurial students, today held the finals of the first annual University Mobile Challenge at the GSMA Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Committed to helping university students in engineering and business gain real-world entrepreneurial experience, BMIC is working hand-in-hand with global companies to address the demands of the mobile phone industry for innovative applications.
“At BMIC we are fostering support for a non-traditional, highly collaborative paradigm of learning through entrepreneurship and this mobile technology competition,” said Bill Washburn, Executive Director, BMIC. “We hope to attract a diverse student population, including women and others who are underrepresented in technology.”
The year-long, inaugural competition resulted in 11 teams of engineering and business students earning the opportunity to participate from among 40 universities in North America, Europe and Asia. Each team works like a start-up and is required to identify and develop an application, create a business plan and revenue model, and then present to a panel of sponsor company experts and VCs.
The winning team in the 2011 University Mobile Challenge is the University of California, Berkeley (Taylor Griffin, Karthik Lakshmanan, Apoorva Sachdev, Aaditya Sriram and Jade Trinh) for its “Noodle” app, a cloud-based college notes program.
Founding sponsors for the 2011 University Mobile Challenge include the GSMA, NAVTEQ, Nokia, Standard Chartered Bank, and Sprint. Sponsor companies assist teams in identifying possible mobile applications solutions, although it is up to each team to select an application it thinks will receive funding and support from investors.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with BMIC to launch the University Mobile Challenge and establish it as a key element in our App Planet developer-focused program,” commented John Hoffman, CEO, GSMA Ltd. “Many of the greatest technology innovations have come from developments made at universities, and we are excited to work with the participating students to bring their creativity and ingenuity to life.”
“BMIC and NAVTEQ share a vision of helping today’s students become tomorrow’s technology leaders,” said Marc Naddell, vice president, partner and developer programs, NAVTEQ. “We believe that collaboration between industry and academia form a natural relationship for driving innovation and entrepreneurship forward.”
“Working with university programs like the BMIC is a key focus area for Nokia; it allows us to engage with and build a vibrant pool of next-generation mobile developers,” said Purnima Kochikar, vice president, Forum Nokia Developer Community. “Under this program, we will engage with students and professors at universities around the globe, and help them to build their skills now and for the future.
“As one of the first international sponsors of the University Mobile Challenge, we are excited to work closely with the BMIC,” said Todd Schofield, global head, Enterprise Mobility, at Standard Chartered Bank. “By supporting this competition and working with the next generation of mobile developers, we hope to accelerate the pace of innovation in financial services and enhance service and delivery in some of the fastest-growing markets in the world.”
“By 2012’s challenge in Barcelona,” BMIC’s Washburn adds, “we plan to have more than 1,000 students from 75 universities participating at the local campus level. Through annual expansion of the University Mobile Challenge, we want to help college entrepreneurship programs and their graduates meet the demand for innovative mobile technology.”
More information about the University Mobile Challenge can be found at www.bmic.org.
The Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative (BMIC) is a non-profit organization founded in 2010 at the University of California in Berkeley in conjunction with UC Berkeley’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. BMIC’s mission is to foster entrepreneurial excellence in education by giving students practical startup experience through competition. Headquartered in San Francisco, BMIC runs intercollegiate startup competitions around the world between teams of students in various fields of mobile technology. In collaboration with its university members and commercial sponsors, BMIC brings innovation challenges as well as world-class tools, resources, and materials to university students — our next generation of mobile professionals. For more information about the organization and its programs, visit www.bmic.org.
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