Conestoga news

April 10, 2014 3:19 PM

Developing apps for social good

Conestoga students presented their best business ideas for creating social benefits at the college's first-ever Technology Enabled Social Innovation (TESI) challenge held on March 26 at the Centre for Entrepreneurship (C4E).

Designed to encourage students to 'tackle real issues and create good in the world', the TESI Challenge encourages participants to create a technology app or develop a social innovation with a social purpose.

A free program available to Conestoga students, TESI is supported by Ontario's Ministry of Economic Development, Trade and Employment and Conestoga Students Inc. Students in the program utilize C4E’s resources and creative space and have access to the Centre’s Social Entrepreneur in Residence, an expert available to coach students through each stage of business and app development.

Program workshops focus on areas such as social innovation and effective networking along with courses on planning and financing a business.

In addition to the TESI workshops, students have the opportunity to participate in Apps for Good, a program that focuses specifically on the use of digital technology to create solutions to social problems. Derived from a UK program of the same name, this additional training in new product development and design includes access to industry experts and C4E’s Tech Sandbox.

At the March 26 event, Conestoga students Jill Clark, John Paul Ellis, Josh Magashzi and Ryan Erb were presented with the Best Social Innovation prize for their MyLife Innovations app, designed to help parents of children with disabilities source out and access community resources.

Students from business startup App Raiser earned both the Best Business and People's Choice awards for their crowdfunding technology solution. Stephen Campbell, Glendys Gil, Josh Filsinger and Galina Dzhasova developed an app that uses social networks to fundraise for charitable projects.

Students from both winning entries received prize money to help defray startup costs associated with their projects.

C4E offers courses designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Visit the website for more information.