April 25, 2012
School of Engineering, Bengaluru
The annual Mobile World Congress is organized by a trade group representing network operators, manufacturers and suppliers of GSM technology.
This year, nearly 67,000 delegates from around the world participated during February 27-March 1 in Barcelona. For the second year in succession, Amrita students attended.
They were participating in the University Mobile Challenge Contest, which was organized as part of the Congress by Berkley Mobile International Collaborative, a non-profit organization.
While the contest attracted world-wide participation, only the top 14 teams were invited to make a presentation in Barcelona. These student teams had the opportunity to pitch their mobile apps and business plans to venture capitalists, who could decide to actually provide funding.
Teams from only two universities in India received invitations viz. Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham and IIT Kharagpur.
“Their apps were game changing and their business plans had the potential to generate revenue and become the basis for successful companies,” the organizers stated.
Amrita was represented by four final-year students of engineering. Aaditya Sriram, Rohan Prabhu, Nikhil Nandagopal and Kedar Karthik. While the first three will graduate in May 2012 B.Tech. degrees in Computer Science and Engineering, Kedar will complete his degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering.
The former three in the team focused on the technical aspects of the project, and Kedar was their business executive and market research specialist.
Together the students built a retail business app for Android and named it Acolyte. The effort took a few months from November 2011 to February 2012.
The students explained their creation.
“Our application Acolyte can help customers and vendors make the most out of products they respectively buy and sell. It leverages the power of bulk to fetch customers the best price for a product they wish to buy and at the same time makes sure that the vendor does not lose out on his margin, by helping him drive sales.”
“Ours is a crowd sourced application that believes in making buying a social phenomenon. It provides the best of the deals to a user with almost no effort on his end; the only thing a user has to do is make a wish list!”
Did the venture capitalists in Barcelona like the idea?
“Our team received a very good response from the judges and our peers, who really appreciated our enthusiasm and passion for the product we had built. In the future, we will be trying to build up own company to market this application.”
“For us, computer science is the license to innovate beyond imagination, and we are happy to have used this opportunity! We were excited about Android apps ever since we ourselves got Android Smartphones.”
“Participating in the contest gave us an idea of how many amazing things are happening in universities around the world. We interacted with students from Egypt, Lebanon, USA, UK, Canada, France, Spain and Italy. We exchanged ideas and thoughts. We realized that failure to innovate is not an option at all.”