Cowboy Technologies, LLC is working with the Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) Scholars program, corporate sponsor AAA Oklahoma and the Office of the Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer to launch an App Center at Oklahoma State University.
The idea originated from Cowboy Technologies CEO, Steve Wood, was embraced and endorsed by Neal Krueger, CEO of AAA Oklahoma and South Dakota, with app development industry specifics contributed by Kayvon Olomi, founder of AppTank. All three are OSU alums.
“The center will be a space and activity that fosters concepts and creative app ideas across Oklahoma State University’s ecosystem,” Wood said. “The App Center at OSU supports the screening, refining, resource funding and app development needed to launch viable app ideas into practice.”
Wood is serving as a mentor to CIE Scholars Caroline Diedrich, Jagdeep Podichetty Thribhuvan and Ashish Singh, who are working to develop a successful business model for the App Center. Their goals include creating a new forum on campus for students, faculty and staff to be engaged in the app development process and providing a unique service to companies by connecting them with students in new ways to develop apps.
The App Center will provide a space at OSU where students can transition their app ideas into functioning web and mobile applications. The space will connect students on campus with other students on campus, allowing them to collaborate in the app development process. The App Center will house all the necessary equipment and programs to facilitate this process; these resources will be offered free to students. The space will also allow for students to connect to corporate sponsors and businesses needing apps. The App Center will provide a forum that is not widely available for application development.
“This project not only focuses on creating synergy on the OSU campus through app development, but also brings students, faculty, alumni and companies together in a unique way,” said Diedrich. “It is exciting for our team to be involved with an initiative to create something that does not exist at any other university and the support we have received to do so already has been invaluable.”
The App Center will have a home in the lobby of the Henry Bellmon Research Center thanks to a donation of space from Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer Dr. Stephen McKeever, who wanted to provide a place for students, faculty and alumni to converge and engage the app development process. The App Center’s initial resource needs will be provided by Cowboy Technologies, LLC, McKeever’s office, AAA Oklahoma and its holding company: Auto Club Partners.
“I am excited that the new App Center will be located in the HBRC,” McKeever said. “Since the building is all about collaboration, discovery and innovation, the App Center is a perfect fit.”
As the lead sponsor of the App Center, AAA has been working hands-on with Wood and the CIE Scholars as an influence, support and resource generator for the project. AAA is involved with setting the short-term and long-term strategies, concept, contest design, resources planning and procurement.
The App Center will be a beta market for different AAA territories within their holding company. AAA will sponsor a contest that allows students, faculty and employees to compete for a $25,000 development prize to initiate an app that benefits AAA’s customers.
AAA Oklahoma is not only sponsoring monetarily, but also by identifying their corporate app needs. As a contest sponsor, AAA intends to fulfill the requirements beyond just start-up.
“We feel there is a need at campuses and communities across the nation of parties who either need apps developed or are looking to develop their own,” said Paige Nixon, the AAA’s marketing programs coordinator. “AAA Oklahoma is extremely excited to be associated with the CIE Scholars program. We are working with a very gifted and diverse team and feel that they are on their way to creating something sustainable and convertible across multiple markets.”
The App Center is projected to launch during the 2013 spring semester. There are numerous ways to get involved. Students, faculty and employees can submit and develop their app ideas by utilizing the services offered at the App Center. Also, they can enter in app development competitions, volunteer or assist with the App Center.
For more information please contact Steve Wood at 405-744-4156.