Look back at the 2013 Apps for Good Awards

This time of year is one of the most exciting events in our calendar: the annual Apps for Good Awards, our national competition open to all the students in Apps for Good.  We will be selecting winners from our 17,000 students who will see their app launched on to the market with the help of our development agency partners and sponsors. Ahead of the Awards, we are taking a look back at the last 12 months and the journey of our 2013 Apps for Good Awards winners.

2013 Apps for Good Awards

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s been a year since we brought together 24 teams of young people aged 10-18 to the heart of London’s Tech City to present their app ideas. The groups came from the length and breadth of the country, with some travelling from as far as Wick in the north east of Scotland. On the day they were given the opportunity to fine tune their pitches at our Hothouse sessions with Tech City companies, ahead of their grilling from the Dragons. This eventually saw seven teams crowned winners, but this was only the start of their journey.

From prototype to market

From June to December, the groups of young entrepreneurs worked closely with app developers to turn their ideas into reality and bring them to market. These few months saw the pupils building upon the problem solving skills they learned in Apps For Good course when creating the initial designs. Although six months may sound like a long time for an app to be created, it’s important to remember that even our most dedicated pupils deserve some time off in the summer!

By working with the developers the pupils were able to learn about everything from UX to establishing a credible brand. For some students, such as the Social Bank team, this was an opportunity to slightly pivot the focus of their app after conducting research into the feasibility of the initial prototype.

This is what makes the Apps For Good journey such an enriching one:  it allows pupils to learn and adapt as they go along. Working with Experts, the young people quickly realise that it’s not about getting everything right first time; in business it’s about being able to learn from your mistakes and, most importantly, build upon them.

January 2014 App Launch

Fast forward to January and our seven teams once again headed for the capital, this time to the offices of Thomson Reuters in Canary Wharf to officially launch their apps onto the market and ready to download.

  • Cattle Manager by Wick High School, sponsored by Dell: Manage your herd on your mobile 
  • Pitch Pals by Stratford Girls’ School, sponsored by BlackBerry: Our pals make instrument tuning fun
  • Pockupation by The Abbey School, sponsored by Barclaycard: Find or advertise odd jobs in your community
  • Social Bank by Mount Grace School: Save for what you crave
  • Dog Log by Wick High School, sponsored by Thomson Reuters: Walk your dog and compete with friends
  • Story Wall by Cockburn School, sponsored by TalkTalk: Collaborative story telling for young people
  • Supportive Schedule by Nelson Thomlinson School, sponsored by SAP: Helps people with learning difficulties with their daily routines
App launch 2014
The Pitch Pals team speaks to Apps for Good Trustee Lord Jim Knight at the App launch 2014

Where next?

For some of the pupils the Apps For Good journey has given them insight into the opportunities the growing tech industry could offer them, with one team even going to the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona to present their app. For others they have learned invaluable skills that will help them with their future careers and endeavours. Even getting to come down to Tech City in London was an eye-opening experience for some pupils that helped broaden their horizons and build confidence.

At Apps For Good we are building a global generation of problem solvers and digital makers: student who can create, market and launch products that change the world. It’s through our Awards ceremony that we can showcase the positive results that come out of having a more innovative approach to education that brings learning to life.

We’ve recently announced our Finalist teams for the 2014 Apps for Good Awards, which can be found here. Also keep an eye on @AppsForGoodCDI on Twitter for the latest news!