My dreams were dashed, but I was already in love (with my app idea!)

Apps for Good Fellow Ellora James from Wick in Scotland tells us about how missing out on a place in the final of the Apps for Good Awards didn’t mean the end for her app idea.

Ellora with the rest of the Envirocache team (second in on right)

Ever since I saw the names of successful Apps for Good entrants in our local newspaper and all over Twitter I wanted to take part in the course. I had taken part in other computing competitions, but this, this was the icing on the cake – I mean imagine getting an app that you designed put on the app store!

I started to ‘fall in love’ with computing science and our idea Envirocache

My team (me, Mari-Ann, Sarah and Sophie) spent months trying to figure out an amazing app idea, going from organisation to maths to our final idea Envirocache – a mobile app the gets children outdoors, active and educated.

As the year went by, I really started to ‘fall in love’ with Computing Science and our idea Envirocache. When we submitted all our hard work at the end of the year, I was like an overprotective mother dropping their child off at school for the first time: I was just so nervous. That was it, our ‘child’ was in Apps for Good’s hands now. All we could do was wait.

When he said ‘I’ve got some bad news’ I was still hopeful

We’d received some really good feedback for Envirocache, so although I didn’t want to jinx anything, I thought we stood a pretty good chance. We waited, and waited and waited until I went to get something from my Computing teacher Mr Aitken. The words “I’ve got some bad news…” at the start of the sentence meant I had no clue if he was about to do a “…but you’re stuck with us because you’re through to the live semi-finals” X Factor thing or actually had bad news. Unfortunately it was the latter and we weren’t through to the finals.

Ellora coding the Envirocache web site

Whether or not I left his class and cried a tiny bit into the shoulder of my friend you don’t need to know. But I’m not a bad loser, promise! I just felt at that point it was the end of Envirocache and we had spent so much of our own time working on this that we deserved at least some recognition, and I mean who doesn’t want to go to London.

The crucial thing I learned is that entering the Apps for Good Awards is 100% not the end whether you get through to the finals or not!

Despite what I thought at first, Envirocache seems to have got further than some of the teams who did get to the final. I had no idea a few months ago that I would be sitting here typing this whilst trying to develop our startup and get Envirocache made into an app.

Not getting to the competition finals is 100% NOT the end

After Apps for Good I applied for the ‘Outbox Incubator’, an EU wide incubator program comprising of funding, mentoring and support for girls aged between 11-22 with startups and interest in STEM subjects. Everything I learnt and did at Outbox Incubator really gave me and my team that extra nudge and inspiration to think ‘you know what, we could still work with Envirocache’. And that’s what we are doing.

Find out more at

Didn’t win at the Awards but have an app idea that you want to develop? Get in touch with us at

One comment

  1. […] Ellora, 15 from Wick in Scotland, is the creator of Envirocache. She attended Outbox Incubator in 2015 where she won seed funding to take her app idea forward. She is passionate about coding, and becoming a software developer. Ellora recently took up a work experience placement at Thomson Reuters, and spoke at the BETT Conference about getting more girls into STEM. She is always encouraging Fellows to continue with their ideas. […]


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