Entering the Apps for Good Awards? Here’s what students can expect

The Entry Form for the 2017 Apps for Good Awards is now available. In this blog, Apps for Good Fellows Sophie and Marcos explain students can look forward to with the course, Awards entry and beyond.

We spent a lot of effort on our entry. Hearing ‘no’ was not an option!

Marcos from Denbigh High School in Luton won the Apps for Good Awards with his team DiPloy in 2016. Below he explains what it was like to enter and to be selected as a Finalist for the Apps for Good Awards.

Apps for Good was a life changer for me.

When I was first told about the course in my school, I wasn’t 100% sure I wanted to join. After several weeks of thinking, in the end, I chose to join the course. I’m glad I did – Apps For Good was a life changer for me. It offered me a variety of skills which I will continue to use, and it’s been an experience to remember.

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Marcos (second from left) with his DiPloy teammates

When the course started, my team members and I had to find an idea. We had to identify a gap in the market or in an area that people often underestimated or ignored. After a week of thorough research came up with our app idea DiPloy, which helps young people with disabilities find suitable employment.

I kept going back to our competition entry.

Weeks passed and went by, and in a flash I found myself writing the competition entry which will help the judges decide if DiPloy would get through to the Apps for Good Awards. I was not going to hear a ‘no’ from the judges. I knew that a door was open, and I wasn’t going to let it close.

I kept going to back to our competition entry, I spent a lot of time and effort on it. When it was finished and checked, our teacher helped us submit it and from there on, we had to wait for weeks. The waiting period was very nerve wracking for me – the entire time the words ‘are we going through?’ raced through my mind.

When the wait was over, I went with classmates to see the teacher who managed the course. On the way to the room, everyone was feeling frightened and anxious to get the results. She announced the finalist, and luckily our app was mentioned. My mind was racing with excitement, and joy was running through my veins. Smiles appeared on my team members faces and everyone was relieved from the suspense.

Gradually, my confidence grew.

After several weeks of planning and practising our pitch, our team headed to London for the Apps for Good Awards. First, we went to the Spotify office to practice our presentation. They gave us feedback which we used to improve our pitch, and we truly appreciated their hospitality that they offered to us. After that, it was time to go to the Barbican Centre and present our ideas.

At that point, every finalist team came into the theatre. I could sense the nerves and tension in the atmosphere, as everyone wanted to win. After some inspirational talks from the Fellows, we each went to our judging rooms. When we heard we were presenting first, we knew we had to make an impact. We wanted the Dragons to feel impressed and amazed by our idea. We started talking about our app and in those moments, I felt frightened.

After our pitches, we all went down to Marketplace to talk about our app idea to different guests. At first, I was very timid, but gradually my confidence grew and I could talk confidently about my app idea.

Winning was one of the best moments I’ve ever experienced.

Finally, we went back to the theatre, where we were about to find out the results of the Awards. All the other categories passed, and eventually, ours came. An important guest from Samsung opened the envelope and read out ‘DiPloy’. With excitement and a sense of relief, my team members and I went up the stage and collected our award. Everyone was clapping, and it was one of the best moments that I have ever experienced.


 

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Sophie (far left) on her way to volunteer at the Apps for Good Awards.

Winning isn’t the only thing you can achieve with Apps for Good.

Sophie, 15 from Bolton in Northwest England was 2016 Fellow of The Year. She gained a lot from Apps for Good, even though her idea wasn’t selected for the Finals. Below she shares a message of encouragement for other students.

See this as the start of a new experience.

You’ve all put in so much work on your ideas, which is an incredible accomplishment. While only a few teams can win the competition, the Apps for Good Awards are just one of countless opportunities! Don’t worry if you don’t win the Awards, although it may seem your dreams were dashed it isn’t a reason to stop now. See this as the beginning of a brand new journey.

There’s so much more you can do in tech and entrepreneurship.

It’s amazing how much there is to learn! You can to take your app further, find work placements and much more. Once you open yourself up to this idea and start looking, you’ll see opportunities everywhere!

The Fellowship can help!

The Fellowship enables you to further your skills in tech and help you channel your enthusiasm about technology and entrepreneurship towards real-world experiences; whether you’re attending events, speaking to industry experts or sharing what you know by mentoring others.

Even though you might not win an award, Apps for Good can help you to go much further and achieve your ambitions and goal. It’s easy to become a Fellow, if you haven’t already you can join right now!