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Osu App competition judges look at a presentation

OSU App Center competition helps build new ideas

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Media Contact: Kim Mullins | Communications Coordinator | 405-744-3546 |

In a world with constant app updates and the growing need to simplify life the OSU App Center taps into a fountain of progressive thinking for OSU’s campus. The annual App competition helps develop, promote and build new ideas to improve the world. 

This year’s categories were health apps that will improve the health of people in Oklahoma and beyond, social, cultural and environmental issues, and research apps using scientific knowledge to solve problems.  

“This year’s app competition was very special as this was our 10th app competition,” said Jai Rajendran,manager of the OSU App Center, “This is a significant milestone for us.” 

Total cash awards of $5000 attracted 59 app ideas with 53 participants fueling the competition in its first stage. The top 10 of the first stage moved on to round two to vie for the top five awards. 

“I was impressed with the number and diversity of great mobile app ideas that were submitted this year,”said one of the confidential judges. “It shows the strength of OSU’s research and extension capabilities, along with OSU staff and students’ insights to bring knowledge, innovation, and benefits to customers through a mobile device.” 

The categories the finalists covered were broad — from building code calculators and Oklahoma bird identification systems to safety equipment selection. 

For many, identifying a need is simple; but presenting and pitching an idea to a panel of judges is daunting. 

“While I have given many presentations, I’ve never done a pitch before and it was a little bit intimidating,” said Brenda Sanders, one of the app developers.

The app center competition is important to Cowboy Innovation. It is the opportunity for students to take a leap in their creativity and voice,” Miles said. The competition gives developers a starting line to have faith in their ideas and to be bold in presenting them. We consistently receive entries that truly understand the need for specialized apps." 

Through a series of presentations the top 5 apps were chosen in November. 

OSU Horticulture earned 1st place with Oklahoma Landscape, an app to help landscape enthusiasts — from the weekend gardener to master gardener.  

“The App Center is looking forward to working with the Oklahoma Landscape Plant app team to design and develop their app idea,” said Jai Rajendran, App Center Manager.  

The winning team will also receive design help from The App Center. Many of the contests’ app developers said -he questions the panel raised were invaluable and would help them as they move forward.

Second place in app design was Extra Credit designed by OSU student Sarah Hileman. Extra Credit was born from a student’s personal need for tracking and sharing academic needs in list format. 

“I found that not only myself but other students would benefit from an app that would organize books and supplies or even lab and research needs and somehow link those needs to academia contacts or even family who are able to help financially,” Hileman said,  

Safety Net, PPE, and Building Codes Calculator, rounded out the awards. Taking the lead in the social issues, Safety Net provides a security option for domestic abuse victims. Building Codes Calculator established a method to identify necessary codes from construction to inspection. PPE or Personal Protective Equipment also identified a need for safety by identifying specific protective equipment for specific job sites. 

These apps could all go on to contribute to a large part of the U.S. economy. 

For the numbers’ people in the room, a report conducted in 2018 by Deloitte, The App Economy in the US Report Act and app development in the US, “the app economy represents $568.47 billion — nearly 30 times the value of movie ticket sales in North America.

The opportunities to be creative and fulfill a need are really endless,” Sanders said. “I would highly recommend anyone interested in developing an app to enter the competition and look forward to working with the crew at the App Center.”

To submit your idea for the 2022 App Center competition please visit

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