Oklahoma State University
Cowboy Technologies mans AppCenter in an effort to foster campus-wide mobile app ideas PDF  | Print |
Wednesday, 02 October 2013 20:55

What began as an idea just over a year ago is now a fully functional app development center at Oklahoma State University.

It was the brainchild of Cowboy Technologies CEO Steve Wood, who recognized the need to create a collaborative environment with the mission to aid, develop and foster OSU community-wide app ideas.

“While working with faculty and students on technology commercialization, it became apparent apps were becoming more and more important to the invention process,” said Wood. “Apps are not just vehicles for social connection and convenience, but are often the required drivers of how inventions are deployed and used.”

Cowboy Technologies, partnering with AAA Oklahoma, launched the AppCenter at OSU in February, one of the first programs of its kind, and held an app idea and design contest to kick off its opening. The center connects individuals to experienced professionals who can guide the development process and provide resources to direct the app to the next level.

“We are by no means the end all, by no means trying to find the next big idea,” steering committee member Bryson Baker said, “what we’re trying to do is get you connected with the resources that will allow you to make it a big deal.”

A five-member development team, guided by an eight-member steering committee, will work directly with individuals who have app ideas in developing the app and business model for successful commercial launch. Each team member has a field of specialty that will add to the app creation process. The team consists of:

•           Stefan Taylor is a junior international business major pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Taylor worked as a brand ambassador and was selected for the team based on his ambition, persistence and willingness to promote a successful comedic brand.
•           June Phan is an MBA student with a bachelor’s degree in international business and is a chartered financial analyst. He has experience in international market research and developing business plans. Phan is currently an ambassador to the Spears School of Business.
•           Dheeraj Jami is earning a master’s degree in management information systems, and has a bachelor’s in computer science and engineering. Jami has served as a lead iOS developer and software engineer, and has experience in a variety of technical skills. He also has experience in creating brand awareness.
•           Brandon Winn is a senior graphic design major pursing a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. Winn has experience in a variety of graphic design software, including Adobe Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop and After Effects, as well as Microsoft programs.
•           Ale Cerqueda is a grad assistant earning a double master’s degree in business administration and strategic planning after graduating with a bachelor’s in computer science engineering. Ale has experience in web and app development

The AppCenter is designed to engage students in their physical and Internet space and connect students using their method of daily living. It achieves this level of engagement with locations strategically situated at Orange Tech in the Student Union bookstore and the Henry Bellmon Research Center lobby. Orange Tech made sense to Baker because of its unique location at a student hub in the Student Union.

The center invites everyone to pitch ideas and suggestions, and isn’t limited in scope to the mass sciences or computer science majors. The idea is to foster great ideas, Baker said. 

“Great ideas come from every source and unusual sources,” Wood said. “I do not want people to think the app center is simply for computer sciences. It’s available to support good ideas, and good ideas come from every source.”

In addition to fostering app development across campus, the AppCenter will also host corporate sponsored app competitions, and give out prizes for best ideas, Cowboy Technologies manager Jai Rajendran said.

Just over a year ago, the idea for an app center was just a concept in the head of an individual on OSU’s campus. The AppCenter seeks to foster student, faculty and staff ideas in the same way Wood’s idea was fostered then, a sentiment Baker shares.

“I think everyone has had those wake up in the middle of the night experiences or maybe in the shower experiences where you have this massively impactful idea,” he said. “We want to be an outlet for you to connect you with the resources that can bring that idea to life.”

The AppCenter is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 am to 3:30 pm and can be reached at 405-744-4140 or emailed at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . For more info visit www.osuappcenter.com.