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‘App Idol’ contest unleashes creativity among students, entrepreneurs

Members of the winning teams of the first “App Idol” competition held in Puerto Rico Monday.

Four teams comprising local students and entrepreneurs walked away the winners of Puerto Rico’s first mobile application development competition sponsored by Microsoft, Nokia, the Economic Development Department, and the Puerto Rico Gamers Association.

The competition drew 450 participants, but ultimately the following teams won: Rain Studios, for its “Find Me” app; GFX Technologies, for its “Pediatrics Home Guide” app; PSY Track, for its “Piggy Spanker” video game; and Team Defend, for its “Defend” video game.

“App Idol” was created to promote the advancement of the local software and apps industry and rewarding students and entrepreneurs for their efforts and creativity in the development of productivity apps and games for the Windows Phone platform.

“’App Idol’ is more than a competition, it’s an initiative that exposes the cutting-edge talent of a new generation and demonstrates the potential of the field of technology as an engine of economic development,” said Yamille Morales, director of new technologies for Microsoft Puerto Rico.

“This type of initiative meets Microsoft’s mission to promote innovative and entrepreneurial minds, economic growth and job creation for Puerto Rico through technology,” she said. “App Idol is the beginning of a long and interesting road we want participants to explore for the island’s benefit.”

As part of the ‘App Idol’ competition, a group of specialists offered workshops at several local universities, known as “hack-a-thons,” to train students on the skills needed to design apps and games for the Windows Phone platform.

Some 700 people received participated in “hack-a-thons” held from April through earlier this month. Participants were split into 50 teams, which in turn presented 76 proposals. The projects were whittled down to 16 videogames and 14 apps, which moved on to the semi-finalist round. The winners were chosen Monday during an event held at the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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