By S. Jordan Montgomery
Engineering Major, Honors College
Grand Canyon University has been inspiring students who are willing to take the lead and create amazing things. Some of these students, junior Josh McGuire and freshman Anthony Novoa, are exceeding the standards with their app designs. Phoenix Mobile Festival held their annual festival this year at GCU. Clairvoyant, who sponsored the festival, added an interesting opportunity to the conference – an application competition exclusively for GCU students.For this competition, students applied and only five were picked to present in front of a panel of judges, as well as 300 people. First prize was $2,000 and a mentorship from the Clairvoyant team, in particular their CEO Anjali Nennelli. Second place was $1,000 and third place was $500. Out of those five applications picked, there were two honors groups that presented for a chance to win money from Clairvoyant. One was Storage Together (storage-together.com) and the other was Lope Serve (lopeserve.com).
Josh was joined by fellow honors student Chelsea Evens and team to present their app called Storage Together. Josh described the basic idea for this application: “Storage Together is a platform for the next wave of the shared economy, connecting individuals in need of storage with cheaper options while offering a wealth creation tool to the hosts who have empty space in their homes.”
For Lope Serve, I joined Anthony Novoa to present. “Lope Serve provides GCU students with opportunities to earn cash whenever they want, while offering a convenient delivery service to other students and faculty. Our network of runners makes getting you food, or items, faster than ever,” Anthony explained.
Josh described his expectations going into the competition: “To be honest, I was expecting a fairly typical pitch competition. Having been involved in pitches previously, I was thinking new judges, maybe a similar look. But the people involved were amazing! We met a number of individuals during the competition, including the Clairvoyant hosts, several tech entrepreneurs in the Valley and great minds from several walks of life.”
Anthony’s expectation of this competition was more of as a learning experience. “There were over 20 entries in the competition. GCU has thousands of brilliant minds, and since Jordan and I are both freshmen, we had no expectation of placing. Instead we entered to gain experience and know how to progress in the future. The night before the pitch, at 8 pm, we received an email from the program director saying we were in the top five entries and we needed to pitch the following afternoon.”
In the end, Storage Together took 1st place, with Lope Serve taking 2nd place right behind them. Both groups have decided to invest their winnings straight into their applications for further development.
So, what’s next? Both apps have started beta testing and will be available for use soon!
“Our next step for Storage Together is to roll out our beta app for host recruitment, then a winter beta for GCU graduates,” Josh explained.
For Lope Serve, Anthony said, “Our next step is a beta test on campus where we can gain valuable information and determine how to go about successfully launching the app with student and faculty support.”