Oklahoma State University is moving into the mobile and Web application market with a new center and a competition.
At 2 p.m. Tuesday, the OSU AppCenter, sponsored by AAA, formally opens with a ribbon cutting in the Henry Bellmon Research Center on the Stillwater campus. The AppCenter will offer free support and access to equipment and resources for students, faculty, alumni and other members of the OSU community interested in developing apps. It also includes a kiosk in the student union powered by OrangeTech, the Apple-authorized store on campus.
“We're scrambling to get all this in place as fast as we can,” said Steve Wood, CEO of Cowboy Technologies LLC, at OSU, last week. Cowboy Technologies is on campus to identify potential commercial research and help develop it for the marketplace.
Wood said opening an AppCenter as an app incubator that could launch in the private sector came as those involved realized that app ideas were reaching “critical mass” at OSU.
Apps are “definitely becoming the fabric of our society, the way we connect and stay connected,” Wood said.
Faculty members will help staff the app center, and students can check out laptops loaded with software development programs they might need.
As part of the AppCenter's launch, AAA also is sponsoring a two-part competition for $20,000 in prizes. The first phase is accepting submissions through the end of the month for app ideas that are related to one of AAA's focus areas — safety, security, transportation, insurance, travel or finance, as well as a general category involving the “(OSU) Cowboy Experience.” The second phase will involve a competition for actual development of the winning app idea. As of late last week, contestants had submitted more than 60 ideas.