What started as a 10-year-old’s dream to end violence on school grounds has led to the development of a smartphone app called Qwick Response, which is in the testing stages for Apple and Android phones.
The app, developed by Belle Isle Enterprise School sixth-grader Genesis Franks, is a notification system for many situations in the school, from bullying to a shooting on campus. Genesis said she was motivated to make the app after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
She won first place and the grand prize for the idea at last year’s Oklahoma Student Inventors Exposition, but she and her father, Leonard, had a dream to make the app accessible to the world.
After a year of researching, seeking funding and finding the right people to help, Genesis and Leonard Franks have created an app they say will empower people to become better first-responders in any scenario, whether emergency or non-emergency.
Franks asked Al Posadas, a software developer with Expresso Web, for help with the app. Posadas put Franks in contact with Greg Kieson and Jay Watson, of the Moore-Norman Technology Center, who became consultants and mentors to Franks and Posadas.
Kieson said he worked with them on strategic planning, developing a business plan, marketing the product and finding finances.
“I just like working with passionate entrepreneurs who have great ideas,” Kieson said. “I smile when I say that because Leonard is very aggressive.
“Every moment with Leonard, in terms of planning, really is a high point because we continue to develop the model and work together on strategies.”
Franks and Posadas are working with Millwood Public Schools staff members to do beta testing to help work out any kinks with the app.
Athletic and Information Technology Director Shannon Hayes thinks the app will help keep them connected with parents, staff and students.
“Being at a sporting event and having a situation maybe with thunderstorms or even a possible shooting, being able to communicate with all my administration and staff and coaches to where they can be able to do certain things is good,” Hayes said. “I’m really kind of excited about it, and I think it is a wonderful app.”