SACKVILLE, N.B. – Mount Allison University Commerce students are teaming up with computer science students to study and experience entrepreneurship on a micro level by developing a mobile app for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch devices.
Dubbed iEntrepreneurship, the senior level class, taught by Commerce professor Dr.Nauman Farooqi and math and computer science professor Dr. Laurie Ricker, gives ultimate experience in experiential learning.
The students work in groups and are developing apps for five local businesses and non-profit organizations including: the Argosy — Mount Allison’s independent student newspaper; Sackville Tourism; Sackville Cab; Canada Moto Guide — Canada’s most popular online motorcycle magazine; and RideShare, designed for users to seek out and share transportation.
Commerce students work on the business aspects of the project — a situational analysis, marketing of the app, product development, while the computer science students work on the technical aspects of actually building the app. Features being built by the students for the various apps include GPS location services, customized tours and content for users, and Facebook integration where applicable.
“This is the first year for the iEntrepreneurship collaboration and it’s gone very well,” says Farooqi. “It’s been a win-win situation for both our classes and the business and organizations as they can potentially extend their market reach to mobile app users.”
Ricker says, “The technology behind mobile applications is ever-changing. Our students are gaining some valuable experience in computer programming and will be able to see the results of their efforts put to use by local organizations in the coming months. It’s an exciting partnership for them.”
Commerce student Pat Losier, who is part of the group designing an app for the Argosy says, “Working on the design, development, and marketing of an app has been a really neat experience. Seeing the work that goes into making a good app has given me a new appreciation for IT work and it will be great to see something you helped to develop and marketavailable to use every day on your phone or mobile device.”
The collaboration was made possible by the Provost’s Curricular Innovation Grants program at Mount Allison, generously funded by TD Bank.
Students in the iEntrepreneurship class plan to have all apps available on iTunes for free download by the end of the semester.