R U MAD? This was the question asked to me by a student at the information counter of Rutgers University, when I inquired about the startup tech event which was held at the Rutgers Piscataway Campus last Friday. I was a bit startled and a lot confused at this question. But later realized ‘RuMAD’ is an acronym for “Rutgers Mobile App Development.” And it is pretty cool, isn’t it?
RuMAD is a tech club that holds events and meet-ups for students who are passionate about mobile application development. The club was founded about two years back by Rutgers University students David Zafrani, Chris Dilks, Kyle Byrne, Justina Sigle and Nate Kott. The club hosts weekly events, calls eminent speakers to enlighten the students, and conducts student demos.
The event on Friday started with the introduction of the speaker guests Mike Swift- founder of HackerLeague and former Evangelist at SendGrid. The speaker was followed by a presentation by Peter Sullivan- an entrepreneur and former CEO of Tripl. He was followed by a formal presentation by George Matthews, Project Manager at Microsoft.
Peter Sullivan gave a brief presentation on the startup business. He stressed various factors that one has to consider while starting a business. He started off by letting the enthusiastic students know the importance of a correct product. The product that the engineers should design and market has to be exclusive but simple. According to Pete Sullivan, understanding the psychology of people is equally important for running a successful business “this is the hardest part,” exclaimed Pete Sullivan. Sullivan continued with explaining the importance of promotion of a product. Later on he also talked on the investor pitch. He advised the students looking for a start up venture to convince an investor by giving a formal demo/presentation of the product. After the presentation, Pete showed us a demo of an app for buying lottery tickets on iPhone. This app is called “Jackpocket app,” developed by Pete Sullivan himself, and it uses the iOS platform.
Pete’s presentation was followed by a speaker who has an illustrious career as a Project Manager at Microsoft. He shared his experiences with the students. He spoke about the trends in innovations and shared some keynotes on work ethics with the students.
The presentation was followed by student demos. One such demo which stood out was of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology. A group of three students gave a demo of using the RFID technology and the convenience in using the technology when the RFID chips are installed in the phone. With the use of this technology, according to the group we could unlock our computer without having to type the password. This could be done by scanning an identity badge on the phone and thus protects one’s privacy. Also there was another feature that the group highlighted. It was that of eliminating the long checkout lines at the shopping center. This can be achieved by scanning the item through the phone and boom! You are done. The group has a YouTube video on the RFID adapter technology that can be watched for more details.
The event was concluded by allowing the students to have an informal chat with the speakers. The RuMAD club is particularly significant as it sharpens the programming skills of tech savvy students and along with it , exposes them to the marketing strategies.
[Photo by Purva Chitnis]