MobCon mobile app contest

Mobile app competition 2nd place winner plans development

Three entrepreneurs wowed the MobCon 2015 audience and won big in the MobDemo mobile app competition earning a total of $55,000 in development, legal credits and cash to split in advancing their technology and business potential.

In January, we’re turning the spotlight on our winners to understand their development goals for 2016 and just why presenting during MobCon U.S. in the MobDemo mobile app competition competition was a turning point in their start-up success.

This week’s winner: Kid Around Town, cofounders Aneela Idnani and Michael Cameron. At MobCon this year, Kid Around Town took 2nd place earning $15,000 in development credits from founding sponsor MentorMate and $1,500 in legal credits from Gray Plant Mooty during the mobile app competition. Kid Around Town has big plans for the New Year. Read as Aneela shares.

What problem are you hoping to solve for users of your app?

As a tech-driven society, we are leaning on our smart devices to the point of addiction. As parents, we begrudgingly hand tiny screens to our kids in hopes of just a few quiet minutes to finish a task or conversation.

We try to give our kids exposure to new experiences, whether it be a museum, a sporting event or a beach.  But, when we get there, we are the ones who pull out our phones without realizing and retreat into these virtual worlds. We’ve grown up, and we’ve forgotten how to play.

That’s where Kid Around Town comes in. We are an iOS app that helps families explore, learn and bond. Our goal is to use that screen addiction to pull both grownups and children out of the digital world and connect with one another by exploring the real, physical world and creating a photobook of the memories made.

What was most exciting about presenting your idea at MobCon?

The most exciting moment presenting at MobCon was seeing people nodding their heads as I presented. I got a sense that the audience felt the pain point about digital screen addiction. I fed off the energy I felt in the room. It was a rush to be on stage and an honor to be chosen to compete.

Do you plan to make any changes to your app after hearing from attendees at MobCon?

Many of the suggestions from attendees have actually been on our roadmap, and we are excited to work with MentorMate to prioritize those feature requests.

One thing a few folks mentioned was events. It was in our plan, and we’re now working to incorporate that into our redesign and next release (coming in a few weeks).  In this way, families will be able to search for attractions/activities near them and happening now (or soon).

What advancements/development do you hope to accomplish in 2016?

Our goals for 2016 are to expand beyond Minneapolis/St. Paul, launch on Android and develop a system to print and ship physical books to our users.

How will this development help you build your brand, increase awareness or break into a new market?

These goals will enable us to reach a wider audience and scale beyond our local beta.

What was the best advice you heard at MobCon?

I attended Shaan Puri’s session on disruption. It was an energetic and thoughtful presentation. Shaan challenged the audience to find new ways to solve old problems, to do things differently, not just better. I think this mindset is critical to the success of any startup, and I truly believe that Kid Around Town emerged from this line of thinking.

How did you collaborate with other speakers/attendees during your time at the conference?

My favorite part of the conference was the exhibitors area. I enjoy meeting new people, as well as connecting with old friends.

How did MobCon and the MobDemo mobile app competition differ from other startup/networking events you’ve attended?

Speakers and attendees of MobCon fly in from across the country — maybe even the world. This shows the depth and reach of the conference and provides the Minneapolis tech community with an opportunity to show the world what we’re made of.

Connect with Kid Around Town on Twitter @KidAroundTravel.
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