Edge Hill University has scooped the UK Student Innovation Award for the second consecutive year after computing students combined their IT knowledge and business understanding of music festivals to develop an innovative app.
Third year students Laura Stowers and Lyndsey McCormick impressed the panel of music industry judges, and fought tough competition from universities and colleges across the UK to win the coveted prize with their QJump app.
The pair used their experiences of attending music festivals to inspire an idea which struck a chord with judges Dave Brown (Apposing), Andy Day (Giant Media), Tom Wiggins (Stuff Magazine), Allan Blair Beaton (Hootsuite) and Michael Sandys (Jackson & Cantor Solicitors).
Laura explained, “QJump is an app you can use at music or arena events where there’s usually really long queues so you can pre order drinks and snacks from outlets while you’re watching a band, then pick them up on the way to another stage. You can pay online so you don’t need to carry cash about, which is safer, and you can also set a limit so you don’t spend more than you plan to.”
Lyndsey added, “The app will tell you when your order will be ready so you know when to collect you items. You’re eliminating queues, eliminating cash and can set a budget. It’s also appealing to venues because they’ll know how much was spent, where and on what, which is all valuable information for knowing their market.”
The aim of the competition, run by the renowned Liverpool Sound City festival, was to come up with a unique idea for an app which could be used in the music industry, present it to the panel and then the winning competitor or team would be mentored by Apposing, a Liverpool based mobile innovation agency, to develop the app to market.
Laura and Lyndsey, who are finishing their final year at Edge Hill after completing a foundation degree at The City of Liverpool College in Bankfield Road, are now looking at graduate jobs as well as developing their app idea.
Lyndsey said, “We’ve learned so much at Edge Hill, it’s like a different world here. The staff have been so supportive, they’ve encouraged us to believe in ourselves and made us think that we can achieve anything and are worthy to put our ideas forward for competitions like this.”
“The app that the girls put forward definitely had the innovation sticker on it”, said Gary Westhead, Senior Lecturer and programme leader for Web Systems Development. “The judges were looking for originality and this fitted the bill, it was very different to the other ideas being pitched but still do-able.
“There’s still a lot of money around in the music industry and people are looking for creativity. Sound City removed the barriers to give students the chance to pitch to people in the music industry who they wouldn’t normally have an audience with.”
Dr Chris Beaumont, Head of the Department of Computing added: “Laura and Lyndsey have worked very hard and shown flair to create their innovative Q Jump app, and we’re delighted that a team from Edge Hill University has won the Student Innovation Award at Sound City for the second year in a row. It’s a clear demonstration of the creativity, technical expertise and business awareness that our Computing students develop at Edge Hill and is invaluable experience which helps them stand out to employers upon graduation.”