Students win national competition with music app

A group of university students have potentially created the ‘next big app’ after complaining about the volume of music playing from their mobile phones.

Students from the University of Exeter have created an app that uses bluetooth technology to link together an unlimited number of mobile phones and stream the same song in perfect timing, effectively creating a symphony of speakers.

Going by the team name SoundSYNK, the students came up with the idea by chance while they were taking part in the regional heat of app developing competition The Microsoft Imagine Cup. They couldn’t decide what kind of app to create during the 48-hour hackathon, so put some music on their mobile phones and took a break. It was then that the penny dropped and the group set about creating the app.

They won the regional competition and were given intensive training by SETsquared to help them turn their idea into something that could be a profitable business.

SETsquared, a partnership of universities which collaborates in enterprise activity, believed in the students so much that it gave them business mentoring through its partners and even put them in touch with former Dragon’s Den investor, Doug Richards for one-to-one advice. Among the others who supported the youngsters were the Exeter Innovation Centre, Exeter Students’ Guild, the OpenMIC network and technology companies Opposable Games and Applingua. As a result of the mentoring, the students bid for and successfully won £10,000 worth of business funding from Creative England.

This week the students had another reason to celebrate as they won the national finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup. They will go on to the international finals in Russia where they could win US$50,000.

“The progress SoundSYNK has made has been incredible,” says Natasha Joseph, from the Microsoft Imagine Cup. “When I first met them they hardly knew each other and within 48 hours they’d created an amazing idea. It was clear when they won the regional finals that they were real contenders for the top spot and their pitch presentation put them head and shoulders above the rest. I can’t wait for them to represent the UK in Russia.”

“We are absolutely ecstatic,” adds team member Edward Noel. “Representing the UK is an honor and we are going to do everything we can to win in Russia.”

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