Meet the Mobile Apps Finalists!

Nov 9, 2015

Meet the Finalists in the Mobile Apps Category for 2015!

Everyone uses mobile apps and some of the greatest mobile apps are developed right here in San Diego. Whether you are looking for a math tutor, an instant mobile advertising platform, or a prepaid transit card, these apps are truly innovative. Check out the Finalists for the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards in the Mobile Apps Category:

Cubic Transportation for Ventra Mobile Application

Ventra, is built on Cubic’s account-based technology, is an open payment system designed to accept bank-issued contactless cards as fare media directly at the turnstile, farebox and elsewhere. In addition, the CTA-issued Ventra card includes a transit account and an optional prepaid debit account, creating the ability to pay for transit and everyday retail purchases, such as groceries, shopping online or dining out, all in one card. Commuters with contactless cards from all participating payment brands can use the system, and commuters without such a card—or without a bank account—can opt for the Ventra card.

Brad Feldmann, President and CEO, Cubic Corporation shared a little more with us about achievement, overcoming obstacles, and his favorite apps: 

Connect: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Brad Feldmann: Launching One Cubic, which is a number of key company initiatives focused on encouraging collaboration and increasing operational efficiencies across our organization. This includes the sharing of resources, ideas, technologies, strategies and people. As part of One Cubic’s goals, earlier this year, we combined our two defense segments into a single segment called Cubic Global Defense (CGD). This formed an $800 million business segment and provides our customers value through a holistic integration of our products, systems and services gives Cubic a competitive advantage. 

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome? 

Feldmann: Working through cultural change to transform Cubic from a holding company with separate operations and support to One Cubic where businesses continue customer focus, but are supported by a centralized, scalable structure. 

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go to-app right now?

Feldmann: I’ve got three that really help me on a daily basis: Evernote to drive productivity and maintain data all in one central place, United Airlines app to keep up with my travel itinerary, and Stocks by Apple to keep updated on Cubic stock as well as news.

Boost Academy for Boost Academy Math Tutoring Platform

Boost Academy provides personalized, one-on-one math tutoring and test prep services that get the results you’re looking for. Using their free will be paired with an experienced, fully certified tutor for an interactive lesson, tailored to your learning style and goals. Boost Academy helps transform today’s busy students, who are under increasing pressure.

Craig Collins, President and CEO of Boost Academy, chatted with CONNECT about doing business in San Diego, his favorite apps, and what being a Finalist for Most Innovative New Mobile App means to him and Boost Academy.

CONNECT: What’s your biggest achievement to date?

Craig Collins: Our biggest achievement is the satisfaction of our customers, who are located in nearly every state in the Union. We’ve built something that’s truly innovative and fills a significant need. It’s not just a gee-whiz, me-too technology. Our math tutoring platform works beautifully. Our students jump on the app the first time and they’re up and running, doing algebra or calculus with their tutor in a matter of seconds — like fish in water. The system is highly intuitive. As a result, all our major stakeholders — tutors, students and parents — aren’t just happy, they’re thrilled. We are able to take kids who’ve hit a wall in math, and show them the path to math proficiency. By working regularly with our certified tutors, our students’ math comprehension goes up, grades go up, and stress levels for both the student and whole family go way down. It seems magical, but it’s really just a proper use of technology. Our tutors and staff receive calls and email every day from happy parents and students. That’s a great feeling.

CONNECT: What’s the biggest obstacle or challenge you’ve overcome?

Collins: Fundraising for start-ups in San Diego has always been challenging, but in recent years, it’s become even more so. It’s annoying. It’s a hurdle. But it shouldn’t be an excuse or stop anyone from starting a great business here. It’s just something that requires a little more imagination, moxie, and elbow grease.

CONNECT: What’s the best thing about having your business in San Diego?

Collins: San Diego is a fabulous city, as everyone who lives here knows. It has beaches, weather, and vibrancy, along with a world-class start-up community and technology culture. From a business perspective, though, UC San Diego has established itself as a world-class university that turns out an annual legion of talent. These are individuals are vital to the future of the region’s economy, particularly as it relates to technology and entrepreneurism. And, of course, just across town is San Diego State University with an equally strong output of graduates. These two institutions really complement each other well. On the whole, UC San Diego has more of a technology bent, while SDSU has more of a bent toward business, marketing, finance, and sales. Together, they provide a dynamic combination and combined student populations of over 60,000. Their collective importance to the region can’t be understated.

CONNECT: What’s your favorite go to-app right now?

Collins: I love automatically depositing checks into my bank using my smartphone. Coolest thing ever. I’ve been using it for years. And it’s especially cool because the technology was not only developed right here in San Diego, but our CTO and founder led the technology team that created this now-universal app.

CONNECT: In your opinion, what’s been the best innovation in the last 25 years?

Collins: Tough question. There have been so many. Clearly, the astounding computing power and functionality that has been compacted into the ubiquitous smartphone is truly amazing.

CONNECT: What does being a finalist in the Most Innovative New Product Awards mean to you?

Collins: The Most Innovative New Product Awards have established themselves as an iconic institution in San Diego. It’s something that virtually every start-up in the region aspires to. Just making the finals is a huge honor for Boost Academy. Our entire team is extremely proud. Getting a start-up off the ground is a daunting task and when everyone is head-down, working 80-hours a week, we sometimes wonder if what we’re doing is even worth it. That’s human nature. To receive external praise and validation is certainly gratifying. It provides our team that extra fuel and conviction that we’re doing something right and building something of lasting value.

Chalk Digital for Instant Mobile Ad Platform

Chalk Digital has built the first of its kind DIY Instant Mobile Ad Platform that lets you create and launch your own mobile ads in just a few minutes. We utilize the GPS found in your smartphone to determine when a device is within your target area and then display your ad within the apps on that device. YOU determine when and where your ad is displayed by selecting your target area by radius, zip code or city. Chalk Digital has access to billions of available mobile ad placements across thousands of mobile apps near you. They are the leader in Real Estate Mobile Marketing. Chalk Digital’s In-App Mobile Advertising is the most cost effective and efficient way to expand your Reach and Influence to Buyers and Sellers. Promote your Properties, Brand and Professional Services throughout your target market. In today’s complex and constantly changing real estate environment, capturing the attention of a homebuyer or seller has become more challenging than ever. It is now even more vital to effectively communicate your expertise in your local real estate market in order to set yourself apart from the competition, promote your personal and professional brand and ultimately generate more leads.

Come back to the blog Wednesday, November 11 (Veteran’s Day!) as we highlight the Finalists in the Pharmaceutical Drugs & Medical Devices Categories. AND Join us on December 1st to find out who will be named the Most Innovative New Products for 2015! For more information on the 2015 Most Innovative New Product Awards visit the event page!