Alummnus wins geek of the year award
BY JESSICA SPENCER
Andrew Leonard, University of Mary Washington Class of 2013 alummnus, received the Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Technology Council Geek of the Year award. The award was for the application idea, CampusIDeas, that he and several colleagues created with for smart phones and other devices.
“It started with a business competition. The initial idea was to track how busy the gym or Seacobeck was. Eventually the big plan was to use the bar codes on the back of the cards,” said Leonard.
Leonard and his co-workers entered and won several competitions. The competitions helped them further develop their app providing benefits including $350 and access to several virtual progression studios.
“Both competitions we won were extremely beneficial. ‘Starting Up: Business Plan’ got us started and involved in Fredericksburg,” said Leonard. ‘‘Startup Weekend’ got us giving life to the app.”
The app CampusIDeas enables users to store and access their student IDs on their smart phones and other devices. If a student is not carrying his or her ID, it would be on their phone instead.
“As a student on campus you need an ID card at the gym, events, Chipotle and for student discounts,” said Leonard. “We replicate ID cards and immediately ensure they are never denied admission to the gym or vendors. As we expand, we would like to include room access.”
The idea of CampusIDeas is that people do not need to worry about forgetting their ID, as always having a phone has become a generational norm.
“The app could make going places easier. Nowadays people always remember their phones, but sometimes forget the little things, like their ID,” said Daniel Cassidy, a sophomore. “It takes one thing off the list of things to remember before going out.”
As Leonard and his co-workers developed the app, the money from the Eagle Start Up Challenge, along with the benefits from both competitions proved to be beneficial. They gained access to the virtual office through the UMW Small Business Development Centers’, project EagleWorks.
“There haven’t been many obstacles with development, only with schools and bureaucrats and getting the name out there,” said Leonard. “Though not all students have smart phones, so we can’t replace the plastic card completely.”
Cassidy believes that having Leonard win this award will spread help UMW’s name.
“Having an alum win this award puts UMW’s name out there. Even though the award is given locally, it still sheds positive light on the reputation of the school,” said Cassidy.
UMW helped Leonard get started on his project, but it expanded once he graduated.
“The app was developed after I graduated, but while being at UMW, it fostered the creative mind to create my own things and choose to adopt the app it would become,” said Leonard.
With several awards under their belt now, CampusIDeas Cooperation is building on their name and reputation.
“This award is a huge honor, not necessarily to me, but for my whole team. I’m the front end geek, but the whole team is flattered for the recognition,” said Leonard. “It shows that we’re on the right path.”