A while back, I decided to try doing something that I had never done before. I entered an app design challenge: the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge.
The MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Treasury Department in partnership with the D2D Fund and Center for Financial Services Innovation, is a contest that encourages people to come up with ideas and designs for mobile applications that can help Americans shape and control their financial future. With an interest in personal finance and a background in design, I decided to give it a try.
I had been wanting to gain experience in mobile, but had not had many opportunities to do so leading up to my decision to participate in the challenge. After learning about the MyMoneyAppUp Challenge, I knew I had to participate. I figured that no matter the result, submitting an app design would be an interesting and challenging new way to stretch my brain.
Fast forward a month or two and I finished an app design proposal and submitted it hours before the submission period ended. I was hopeful when I submitted my app, but had no idea how many people would participate or the other types of proposals that people would submit. To my surprise (and excitement!), I received an exciting email one afternoon: I had been chosen as one of 8 finalists for the app design competition!
Being chosen as a finalist means that I will be traveling to Washington, DC tomorrow through Friday to partake in the MyMoneyAppUp Awards Ceremony. All finalists were invited to DC to present their app designs to an audience at the U.S. Treasury in front of an audience of Treasury officials, MyMoneyAppUp partners, the media, funders, investors and guests. After we each present our designs, judges will tally up the final scores and announce who the winners of the competition. The top five finalists will win cash prizes: $10,000 for the first prize, $5,000 for two runners up, and $2,500 for two honorable mentions.
On Friday, I’ll be presenting my app, Centz. Centz is a mobile app that student loan borrowers can use to track, manage and learn about their student loans. The awesome twist is that users earn Centz for using the app – which are rewards points that can be redeemed for cash. I’ll keep it brief here and share more about the app in a forthcoming post when I recap the event.
Regardless of the end result, this has been an exciting journey!
Have you ever entered a competition like this? What would you have submitted to the challenge?