Lancaster University students have won a technology competition by developing new apps for watching media, banking and for learning.
Student teams were given the brief of resolving a selection of problems from both Barclays and their partners, the BBC. These included how to pause and resume content from BBC iPlayer across multiple devices, creating a money management app for Barclays and a challenge to create a BBC knowledge and learning product for teachers and students.
The Lancaster finalists – ‘Team Smartpause’ – worked hard over three weeks to resolve the challenge set, create a prototype demonstration and produce as robust commercial plan.
At the finals on, 21 November 2013, teams from the Universities of Manchester and Salford, Edge Hill University, Liverpool Hope University and Lancaster University presented their proposals to a panel of experts from Barclays Bank and the BBC. Judges said the standard was very high but the Lancaster University team triumphed.
Team leader Liz Colvin said: “It’s been an amazing experience; I’ve had a chance to work with lots of people I wouldn’t otherwise have met and got to learn new skills and about aspects of web app development and programming.”
The expert panel were particularly impressed with the prototype that the team had devised; keeping the look and feel consistent with the BBC iPlayer branding and backed up with a carefully constructed commercial plan.
Julie Lowndes, from Barclays, said: “The judging panel was blown away with the professionalism of the team from Lancaster University. With just three weeks to work on their challenge, they presented a feature rich product that had the customer needs at the heart of it and a proposal for delivery that showed great commercial awareness. The experience gained on Tech Challenge will undoubtedly be of value to the students as they embark on their first careers.”
Each winning student scooped £50 Amazon vouchers in addition to money-can’t-buy opportunities including a week’s work experience at Barclays and two weeks work experience at the BBC in Salford. They have also been shortlisted for a £5000 internship with Barclays Bank next summer.