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The UW-Parkside App Factory continues to get noticed. Earlier this month, the WiSys Technology Foundation, Inc. committed to provide up to $50,000 to the App Factory for work on WiSys-approved projects conducted by UW-Parkside faculty, staff and students.
In a letter to UW-Parkside Assistant Professor of Computer Science Derek Riley, WiSys Executive Director Arjan Sanga confirmed $10,000 of initial support for a project with a Madison-based medical technology firm. All WiSys funds are to be used for intellectual property projects and funding is intended to help the App Factory retain student developers.
"The projects we develop in the App Factory reinforce the concepts we teach in our courses," Riley said. "Student interns in the App Factory work on projects year round in an environment that focuses on collaboration, much like a startup company."
Students in the App Factory gain real-world job experience in design, development, and maintenance of software that, according to Riley, goes well beyond what we can be taught in computer-science courses.
"Applying theoretical concepts through our projects in the App Factory expose students to the real challenges of technology and provides a collaborative environment to solve those problems," Riley said. "Partnerships like ours with WiSys strengthen our ability to support and prepare students for future careers."
Sanga called the App Factory a model for collaborative development initiatives. "[The App Factory] provides significant opportunities for student training in high-tech career fields," he said. "The App Factory is a great way to give students hands-on experience developing programs while helping to grow businesses and showcasing valuable intellectual input, technical expertise and resources of UW-Parkside."
Since its founding in 2014, the App Factory has developed several projects for nonprofits and businesses including Kenosha Area Transit (KAT), SE Wisconsin Emergency Planning Group, Tricore, and the Eagle Spring Lake Management District. The KAT app tells Kenosha bus riders when the next bus is coming to a stop near them. The emergency preparedness app enables a member of the public to receive real-time updates from county emergency managers. And the Eagle Spring Lake Management District website collects and displays weather information for Eagle Spring Lake.
Any nonprofit organizations or for-profit businesses interested in working with the App Factory can contact Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org.