The University of Notre Dame Holds First-of-its-Kind Mobile Development Contest for Non-Developers

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Students Challenged to Create Mobile Tours Using the Kurogo Platform

The University of Notre Dame recently concluded a first-of-its-kind mobile development contest for non-developers, the VisitND Challenge, using Modo Labs’ Kurogo Platform. The goal of the contest was twofold–to create a mobile campus tour that dramatically improves the student and visitor experience at Notre Dame and to give students real-world mobile development experience.

The challenge kicked off at the beginning of the school year when teams of students submitted tour concepts. From numerous entries, ten were selected to build their tours using the Kurogo Tour app assembly system. Kurogo Tour is part of Modo Labs’ Kurogo Platform, which puts mobile implementation and deployment capabilities, previously only attainable by hiring expensive mobile consultants, directly in the hands of non-developers. Using Kurogo Tour, in just hours, anyone can create media-rich mobile tours that showcase the campus experience.

With just a brief training session on how to use Kurogo Tour, students were provided a sandbox and the freedom to create their own tour. Tour themes included the History of Notre Dame, Dorm Life, Notable Notre Dame People, Secrets of Notre Dame, and other topics that provided an insider’s perspective on the Notre Dame experience. From the ten mobile tours that were developed, the VisitND Challenge judging committee chose the top six tours to go live in the ND Mobile app and receive public feedback. In December, the prizewinners were announced. The top prize went to the History of Notre Dame tour, created by two biology majors. This and other tours may become a permanent addition to the ND Mobile app. The complete list of winners includes:

  • 1st Place: History of Notre Dame (Kevin Wilkins and Ryan Sweeney)
  • 2nd Place: Campus Pilgrimage (Brogan Ryan, CSC; Brendan Ryan, CSC; and Stephen Barany, CSC)
  • 3rd Place: Notable Notre Dame People (Erin Aucar, Joe Driano and Alexander Hansen)

Modo Labs, a sponsor of the competition, selected a tour to receive an additional $1000 Special Prize for best use of Kurogo Tour, and the winner was also History of Notre Dame (Kevin Wilkins and Ryan Sweeney).

“A mobile tour is a great way to give visitors and prospective students an important flavor of campus life, so what better way to showcase the student experience than to have students create the tour,” said Matt Willmore, mobileND Program Manager. “As a university, we are also committed to giving students real-world mobile development opportunities. We were excited to be able to open up the contest to the entire Notre Dame community because the Kurogo Platform empowers anyone, even those without technical skills, to participate in app development.”

“Mobile tours are awesome engagement platforms for colleges and universities, particularly when it comes to outreach to prospective students,” commented Stewart Elliot, Modo Labs CEO. “We are particularly impressed with the comprehensive and creative tours created by the students at Notre Dame, and thrilled that Notre Dame worked with Modo to engage the entire campus community. This collaboration resulted in the first example of a beautiful and feature-rich mobile solution that was truly crowdsourced and built entirely by non-developers.”

All six finalist tours are still available for viewing in the ND Mobile App.

The Challenge was sponsored by Notre Dame’s Office of the Executive Vice President, SAP, Innovation Park, Modo Labs and the Office of Information Technologies.

Modo Labs offers a complete mobile solution that empowers ordinary people to create extraordinary campus apps. Any non-technical person can create a mobile experience in hours that engages students or employees. Pre-built modules leverage any data (indoor and outdoor maps, courses, social, video, dining, transit, athletics and more) and deliver it to a central campus app for a deep integrated user experience. Simple authoring tools make it easy to dynamically create and instantly deploy any other event or activity module across all mobile channels, such as for admissions, orientation, benefits, and more. Hundreds of universities and organizations in more than 30 countries use solutions from Modo Labs to deliver rich mobile websites and native apps. Modo Labs is headquartered in Cambridge, MA. Interested parties can learn more about Modo Labs at

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Beth Pfefferle
Modo Labs, Inc.
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