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Students get 'app-etite' for success
Added June 19, 2012
Three North East students are working with a Gateshead software business to design three mobile apps, which could be launched to the public as early as next year.
The students, from St Thomas More School in Blaydon, are working with Gateshead-based Waymark IT after the firm approached the school to find young software talent that could help bring a new perspective to its app development plans.
The apps include a digital tuner, which has been designed by Jack Reed, 17, and allows musicians to tune their instruments via their phone, a sports information portal designed by Ryan Maddock, 17, which tracks news and results during large events such as the Olympics, and a digital school timetable, designed by Alistair Reynolds 17, which links up with study groups and online forums.
Waymark IT is currently working with the three students and plans to develop the apps from the concept stage to market launch by next year.
Paul Lofthouse, Commercial Director at Waymark IT, said: “We believe that young people are a great source of knowledge when it comes to apps as they use them on a daily basis. We also wanted to spark the students’ imaginations and show them that software can provide a route into a very rewarding career.
“When we got involved with St Thomas More, we had no idea what the students would come up with. However, they have far exceeded our expectations and have produced some great ideas which we believe could be on the market by as early as next year.”
Jack Reed said: “Since beginning work with Waymark IT I have seriously begun to consider a career in the software and IT sector and have already looked at ways in which I can get involved in web design. It’s also great that I’m able to use my design as part of my course work.”
The initiative is part of Waymark’s plans to focus on product development as a way of growing the business.
Waymark IT, which was launched in August last year, has traditionally focussed on project management and customer support work, with clients in the offshore and logistics sectors drawing on its expertise in mobile administration and back office systems.
The company now hopes to grow its staff from three to 20 over the next three years, as well as launch a London office in the near future.
The firm is also looking to move into new markets over the coming months, including the medical and education sectors.
The company’s directors, which also include Software Development Director Jason Jones and Managing Director David Brophy, have all worked together in the past, having left their previous employer to set up the business. It is this close working relationship which Paul Lofthouse believes will allow the company to grow quickly.
He said: “We have a number of long to medium term plans for the business, including a major push towards in-house product development. We have also managed to retain some loyal customers from our previous roles, which has given us a head start.”
Sunderland Software City recently provided Waymark IT with sales training and is currently providing the firm with market research support.
David Dunn, chief executive at Sunderland Software City, said: “The tie-up between Waymark and St Thomas More is a great example of the software sector taking an active role in the creation of future software talent here in the North East.”
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