An agreement between the University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office (ILO) and CollegeMobile, creator of the popular iUsask application, will allow the company to further develop and market the highly sought-after technology to national and international markets.
iUsask allows students to access information such as grades, campus and class information on their iPhones or other mobile devices. The agreement with the ILO transfers ownership of the technology used to develop the application to CollegeMobile. In return, a share of the profits from commercializing the technology will come back to the university.
“Ultimately our goal is to start successful companies and we think CollegeMobile is a great success story,” says Glen Schuler, ILO Managing Director. “The iUsask technology was created by talented U of S researchers and computer programmers. Our office worked with them to establish CollegeMobile. It’s an excellent example of our vision to commercialize creativity at our university.”
The original motivation for developing iUsask was to demonstrate the practical value of the new technology while developing materials for workshops, and eventually, a class on mobile devices. The ingredients necessary to take iUsask to the next level – vision, a great range of technical skills, and organization – combined with a will and drive to make the app the first of its kind in Canada. The final product was so robust it was released as an official service to the university population garnering over 3,000 downloads in its first three months of operation.
“It turned out to be so functional that it regularly received national and international recognition,” says Lorna Shaw-Lennox, ILO Start-Up Company Specialist. “After receiving a lot of enquiries from other universities on how they could have an application built for their students, we realized there was a niche. We also had an entrepreneurial inventor who wanted to start up a company and take the technology to market. He has already expanded beyond this niche.”
iUsask uses a technology CollegeMobile calls “Mobilversity.” The first of its kind in Canada, it allows students to access grades, information on classes, and campus maps, as well as search for library books, check e-mail, and more on their iPhone or other mobile device. The most appealing attribute of the technology is that its system lets students access data securely, a feature that makes the application highly functional. iUsask can be downloaded for free from the Apple app store.
“We’re well ahead of others in this area,” says Chad Jones, CollegeMobile CEO. “It’s a great time to be working in mobile technology, and it’s expanding quickly. Most likely one day all phones will be smart phones and just about everyone will have one.”
iUsask is just one app that can be built with the technology. Jones says CollegeMobile is not only attracting schools as clients. He has signed contracts with clients across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, including companies in the financial and medical sectors.
“We’re working on potential deals now with various entities, and we expect to be making some very big announcements in the near future,” Jones says. “Investors from across the U.S. and Canada have already expressed keen interest in the huge potential of CollegeMobile and the market for smartphone applications. It’s a rapidly growing industry and CollegeMobile is well positioned to capitalize on the growing demand.”
The Industry Liaison Office, which helps identify inventions arising from research conducted at the university and protects and commercializes promising new technology, says the agreement is representative of the great achievements that can occur when partnerships are created to commercialize technologies.
For more information on how the Industry Liaison Office works with researchers and businesses to commercialize technology, visit: www.usask/research/ilo
For more information contact:
Executive Director, Industry Liaison Office
U of S Research Communications