Rep. Gus Bilirakis has named Arman Kumaraswamy of Land O’ Lakes High School, Ananth Kutuva of Land O’ Lakes High School, Jithen Shriyan of Land O’ Lakes High School, and Rohil Agarwal of Land O’ Lakes High School as the winners of the 2022 Congressional App Challenge in Florida’s 12th District.
When asked what inspired the creation of Schedulr, the students said, “All the members of our team are aspiring entrepreneurs who want to change the world for the better in the future. In the past years, we’ve seen a trend of the rapid growth of many new startups, specifically tech startups that have sparked our interest. Since marketing a product efficiently is oftentimes as important (if not more important) as the product itself, we wanted to create an app that helps businesses, and specifically small startups to manage and take control over their social media presence.
Small businesses are often confined monetarily and with relatively small teams, so it is easy to lose track of the most versatile and cost-effective form of marketing: social media. In fact, 97% of businesses use social media to increase sales and reach their target audiences; but this process is tedious, especially when there are so many factors to consider such as which platform to post on, which hashtags to use, when to post, and more. Many small businesses currently don’t even attempt to use hashtags either, which is a missed opportunity as they are essential to discovery on social media.
That’s when we had the realization: an app that combines all of these features into one intuitive user interface to simplify the process for small businesses to take their online marketing to the next level: this was the birth of Schedulr. We talked to small local businesses and our peers to conduct market research; all of our sources affirmed that our approach to this problem would be effective in improving their workflow and eventually the success of their businesses.
The implications of Schedulr go beyond small businesses as well, as it can be used by influencers and even the common social media user as well. Although our original intent was to help small businesses, we realized that both influencers and social media users often post the same post on multiple platforms just as small businesses do. This further increased the versatility of our app as we realized that the market pool for our app is huge.
Being aspiring entrepreneurs, we all will have to work through similar problems in the future. This was an enormous catalyst in choosing to make Schedulr, as we would not only be able to help millions of others in dominating the social media scene but also help ourselves when it comes to our own businesses down the line.”
The Congressional App Challenge smashed previous participation records in 2022. All told, 9,011 students registered for this year’s competition – creating 2,707 fully-functioning apps for 335 Members of Congress across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, American Samoa, and the District of Columbia. This year’s competition set the record for most student registrations, most apps submitted, most apps per district submitted, and most districts receiving over 20 apps. The wildly successful competition continues to impress upon House Members the importance of computer science education and the need to develop a pipeline of diverse, domestic STEM talent.
The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, Rise, theCoderSchool, Apple, and others.
The 2023 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2023, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.