Contestants are now well into the development of their mobile applications for the Mobile Application Development (MAD) Contest 2022. This year marks the 11th consecutive year that State Farm has sponsored this meaningful event. Derek Krut, IT Manager–Mobile Development at State Farm, has been the primary contest liaison between State Farm and the School of Information Technology for many of those years. Krut said, “The MAD Contest has been a great partnership between ISU and State Farm, and is one piece to the continual success of both parties.”

The MAD Contest invites Illinois State students to develop a working application from their own concept for the mobile device of their choice and consists of two phases: the pitch presentation and the final presentation.

In the pitch presentation, the students pitch their concept and development plan to a panel of the School of IT faculty who evaluate the presentations and select the contestants that will move on to the final presentation. The presentations are demonstrated in the context where one might propose their idea to corporate managers or investors to secure support for the project. The faculty panel evaluates the presentations on the criteria of originality, feasibility, does it address a need in an innovative way, and quality of concept and design.

Contestants that advance to the final presentation present a demo of their working application to a panel of State Farm mobile application developers, who will select the winners. The panel evaluates the applications on the criteria of usability, creativity, marketability, “stickiness” (would I use this often), and quality of presentation.

The MAD Contest provides students an opportunity to apply their skills to a concept of their own that addresses a need they identify. Krut said, “The contest has been a great avenue for students to showcase their talent and ISU’s commitment to preparing students to be successful software engineers.”

Final presentations will take place on April 7, 2022. We are all anxious to see students’ innovative mobile apps.