Pace Students Heading To South Africa


Pace University students Peter Franceschini, a computer science major from Yorktown, and John Robb, majoring in both art and communications, placed fourth at The Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative (BMIC) University Mobile Challenge in Barcelona, Spain, and have been invited to compete at the Mobile Health Challenge in Cape Town, South Africa in May.Of the fourteen teams that competed, the Pace team was one of only three from the US.

Peter and John pooled their individual skills to create CANDOO, an app designed for Android based tablet devices. The app is designed to help seniors and/or those with fine motor skill difficulties to have an easier time accessing tablet features using large, clearly labeled buttons and voice input/output features. Users may also access their email, open a web browser, track their medications, or launch other apps with ease. The app is designed as a launcher, so the CANDOO home page is displayed upon powering up, and is easily reachable by a “Home” button in other apps.

A video demonstration of the CANDOO app is viewable at:

The students were part of a class with computer science professor Jean Coppola, PhD. Coppola, a proponent of service-learning, challenged her students to create something that can help others. This was just one of several of her students’ projects. The CANDOO app has won several competitions including the BMIC challenge.

BMIC’s annual competition which began in 2009 provides students with the experience of international-level competition, as well as the chance to engage in an entrepreneurial endeavor. Select student teams from around the world travelled to Barcelona and were challenged to design a mobile app or business concept that addresses a need in today’s world. Entries were judged on a number of criteria: Commercial Appeal, Essential Value & Utility, Innovation & Uniqueness, UI and Quality of Experience, Effective Use of API(s) & Technology, Significance of "Problem" App Identifies/Solves, Due Diligence, and Funding. The competition not only challenged the students to win the competition, but to also gain the interest of investors and venture capitalists in attendance.

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Peter and John will be travelling to South Africa in May for the GSMA Mobile Health University Challenge. The competition will challenge student teams to develop a Mobile Health concept that addresses a Healthcare need, and may be a business concept or technological development that targets any issue or end user.  Judging will be based upon similar criteria to the Barcelona event, with the addition of Meaningful Feedback, Global Markets, and Regulatory Considerations.

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