A team of U of T Mississauga computer science students had 10 minutes to sell their business idea to a panel of corporate executives, Dragons’ Den style – and they impressed, coming away with $2,500 at the 2013 Young Entrepreneurs Challenge.
Fourth-year students Sabin Sadeh, Mark Zaky and Andrew Kim won first place for a virtual jukebox app called eJuked. The group competed against 14 shortlisted teams from universities across Ontario at U of T Mississauga in January.
EJuked shapes “the way people experience music in a public venue,” says Sadeh. The Android app allows business owners, club DJs and party hosts to create a customized music playlist and publish it for their guests. Patrons then vote for their favourite songs via their mobile apps. They can also view songs in the playlist queue and how others have voted.
“If a crowd comes in to a pub, they can play the music they want to hear by voting for songs they like and making requests,” says Sadeh. “Ultimately, the music in the venue becomes a function of the people who are gathered there.”
In addition to the cash prize, the award includes lunch with potential investors. The eJuked team intends to develop its app for commercial sale, and hopes the resources and know-how of industry experts can help make that happen.
“We plan on adding more features – kind of like a special sauce,” says Sadeh. “We want the sauce to give it a little kick, so that once users vote for a song, they will still be engaged with the app.”