University News

Winner of Business Pitch Contest to Create Campus Map App

Published: December 10, 2018 | Author: Jenna Duncan | Category: Academics

Mohamed Toualbi presenting his business idea to create an interactive campus map appMohamed Toualbi, a junior computer science major from France, won first place in Southern Utah University’s Business Pitch Competition in October for his idea of creating a campus map app that functions similar to Google Maps.

Prior to the contest, students were asked to come up with a business idea and formulate a basic business plan. During the actual competition, students were then given 90 seconds to present their idea to a panel of judges. The top pitches were awarded with cash prizes of up to $1,000 to help fund their business idea. The judges loved Toualbi’s proposal and awarded him the top prize of $1,000 to put towards implementing his idea and creating the app.

“I was inspired to create the app after spending last year studying in Massachusetts,” Toualbi said. “I was touring and visiting different schools such as MIT, Harvard, Northeastern and UMass Amherst, and I noticed that it was really hard to find my way around such big campuses. Then came the idea to create an app that could be used for any campus I visit to find my way around.”

Toualbi will begin by creating the map app for SUU’s campus, then plans to eventually branch out and develop similar maps for various college campuses around the nation.

Creating the app may seem like a daunting task, but Toualbi is no stranger to app development. In fact, he currently has four Android apps on the Play Store, one iOS on the App Store & two that are in review. He also founded the Mobile App Development Club this semester at SUU, and has found a passion for sharing what he loves with other people.

Mohamed Toualbi presenting his business ideaToualbi acknowledged he wouldn’t have the success he has today without the help of SUU professor, Dr. Cecily Heiner, with whom he took his first computer programming class. “I had never coded before, and what I learned in her class laid the basis for what I know today,” said Toualbi. “While the standards in her classes are known to be pretty high, it forced me to work harder and keep the same standards throughout my entire computer science education. She's also been helping me to make the most of my time while in college to reach my goals once I graduate, and I am very grateful for it.”  

Participating in the business pitch competition took courage, but taking this chance truly paid off for Toualbi. “This business pitch contest opened my eyes to the fact that people actually believe in ideas that I have,” said Toualbi. “I already had an idea of the impact mobile apps could make on someone's life, but being able to realize that people were excited about my idea really made it a truly humbling experience.”

With the prize money, Toualbi plans to hire a graphic designer to design the graphics and layout of the app, then he will begin developing it and use any remaining money to hire additional developers to help with the creation. You can find Toualbi’s other apps on the Play Store by searching “ToualbiApps”, and in the App Store by searching “Mohamed TOUALBI”.


Tags: Entrepreneurship Computer Science School of Business

Contact Information:

Nikki Koontz, executive director of marketing communication
435-586-5400
nikkikoontz@suu.edu