Students and former football player create app for classmate communication
Five undergraduate and recent college graduates have reached a new form of simplicity through an app dedicated for student success outside of the classroom.
Sympl. is an app that provides college students with easy access to other students in their classes and helps students with studying at home, all while maintaining simplicity and keeping college simple for students while they’re not in the classroom.
The Sympl. app offers the opportunity for students to see everyone else enrolled in their classes by typing in their email address and creating a password.
From there, it’s just a matter of clicking a button. Students click their classes from a drop-down menu of all the classes offered by MSU and add it to their schedule.
“It allows students to easily set up study groups within their classes that they’re enrolled in,” Matt Eleweke, one of the app’s creators, said.
The will be available for students starting the first summer session of classes at MSU and it will be available on both Apple and Android platforms.
The name came from brainstorming about what they were trying to accomplish with the app: making the study process simple for college students.
Eleweke, an advertising senior, began the startup Sympl. last May. He said after he stopped playing football, there was a void in his life and the idea to start the app filled this void and kept him productive.
“When I really started working on it, I was at a point in my life where I had to really pick something up to help me stay productive,” he said. “I used to play football, so when I stopped playing football in college it left a big slot of time in my day and so I found myself questioning what am I going to do to fill this void.”
Sympl. is already seeing success. The app was chosen as one of five companies to represent the MSU Spartan Innovation Program at the South by Southwest Interactive Trade Show in Austin, Texas during March 12-15.
Graduate student Sam Berndt is the chief information officer of Sympl. He has been tasked with gathering the data and developing the android version of the app. He got involved with the project through friends on the development team.
“When I heard the idea I thought it was brilliant and was surprised that it hasn’t been done yet, so when you see an opportunity like that you’ve just got to jump on it,” Berndt said.
Berndt said he believes the app gives students a unique outlet and ability to communicate with classmates they might never have had the chance to, or even know.
“If you have the ability to actually collaborate and meet up with different students who may also have the same problem then anyone can tell you that two minds working on a problem is better than one,” he said. “Especially if maybe someone knows something better and maybe you know something better.”
Can (Jon) Gokcek graduated from MSU last May and is the league developer and CTO, or chief technology officer, of Sympl.
He said he thinks the app can be utilized best for large lectures or classes in which students don’t connect as much.
“The greatest draw of the app is that you can kinda socialize learning in a way, you know, as a 700 person class, I don’t really necessarily know anyone in class and if I do I don’t know that they’re in the class with me,” Gokcek said. “I think the greatest advantage of using the app is that you can actually connect with people you know and don’t know in giant classes and even smaller ones and then you can actually communicate with those people using the app itself.”
As a developer, Gokcek said it’s great to be able to set his own rules and pace and to be able to have full control over the entire project.
“Seeing something that you come up with come to fruition and actually become a real thing and go on the app store, that’s just awesome,” he said.