College student team wins $100K to develop service app

Seed funding will help bring new social services app to Texas residents

Courtesy of IBM.

A team of student entrepreneurs from the University of Texas at Austin will receive $100,000 in total in seed funding to help launch a business based on their Watson app, which offers the promise of improved citizen services.

The students are the first winners of IBM’s Watson University Competition, which is part of the company’s partnership with top universities through its cognitive computing academic initiative.

Student teams were given direct access to Watson in the classroom via course curricula and the Watson Developer Cloud. They were asked to identify an industry-specific challenge to solve, and then work as a team to identify and ingest relevant data into Watson to train it to answer related queries. In addition, the teams were asked to develop a prototype app and supporting business plan based on their industry of choice.

(Next page: How the team’s app will improve social services such as transportation and healthcare)

Laura Ascione