Vancouver’s Mobify, which helps companies build mobile-friendly eCommerce sites and apps, is donating $30,000 to Simon Fraser University’s School of Computing Science over the next three years to encourage the student-led development of cutting-edge mobile technologies.
When they were SFU undergraduates themselves, Mobify CEO Igor Faletski and Chief Technology Officer John Boxall started a club called Mobile Mondays, meant to share knowledge and encourage other people interested in mobile technology, which eventually led them to create Mobify.
“University is a fantastic place to learn, experiment and network,” said Faletski to SFU News. “SFU is known for its quality of education and research—our hope is that Mobify’s grant encourages more students and new graduates to pursue the entrepreneurial path earlier in their career.”
Mobify now employs more than 150 people, and counts more than 150 retail companies among its clients, including Ann Taylor, Crocs, Carnival Cruises, Bosch, Superdry, Eddie Bauer, and Tommy Bahama.
In February, Mobify raised $10 million, its first round of funding, led by Munich-based Acton Capital Partners.
In May 2015, Google launched push technology for mobile devices on their Chrome browser for Android, which Mobify with its Web Engagement Messaging already was poised to leverage.
Apple has yet to roll out similar push notifications for mobile devices, but Mobify will be well-positioned to capitalize on that to help retailers deliver push notifications to mobile users when that happens.
This new $30,000 donation follows a previous $10,000 from Mobify, which facilitated a number of hackathons and student initiatives at SFU, such as Women in Computing Science (WICS) and the Women in Engineering Group (WEG), as well as the CSSS 750 project, a new weekly club supported by Mobify that lets students test hardware like the Oculus Rift and Parallella across different platforms.
“The hackathon was a great way to connect with teammates and other awesome students in computing science,” says computer science student Brandon Chong, whose team won one of the Mobify-sponsored hackathons for an app launcher that uses voice commands and simple motion gestures to assist visually impaired people.
“As a computing science student, this experience has proven very valuable to me, helping me improve my communication and problem-solving skills,” says Chong. “These skills have also proven useful for co-op and other group projects.”
A team called Coffeeboys won a Mobify-supported Valentine’s Day themed hackathon, which developed an algorithm that can send your actual heartbeat to another smartphone in real time.