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New Jerseyans making an impact in mobile app world

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Home seems to be just as good a place as any for promising mobile apps.

No better testament is there to that than eight of the 10 award-winning developers featured in New Jersey Technology Council’s fourth annual Mobile Apps Forum being stationed in New Jersey.

The amount of local developers that were given top honors was atypical for the Forum, which recognized more developers from places such as New York and Philadelphia in previous years.

Also unique to this year’s event, which was hosted by Princeton University on Wednesday, was the record-number 41 submissions, a pool that included teams from as far as Canada and Ohio.

A Costa Rican group of developers, responsible for the cloud-enabled dengue mosquito breeding site locator Geotecnologias, perhaps carried away the most gravitas by earning the Best of the World Award.

Another app built abroad, TagPoints, was recognized in the Smart City category. TagPoints was developed in the United Kingdom. It allows businesses to better control the content they broadcast when customers enter their store.

And the New Jersey collective:

  • Health & Wellness: Viocare, a dietary assessment tool, developed in Princeton. More information can be found at viocare.com.
  • Mobile Commerce: Lingraphica, a mobile therapy assistance system, also developed in Princeton. More information can be found at aphasia.com.
  • Enterprise Mobile App: RantNetwork, a mobile translation application (the world’s first one), developed in Freehold. More information can be found at opitranslate.com.
  • Mobile Media: Internet Creations, a mobile check-in processor for businesses, developed in Hamilton. More information can be found at internetcreations.com
  • Personalized Services: Deans List App LLC, a mobile resource provider for veterans, developed in Bridgewater. More information can be found at mobileroadie.com/apps/deanslist.
  • Social Media (tie): YakStack LLC, a broadcast messaging service, developed in Bound Brook, and Kirusa, a voicemail and text message manager, developed in New Providence. More information can be found at yakstack.com.
  • Education Mobile: Michael Reininger from Montgomery High School, who has published three apps on the iTunes App Store.

The breadth of exciting local projects came as no surprise to involved locals like Ari Rabban. Recognized as an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2013 for the New Jersey Region himself, he’s confident in the area’s potential for talent.

The challenge then, according to him, is retaining that talent.

“There’s a lot of competition for talent, which is a prime resource,” Rabban said. “As any professor can tell you, a lot of the good graduates are taken before they even graduate.”

More than that, Mung Chiang, professor of electrical engineering at Princeton University, explained that the route to having more accolade-worthy New Jersey developers like those seen at Wednesday’s event involves teaching young entrepreneurs how to structure a company around distinct talent.

“A lot of students in a typical university wouldn’t even know the difference between product development and R&D,” Chiang said. “Matching talent correctly in a team is essential, and is the No. 1 thing a university can help enable.”

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