Left-to-right: Igor Faletski, Mobify; Greg Baker, senior lecturer, SFU computing science; John Boxall, Mobify

Mobify donates $30,000 to fuel more SFU student projects

May 11, 2016

Thanks to funding from Mobify, SFU computing science student Brandon Chong and his teammates were able to develop an app launcher that assists visually impaired people using voice commands and simple motion gestures.

Now, the Vancouver-based mobile technology company is donating an additional $30,000 to SFU’s School of Computing Science over the next three years to enable more student-led projects such as Chong’s to take flight.

SFU alumni and Mobify cofounders Igor Faletski and John Boxall are behind this donation, which will be directed towards student initiatives at SFU that explore and further develop cutting-edge mobile technologies.

While undergraduate students at SFU, they created a club called Mobile Mondays to share their interest in mobile technology with others. This eventually led to the launch of what we know today as Mobify, a successful mobile customer engagement company that employs more than 150 people globally.

“University is a fantastic place to learn, experiment and network,” says Faletski, who is Mobify’s CEO. “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.”

A 12-hour hackathon for students to create apps for people with disabilities, organized by Mobify and SFU's Women in Computing Science and Women in Engineering Group.

Their initial $10,000 donation allowed students to explore their passion for technology through special events and projects such as:  

  • A hackathon organized by student groups Women in Computing Science (WICS) and Women in Engineering Group (WEG) where participants created apps to help people with disabilities; 
  • A WICS and WEG networking night inviting females in industry to give professional development advice to applied sciences students;
  • The Hackentine held by Computing Science Student Society (CSSS) – a 24-hour hackathon recognizing Valentine’s Day with new apps such as a heart rate tracker, “date bail” and many others; and
  • The CSSS 750 project – a new weekly club supported by Mobify that allows students to test hardware such as Oculus Rift and Parallella across different platforms.

Chong and his teammates’ app launcher, which won first place at the WICS/WEG hackathon, is not only useful, but the experience itself was equally rewarding for them.

“The hackathon was a great way to connect with teammates and other awesome students in computing science,” he says. “As a computing science student, this experience has proven very valuable to me, helping me improve my communication and problem-solving skills. These skills have also proven useful for co-op and other group projects.”

Other projects that were realized through Mobify’s funding include an app that shares your heart rate with a significant other and software that enables virtual reality technology to work across different platforms.

The new $30,000 funding will enable even more special events and projects, and more students to explore their passion.