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University of Michigan School of Information


App combines fitness and charity to win prize

Monday, 02/29/2016

An app created by an MHI student and his team was named runner-up in the social impact track of the 2016 Michigan Business Challenge.

The app, StepFor, which translates users’ daily step counts into charitable donations by corporate sponsors, was developed by MHI student Andy Jinseok Lee and his teammates, Jordan Golshan (BBA ’17) and Josh Hyorim Kim (BSE ’17). As runners-up, they share a prize of $7,500.

In developing the app, which interfaces with activity trackers such as Fitbit, the team wanted to give users an opportunity to support causes they care about simply by living their daily lives, they said. They also wanted to make it possible for companies and consumers to team up to support causes while at the same time promoting healthier lifestyles. They chose the name StepFor after a friend said she liked that the app let her “step for” her favorite charities. 

"Michigan Business Challenge was a great way to bring out the diverse skill sets of our team that range from marketing, finance, user interface/experience, computer science and health informatics," Lee said. "It marked an important and a necessary milestone in my entrepreneurial journey."

This is not the first health-related app developed by Lee, who earned a BSE in computer science from U-M in 2014. His app Heart Steps, a collaboration with UMSI assistant professor Predrag Klasnja, helps cardiac patients leaving rehabilitation programs to manage risk factors like smoking, physical inactivity and high-fat diets. Another project, Fooya, developed with Kim and U-M alumnus Bhargav Sri Prakesh, is an app designed to teach kids about nutrition and diet through a 3-D food fight game.

The Social Impact track of the Michigan Business Challenge is an initiative of the Center for Social Impact at the U-M Ross School of Business in partnership with the Frederick A. and Barbara M. Erb Institute and the Zell Lurie Institute of Entrepreneurship. A prize of $15,000 is granted to the team with the most compelling socially impactful business plan, with $7,500 going to one runner-up.

- UMSI News Service