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New Rochelle, NY (February 2012) – Inspired by an elective course that they took in iPhone/iPad applications development, two talented and enterprising undergraduate students majoring in computer science at Iona College have taken their idea for a new music app to the marketplace.
Nicholas Krzemineski ’12 of White Plains, who will graduate this June and Sean O’Shea ’13 of Monroe, New York are encouraged by the initial market response to the iTraxs app they developed in the classroom. Available for purchase on the Apple Store for $.99, iTraxs allows the listener to select songs and other music from their music library on their iPhone and play only their favorite parts. The user can listen to the edited music before adding it to their iTraxs library.
The iTraxs app is the first product that the two young entrepreneurs and business partners developed under their newly-established app development company, Majestyk Apps LLC. Apple approved and accepted their app within a week after they submitted it for review under the company’s strict guidelines. Introduced on January 7, iTraxs has currently attracted about 450 subscribers, including users from nine different countries. Initially, the app was averaging 10 downloads a day but has now increased to about 18. The students’ business goal is that this app will be used to convert songs into ringtones of mobile devices. Ringtones is a new and fast growing sector which represented about 42% of the $14.4 billion mobile music industry in 2010, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. For each $.99 iTraxs download, Majestyk, which is wholly owned by the two students, nets $.70.
The two young entrepreneurs specifically credit their professor, Lubomir Ivanov, PhD, who taught them the course for equipping them with the tools they needed to create the music app. This is only the second time that the course has been offered at Iona. They also praise the faculty in the computer science department for helping them to launch the product by connecting them with their technology business contacts.
Initially they did not plan to start the company. However, they moved quickly when they realized that that their app had never been created and might have significant market potential. More than two months of hard work and programming went into iTracks. A few weeks ago, a newer version of the product, 1.1 was released. The entrepreneurs are looking to partner with a company that aligns with their business goal of making successful apps for Apple’s operating system. They also plan to release the app in multiple languages to capture the burgeoning international market.
While other colleges offer similar classes, Dr. Ivanov developed this course in response to student interest. Future offerings may include a course on the Android platform and other mobile applications.
Dr. Ivanov said, "The vision and initiative of these students has clearly demonstrated the value of higher education as an incubator for tomorrow’s new ideas. Nick and Sean have applied the knowledge gained in the classroom to achieve commercial success."
To unleash the market potential of iTraxs and other products they hope to develop, the students acknowledge they will need to learn marketing and other aspects of running a successful business. The two bring complementary skills to the partnership. Nick handles the hard-coding, back-end of the app, but he is moving from the development scene to overseeing sales. O’Shea handles more of the web-based side of app and its images.
Krzemineski, 21, had left Iona in Fall 2008 to enlist in active duty in the military. He had completed a tour and came back to Iona in Fall 2009 since he had maintained matriculation. O’Shea, 20, originally planned to be an engineer.
Both are in the five-year computer science master’s program. For their undergraduate degree, they are earning a bachelor’s of science degree that is recognized by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET (Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology).
Regarding their learning experience at Iona, Nick said: “iPhone/iPad applications development is a growing field and the sky’s the limit. I strongly recommend any student to take this course.” O’Shea added: “This has been a huge learning experience, thanks to the strong computer science professors at Iona.”
Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education. It is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science, and business administration, as well as Master of Arts, Master of Science and Master of Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs.
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