Jul 20, 2011

Setting themselves apart from other smartphone app developers, three Kettering students offer customers a comprehensive package that covers all mobile phone platforms.

APPerfection is a company founded by Kettering students Ryan Quellet (Chief Technology Officer), Mark Suddon (President, Product Development) and Jeffery Ring (Chief iOS Software Engineer) to solve every day – and not so every day – problems by creating smartphone applications. The company was founded a year ago as part of the Kettering Entrepreneurial Society (KES).

From the start, multi-platform app release was a priority. APPerfection set out to differentiate itself from the crowd of freelance, one-off, developers that make the majority of smartphone apps available today. By leveraging a team of developers that specialize in different platforms (Android, iOS and Windows Phone 7), a concurrent brand and a well-developed business plan for each app is established across smartphone platforms.

When it comes to the development of applications for smart phones, there aren’t many organizations or individuals who can offer customers a comprehensive package that covers all mobile phone platforms. Developing for multiple platforms is beneficial to both consumers and businesses.

The largest benefit for consumer applications is being able to create a brand across many platforms at once rather than one platform at a time. For businesses, the benefit works in the same way especially for their marketing efforts. The advantage of choosing APPerfection is that we offer a diverse team that can understand the customer whether it be for a business or the end user.

The idea to start a smartphone app business sprung from Quellet’s attempt to integrate his smartphone (a Motorola DROID) into his vehicle.  Different context aware apps were available that changed the phone’s system settings to better suit an in-vehicle environment. However, these apps were sometimes unstable or too large to run in system memory. The solution to these problems would be to make the separate apps into one memory conservative app.

Not too long after, the plan changed from one in-vehicle settings app to a multi-platform general app development business. KES provided the knowledge and mentorship required to bring a simple app idea to a full-blown software business. Additional founders were located through networking inside the university.

“We’ve learned a lot about how to market an app since starting the company,” Quellet said. “You can have an idea, but it often changes from where you start out when you look at how to bring it to market, how to market it and what an end user is actually going to use it for.”

APPerfection is currently realizing its goals as a company. The company will soon release BlueBox, a file syncing/transferring app, on Android and iOS simultaneously. BlueBox is a perfect example of collaborative multi-platform app development that APPerfection set out to do when it was first started.  A number of businesses have also approached APPerfection in hopes of developing multi-platform Apps for them.

The company has experienced several successes in its year of existence.  A side-scrolling game called ‘Civil Disobedience,’ created by Suddon, had a large number of downloads its first day of availability because of APPerfection’s strategy for releasing it.

“We got it out on Windows Phone marketplace the day the store was launched,” Quellet said. “It got a lot of downloads because there weren’t a lot of games available yet and that was the idea, to get it out quick.”

Another app they created for Windows Phone 7, Back Burner, a bookmark service that pulls in articles so you can read them offline later, was included in a list of best Windows phone apps by influential tech blog

The success of the company has garnered significant professional opportunities as well. Quellet, a senior III Mechanical Engineering major, has a job offer with the Gentex Corporation. Suddon, who recently graduated, landed a job with Microsoft in their Windows Phone Division.

KES has not only provided monetary support so that APPerfection could get its business up and running, but the institutional knowledge provided by the group has been invaluable.

“You really can make a good amount of money in the app marketplace if you have a good business plan, and that’s where KES really comes in, teaching us how to really market a good idea,” Quellet said. “KES gives us specific things that we need to work on. They provide seed money to start the company, but also provide a group of like-minded people. As a group, we decide if something is a good idea or not and come up with feedback on what to improve or how to make businesses successful.”

Contact: Patrick Hayes