2013 App Challenge Finalists and Winners


2013 App Challenge Judges


Frank BentleyFrank Bentley, Principal Research Scientist, Yahoo! Labs
Frank Bentley is a Principal Research Scientist at Yahoo! Labs in Sunnyvale, California with over twelve years of experience in the mobile industry. Frank’s work investigates the ways in which mobile devices can help strengthen strong-tie social relationships and how people can interact with large personal informatics data sets about their lives. He takes projects from early conceptual studies through to prototyping, field evaluation, and product as a routine process. Frank also co-teaches the MIT course 21w.789 (Communicating Using MobileTechnology) with Ed Barrett, one of the first mobile application courses starting in 2006 and released a book, Building Mobile Experiences, with MIT Press in 2012.


John MohrJohn Mohr, CIO, MacArthur Foundation
John oversees Foundation-wide technology services and planning. He is responsible for developing a strong and sustainable information technology infrastructure. As a leader of the department (and within the Foundation management team), the CIO provides oversight, vision, planning, development, and strategy for the Foundation.

Prior to joining the MacArthur Foundation, John was the Director of Academic Systems at the University of Chicago. The 20 enterprise applications he supported serve student, academic, and campus activities. He planned initiatives across the Academic and Student IT areas.

In previous roles at the University, John was the Director of the Web Services department where he led the redesign of the University’s website. He also led the Project Management office and the implementation of the Alumni Development system.

Prior to that, John led IT teams at early stage technology companies in Seattle, Washington. He was a key member of the leadership teams and had responsibility for technical operations, product development, strategic planning, and key relationships with technology partners and investors.

John received a Bachelor of Science in Management Information Systems and Operations Management from Northern Illinois University and earned his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. John also serves on the board of the Maroon Financial Credit Union. He and his wife live in Evanston, IL.


Jonathan Ozeran, VP, Product & Mobile, Recsolu

Jonathan leads product development and mobile engineering for RECSOLU, a growing startup headquartered in Chicago building global recruiting software and mobile apps for university and diversity recruiting teams within large organizations.

In previous roles, Jonathan has built and led Chicago-based mobile design and engineering teams and has shipped dozens of consumer and enterprise mobile products (e.g. L.A. Times, Chicago Blackhawks, CDW, etc). He has also architected numerous underlying business-centric APIs that serve as the foundation for mobile products in the enterprise.

He is also a mentor to a number of startups and entrepreneurial communities (e.g. Catapult Chicago, Excelerate Labs, Starter League, New Venture Challenge), speaks on mobile product design and enjoys the challenge of reinventing the enterprise through mobility, passion and creativity.

Jonathan has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Computer & Information Systems from Northwestern University.

2013 Grand Prize Winner

Health Spotr

Dr. David Beiser, Leah Brodsky, Priya Raja, Claire O’Grady and Dr. Reginald Saint-Hillaire
Departments: BSD, Public Policy Studies

HealthSpotr will improve emergency department patient outcomes by replacing ineffective discharge paperwork with an app that uses gamification and asynchronous communication to enhance a patient’s ability to follow a discharge plan. The app will enhance a patient’s connection to educational, community, and clinical resources during the critical period following discharge.

Dr. Beiser is an Assistant Professor in the Section of Emergency Medicine at the University of Chicago.  Prior to medical school, he identified as an engineer, working in the medical device industry and later pursuing graduate training in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University.  For the past several years, he has been an NIH-funded researcher in cardiovascular science.  This fall, he joined the D4Lab Innovation Fellows program at the Polsky Center for Entrepreneurship.

It was there that that he met his teammates Claire O’Grady, Leah Brodsky, and Priya Raja over a common interest in improving the emergency department discharge process.  Dr. Reginald Saint-Hilaire was then recruited from the U of C Emergency Medicine Residency for his interest and expertise in patient literacy.  After a kick-off meeting, the team decided that this problem would be best approached through a human-centered design process rather than traditional clinical research methods and thus HealthSpotr was born.

Finalist: Video Protocols

Tao Sun
Department: Surgery

With Video Protocols, a user can watch biomedical science lab video protocols (experiment methods) from phones or tablets. Also supports recording and uploading of videos for sharing.

As a biomedical science researcher in the Department of Surgery, Tao knows how important lab protocols are. His app aims to provide a better platform for research communities to learn and share experiment methods in an interactive and compelling video format. The mission of his app is to educate and empower researchers to make their next big breakthroughs faster.

Finalist: MyRoots

Benjamin Lemelman
Department: Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


Your roots tell a story about both your past and your future—they carry a rich pattern of genetic history that can help you prevent future disease. My Roots allows you to easily record health patterns within your family tree and share them with your doctor and loved ones.

Benjamin is a resident physician at the University of Chicago Medical Center. He had the idea for this app when knowledge of his own family history helped his doctor reach a quick diagnosis. My Roots: Family Health History Made Easy empowers users to collect their family medical history and share it with their doctor and relatives before it’s too late. The importance of the family history is often overlooked, and many patients don’t know what questions to ask or why to ask. With the programming skills of the Mobile App Challenge interns, My Roots has become a powerful tool that will lead to improved screening tests, earlier diagnoses and better prevention.