2016 App Challenge Finalists and Winner


2016 App Challenge Judges

2016 Grand Prize Winner


Nucha Isarowong, SSA
Mike Stiehl, Chapin Hall

ReferMe seeks to establish a widely available social service and resource directory that is accessible in the field and can be maintained and updated utilizing the collective efforts of those who use and benefit from it the most: the human services professionals and social service organizations.

As a veteran social worker with 13 years of practice experience, Nucha Isarowong has first-hand knowledge of the issues that ReferMe is designed to address — outdated and inaccessible social service and resource directories that contribute to the inordinate amount of time spent on the referral process.

Mike Stiehl from Chapin Hall has experience and connections that provided access to the Statewide Provider Database (SPD) from the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to populate the ReferMe directory in phase 3.

Together, the ReferMe team has the subject-matter expertise, access to the knowledge and experience that established the existing SPD, and the leverage to carry the SPD through this innovation, as well the potential to take this model to other states across the country. As stated on the video: “The need is real. The solution is long overdue. The opportunity is clear and present.”

Finalist: VidVelocity

Brian Ritz and Patrick Kelly
Graham School Master of Science in Analytics

VidVelocity will open up a new level of baseball analysis that is demanded by pitchers, but is currently out of reach for the masses.

Brian Ritz is a former college baseball player with many coaching contacts who in turn coach thousands of baseball players across the country who would use this app. The most motivating thing to the duo is that the app is truly valuable to its customers.


Finalist: ENGAGE

Megan Huisingh-Scheetz, MD, Chicago Medicine; Louise Hawkley, NORC; Roscoe Nicholson, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging; Pete Wendel, Founder, The Difference Collaborative 

Maintaining a structured therapy program long-term is a mainstay of treatment for older adults to prolonging their healthy lifespan. It is also one of the most difficult to implement but possible with the proper guidance and prompting.  “Now that therapy is over, how can we keep my mom exercising?” ENGAGE is a product concept that emerged from real life issues faced by older patients, their families, and their physicians every day.

As a geriatrician and the Co-Director of the Successful Aging and Frailty Evaluation clinic at the University of Chicago, Megan Huisingh-Scheetz struggles daily to care for pre-frail and frail older adults. It is her career mission and the foundation of her profession to maintain the independence and autonomy of our frail seniors for as long as possible through supportive care. Rehabilitation plays a major role in the recovery and maintenance of physical and mental functioning among older adults, including following a fall, an illness, a hospitalization, and in musculoskeletal disease, dementia, and pain syndromes. Together with her team of experts in aging research and aging technology and our patient, therapy, and clinical consultants, Dr. Huisingh-Scheetz is motivated and prepared to continue developing the product because it will help her, her colleagues, and most importantly, her patients and their caregivers.