Good grades are usually their own reward, but one app, created by a local college grad and a friend she met at a Phillies game, is taking it a step further.
Philadelphian Logan Cohen and Chicago native Trevor Wilkins created Küdzoo using the same technology that allows people to deposit checks via their cell phones. It allows students to scan their report cards earning prizes on local and even national levels some of which include gift cards, game stations, textbooks, scholarship opportunities and real-world experiences -- all for doing well in school.
Designed for students from middle school through college, Küdzoo’s purpose is simple -- turning "Monday morning wins into Friday night rewards."
Cohen credits a "shocking statistic" for the inspiration behind the popular app. Teenagers on average check their phones 250 times per day.
"The idea was to leverage the relationship teenagers have with their phones and technology in general to inspire them to do better in the classroom," Cohen said.
Named after a fast-growing plant species, kudzu, the app’s name is indicative of its mission of creating rapid learners.
"It’s kind of like a metaphor in terms of how we wanted [students] to be towards their education," said Cohen.
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Küdzoo’s mission mirrors the app's development. The idea was hatched nearly a year ago and was added to the Apple App Store just seven months later with 10,000 students registered before it even went live.
Barely a year old and Cohen and Wilkins' company is already expanding with bases in New York City and Chicago. They've also developed some pretty impressive partnerships with a number of organizations likes Boys & Girls Club of America and the Philadelphia Science Leadership Academy where Cohen teaches entrepreneurship to high school once a week.
"It’s really our vision to always provide opportunity," said Cohen.
And provide opportunity they do, In fact, this past spring, three local high school students shadowed prominent figures in the fields of real estate, fashion, and investment.
Mobile users can expect the 1.5 version of the app on Dec.1 and a 2.0 version in Feb. 2015 whicj will offer the service to grade school students. Küdzoo partnered with the Philly-based software company Jarvus for the redesign.
As the app closely approaches its one-year anniversary in January, the co-founders are optimistic about its future.
"We want Küdzoo to be the golden standard for academic rewards amongst students, teachers, and parents. We really want to be the currency for academic engagement as a whole," said Wilkins.