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EECS capstone design students form mobile app start-up company

May 4, 2016

Mobile Apps are the new frontier for software engineers. Demand for customized and business-model specific mobile applications is growing, but finding the right software engineer to work on an app can be challenging. A Lawrence based startup, Caliber Contracting, aims to address this need. Two EECS seniors, Grant Isom and Cole Jurden, started Caliber  - http://www.calibercontracting.co/ - this year after meeting in the EECS Computer Science capstone class, and realizing there is a business need for a broker between independent developers and companies looking for app development.

The EECS capstone class played a significant part in fostering this collaboration. EECS Associate Professor Andrew Gill teaches the capstone from experience - he spent over a decade as a senior engineer and had several leadership roles in software companies before joining the KU faculty. Gill emphasizes the context software engineers operate in, and promotes understanding of the bigger business context. While in capstone class, Jurden and Isom met Wally Meyer from the School of Business, who gave a talk at Dr. Gill’s class. Wally Meyer’s offered an evening class for entrepreneurially minded students, giving both Isom and Jurden important background, and also visibility within KU Innovation. Julie Nagel, President of KU Innovation & Collaboration and Associate Vice Chancellor for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, then mentored Isom and Jurden’s company and introduced Caliber to sources of seeding finance. Though operations only started a few months ago, Caliber already has three sizable mobile projects, with several more in the pipeline. Caliber is a model of a path EECS students have available, from the real-world presentations in Gill’s capstone design class, through to the tangible support from KU innovation and their world-class incubator program for KU students.

Cole Jurdan
Grant Isom

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