Two Westfield High School students plan to continue work on developing their technology company and apps after recently winning an innovation competition that came with a $2,000 prize.
Seniors Edgar Medina and Liam Lloyd were among 18 teams of students participating in the challenge, which was showcased at a Westfield Chamber of Commerce luncheon in March at the Chatham Hills Country Club in Westfield. Ideas ranged from a pencil with a built-in fidget to a magnetically detachable tube that extends to a water dispenser into a water bottle. The 18 competing groups were narrowed down to three through a voting process by those in attendance.
Medina and Lloyd were among the finalists and gave a presentation about Red Applications LLC, which they described as a cutting-edge technology company designed to help high school students through software. Their products include Tutor Us, which is meant to help students find peers to help them in tutoring sessions; Ed Social, which helps students become involved in extracurricular activities; and a calendar that helps students advertise school, club and student events.
Medina and Lloyd, who were eventually selected as this year’s winner and came to Westfield two years ago from Mexico, were all smiles after learning they would walk away with a $2,000 prize, which they plan to invest back into their company to continue developing their software. Lloyd and another student, Alexa Jimenez, won the regional Innovate WithIN competition in 2022 after developing the Tutor Us app.
“It’s really exciting to be able to continue growing our business,” Lloyd said. “Last year, we had an idea, and it was a good one, and I think we’ve gone a long way from last year and it shows that we’re happy with this award and I hope we can take our business to the next level.”
Lloyd said over the last year, he has learned that developing connections and talking with others is important in the business world. It was something he tried to focus on during the chamber luncheon rather than the presentation itself.
“I really tried to meet people here because they’re all amazing people that can help me, and I really prioritized getting to meet people and remembering them and for them to remember me,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd said the Tutor Us app was developed after recognizing that he and Medina struggled with English, noting that teachers often didn’t have time to help them individually. The app is meant to help other students with tutoring when needed, he added.
“We just saw a series of problems in high school that we just are really passionate about and really want to find solutions to,” Lloyd said.
Lloyd, who is graduating this year, plans to attend Butler University to study economics and entrepreneurship, while Medina plans to attend Indiana University in Bloomington. The pair eventually want to sell their products to help as many students in Indiana as possible and need around $50,000 to get things off the ground.
But Lloyd said for him, the competition wasn’t necessarily about winning and noted the experience was a good way to talk with others about his idea while developing strong working relationships.
“I thought since we won last year, they would pick someone else, but apparently, they really liked our idea and we should push forward with it,” he said.
Lloyd and Medina’s efforts haven’t gone unrecognized by top leaders at Westfield High School. Assistant Principal Kurt Frederick described the pair of high school seniors as “go-getters” and care about making their products the best they can be.
“They presented it a year ago and spent so much time getting feedback and trying to take it to market, so I think it’s just cool to see their persistence,” Frederick said. “Not only do I see the commitment with the product … and I think the biggest thing is that they get some commitment from schools to actually put it into practice and I think maybe in a year, we’ll be talking about it.”
John Moore, who teaches entrepreneurship classes at the high school, also said that Lloyd and Medina are two of the hardest working students that he has and commended their efforts.
“They are going to great colleges and both studying business and entrepreneurship and they’re going to take what they’ve learned and make it so much better,” Moore said.
Red Applications apps
Tutor Us: Software that helps students find fellow peers to help them in tutoring sessions rising their academic standards.
Ed Social: Software dedicated to helping students be involved in extracurricular activities in their high schools, creating a better curriculum for them.
Calendar: Software that helps students be a part of the student life, advertising school events, club events and student events.
Learn more by contacting WHS teacher John Moore by emailing [email protected].