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iPhone app spins in

In one of the first projects conducted through the Spin InTM program at the University of Delaware's (UD) Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships (OEIP), an interdisciplinary team of students has transformed a problem-solving tool into an iPhone app.

When UD faculty members Jules Bruck and Anthony Middlebrooks first created the iDEA Fan Deck, it was a handheld tool that provided problem-solving help for people in any field. The tool was a success, but those who used it all agreed: It would make a great iPhone app.

So, the faculty entrepreneurs approached organizers of the Spin In program which matches  entrepreneurs who are developing innovative early stage technology with a team of UD students to further develop both the technology and the business strategy. Once completed, the project technology is spun back out to the entrepreneur who can move forward with plans for product development.

The student team assigned to the iDEA Fan Deck app included a finance and management information systems double major, a graphic design major and a computer engineering major. Their combined business, design and programming skills proved the right combination for the app, which is available from the iTunes App Store in both free and premium versions.

Spin In provides technology development assistance to entrepreneurs and provides a real-world training ground for students. Students work together in interdisciplinary teams to develop a technology in its infancy, gaining both experience with the technology and with teamwork as it often occurs in an industrial setting. Participating companies benefit by receiving technical and marketing assistance with their new products at relatively low cost. Eleven students have worked on the first three pilot projects; three have since secured employment through the relationships developed by participating in Spin In..


Images (1 of )

  • the idea fan deck app product team
  • the handheld idea fan deck that is the basis for the problem-solving app
OEIP Director David Weir speaks with students on the iDEA Fan Deck app product team.
University of Delaware
The original iDEA Fan Deck problem-solving tool.
University of Delaware

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