NEWARK, NJ (December 4, 2015) – A Ridgewood, New Jersey resident who took in neighbors after Superstorm Sandy knocked out power and limited transportation throughout the town recently won a special category award in the AT&T Civic App Challenge-New Jersey after developing an app inspired by her own relief efforts.
The CurrantNEIGHBORHOOD app “connects the dots in times of crisis,” according to Denise Spell, CEO and Chief Innovator at Currant, Inc. Neighbors can access and share critical information such as where to find gas, groceries, and a place to charge devices when electricity and supplies may not be immediately available. Residents can also communicate with local governments even if landlines are down, providing area leaders and first responders with real-time information directly from those impacted the most. Photos and videos uploaded by users enable emergency crews to prepare a more tailored response.
“We’re thrilled that the CurrantNEIGHBORHOOD app is a winning entry for the AT&T Civic App Challenge-New Jersey. The app was inspired by the events of Superstorm Sandy and is designed for people to help each other after natural disasters. This award will help us to make the app available for free to everyone for use in coping with the devastating effects of disasters,” said Spell.
The AT&T Civic App Challenge – New Jersey was launched in September and sponsored by AT&T in collaboration with the New Jersey Tech Council and other organizations throughout the state. The challenge was designed to encourage local entrepreneurs to develop mobile applications to facilitate communication between community and government. Ms. Spell was presented with the award during a ceremony held at Rowan University. The app is scheduled to launch in January, 2016.
Currant, Inc. was founded in 2013 by Ms. Spell and is a member of the Enterprise Development Center (EDC). The EDC, located on the campus of New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), is a cooperative and resourceful ecosystem for start-ups and small-businesses. From finding the right working space and attracting investment capital, to building staff and developing effective business plans and marketing strategies, the EDC supports companies as they work to become profitable businesses and dynamic participants in the economic life of New Jersey and the nation. For more information about the EDC, visit njit-edc.org.