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Doing Good? There’s an App for That


This post originally appeared on TechSoup's blog and was written by Amelia Glynn.

This spring, One Economy and AT&T issued a challenge to developers across the United States: build an app that helps underserved Americans improve their lives. The contest called Applications for Good aimed to inspire developers to contribute to social good by creating apps that addressed needs related to education, employment, health and finances.

A panel of judges from top corporations, software companies, education and financial organizations narrowed down the entries to just five winners in the following categories: Connect Learners, Trim the Fat, and Bank the Unbanked. The general public also had the chance to vote on their favorite app. The winning apps allow people to: send money to their home countries; manage an Individual Development Account; facilitate conversations between teachers and students over social media; find healthy food choices; and, get the most value and nutrition from their food stamps.

On June 14, Applications for Good awarded the five winners cash prizes totaling $50,000, but the real prize was motivating the developer community to view social good not only as pro-bono work, but also as a potential market.

Learn more about the first annual Applications for Good winners:

1. Remás

The Grand Prize Winner and People's Choice Winner, Remás helps immigrants send money to their home countries. Watch the video here.

2. MobileSaver

MobileSaver helps people manage an Individual Development Account. Watch the video here.

3. TalkChalk

TalkChalk enables safe communication between teachers, students and parents over Facebook, email and SMS. Watch the video here.

4. Nutrition Mission

Nutrition Mission helps broaden palates and offer tips about healthy eating by introducing a range of delicious, nutrient-dense foods. Watch the video here.

5. SnapFresh

SnapFresh helps people find healthy places that accept Supplemental Assistance Nutrition Program (SNAP) payments (formally known as food stamps). Watch the video here.

One Economy, a global non-profit that connects underserved communities with technology, will continue to assist some of the app developers—even those who did not win—by helping them field test or by connecting them to potential partners.