Graduates Sponsor Student Mobile App Competition

by Laura Hinckley, Public Relations Writer

Columbus-based V.I.P. Waste Services is sponsoring a contest for Cedarville students to create an iPhone/Android app for use by the company’s employees as an integral part of their daily work.

Jesse Lear and Travis Smith founded V.I.P. Waste Services after graduating from Cedarville. Three years later, they are reaching back to their alma mater for intellectual support. Smith and Lear are sponsoring a contest in which Cedarville students from any major will compete to create the best mobile application to solve an operational challenge inside their business. Loren Reno, dean of the school of business administration at Cedarville, said the competition is significant for the school. “That two entrepreneurs who graduated from our school of business would reach back to their alma mater for an intellectual solution to a business challenge is huge,” he said.

V.I.P. Waste Services provides doorstep trash and recycling pickup for apartment communities across the Midwest. The company sends professional crews to more than 70 apartment communities multiple nights per week to check each door for bags and then haul the trash and recyclables away — a luxury amenity loved by residents for its convenience. 

Because apartment communities are often made up of numerous buildings with similar design, it can be challenging for V.I.P. employees to keep track of which buildings have been checked and which have not. V.I.P. hopes to systemize this process by adopting a mobile application that will allow employees to use their smart phones to scan into each building and also organize the data into real-time progress reports. The end goal is to reduce the company's dependency on the memory and directional skills of its employees.

The best submission to this contest, as judged by Lear and Smith after the Dec. 31 deadline, will be adopted by V.I.P. and used in daily operations. The creator of the winning submission will be awarded a $2,000 cash prize. Lear applauded Cedarville for its support in coordinating this contest. "Quality control is very important to us — our goal is to delight our customers by delivering 100 percent accuracy, even as we continue our rapid growth. We are excited to work with the students of Cedarville University to systemize this process," said Lear. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Inspiring greatness for over 125 years, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at