Want to Give Back? There's an App for That
by john vilanova
“I don’t think any of this stuff is rocket science,” says Alex Moazed, the 25-year-old tech wunderkind who founded the mobile consulting startup Applico while a junior at Babson College. Today, Applico, a fast-growing firm based near New York’s Gramercy Park, designs and develops cell-phone applications for A-list brands, such as GM, DirecTV, Verizon, and L’Occitane, that want to increase their presence in the digital space. The company, which Moazed first funded with his credit card, has come a long way since its launch in 2009: It has been ranked as the top Android app developer in the US for the past three years.
While at Babson, Moazed created a NYC Transit app for BlackBerry smartphones, which helped launch his business. In 2009, apps were relatively new digital tools; Moazed sensed an opportunity after seeing the widespread use of the app he created for NBC’s The Biggest Loser. The timing was perfect—people were just beginning to rely on their phones for more than placing calls.
In addition to developing apps for major brands, Moazed and his team have worked with Philips Healthcare to bring medical devices—oxygen machines, cardiographs, and more—online, allowing them to be controlled remotely and collect data for research. Google recognized Applico’s promise last winter, asking it to help design the company’s end-of-year Zeitgeist app.
Recently, Applico became involved in pro-bono work for local charities, and developed an app launching this summer for Pencils of Promise, an international nonprofit working to build schools in struggling communities around the world. The app gives users an interactive map where they can check on the progress of schools being built, hear students’ stories, and donate to the group. “Applico is in the position to influence education for the future,” says Lauren Kritzer, the company’s COO.
Moazed feels Applico is also well positioned to thrive in the fast-moving mobile space. “The connected revolution is changing every person’s life, just as the Industrial Revolution did,” he says.
For Moazed, being a mobile innovator means constant work. He spends long hours in the office on Sundays, sketches ideas on a waterproof pad in his shower, and e-mails employees constantly with new suggestions. “There are no lines,” he says. “I’m always connected.”
photography by gregg delman (moazed); Nick Onken (school)
Gotham Magazine hosted its latest issue featuring the current cast of Saturday Night Live at the Four Seasons Hotel on Monday, February 23.