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By Liz Warren-Pederson

YamoTask, one of six finalist ventures invited to present detailed pitches to a four-judge panel at the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship spring New Venture Competition and Showcase, walked away with a $5,000 second prize.

The team – Trevor Cohen, Jack Padden, Zoe Thorpe, and Terrence O’Connor – came together around the idea of creating a mobile app that allows users to compete as teams for money by creating easy, mobile-based tasks that businesses create to gain exposure.

“We took our original, core idea of creating a large network of college students and used it to create a marketing platform for businesses,” explained Cohen. “We played with the concept until landing upon the mobile application as a platform and creating the model of allowing users to compete for portions of the actual marketing budgets.”

Businesses that use the platform will not only be able to measure the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns through metrics, but will be able to ensure that they’re marketing to engaged users. “Those who enter our platform are doing so with the sole intention of engaging with these marketing messages,” Cohen said.

YamoTask allows users to compete as teams for monetary prizes by completing what the team calls “tasks.”  “Tasks are easy, mobile-based assignments that businesses post for users and their teams to complete,” Cohen said. “Tasks can include liking Facebook pages, posting pictures with products, watching video messages, downloading and reviewing mobile-apps, and ultimately doing anything businesses consider to be tasks.” The beauty of it, he said, is that businesses are targeting engaged audiences, those whose sole intentions are to engage with these messages.

The team conducted a lot of research into what became their benchmark mobile app, Clash of Clans. “They generate in the neighborhood of $2 million in revenue every day and can (in part) attest to the team-oriented and competitive nature of a good game,” Cohen said. “Their users love this experience.” Their research also validated the shift in business preference from desktop computers to mobile devices as marketing platforms.

The team is planning to launch YamoTask. “We are currently in the process of finalizing our summer plans, but anticipate beginning the app development process in the next month or two,” Cohen said. “We are also finalizing several partnerships and are excited for the opportunities that we feel these relationships can create moving forward.”

Top photo of team YamoTask (L-R: Trevor Cohen; Terrence O’Connor; Jack Padden; Zoe Thorpe) by Sarah Mauet.