UNCC student designs popular iPhone app

UNCC student designs popular iPhone app

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by BOBBY SISK / NewsChannel 36

BOBBY SISK / NewsChannel 36

Posted on April 29, 2011 at 3:31 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Jeremy Olson is a smart guy. So smart he started computer programming at age 10. 

He's now 20 and a junior at UNC Charlotte.

"I love designing and building things that people love to use, especially software," Olson said. 

A year from graduation with a degree in software and information systems, he is already seeing success outside his college classes. 

"I broke though when I had this idea for the app and I got the idea when I failed a test and I needed to know what I needed to get on the rest of my tests and finals to get that 'A' that I wanted," he said.

His first app, Grades, debuted for the iPhone and iPod touch in March 2010. At 99 cents a download, it sold enough, Olson says, to buy a used car.

"It was more than five bucks," he joked.

With design and marketing help from his 22-year-old brother Josh, a senior at UNCC, this month the siblings launched Grades 2, an updated version of the grade tracking app, which is free and this time features ads to create revenue.

"We're aiming pretty high for this one because the first version was paid. This one is free so we wanted to go for volume because we're making money through ads, so we really need a lot of downloads to make any kind of money," Olson said.

Released three weeks ago, Grades 2 is already at 80,000-plus downloads getting closer to their goal of 100,000.

It seems simple enough to use and is clearly targeted at technology savvy students.

"You open the app and go into the drawer here and pull up your classes," Olson said.

You then enter information from their syllabus and track test scores as the semester progresses.

"We also have a GPA calculator so put your prior GPA in and then what you're going for this term," he said.

By the time you get to your final, there's no question what grade you need to finish strong.  

It's safe to say the Olson brothers aren't stopping with their latest creation.

"I've got all kinds of ideas and people are asking me to make an iPad version and Android version," Olson said. "I don't know if I'll be in apps all my life. But right now, apps are a really great place to be."

And in case you’re wondering, Olson did end up getting an "A" in the statistics class that started it all. 

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