AppStar is the University of Toronto Scarborough’s Mobile App Development Competition. The contest provides students like you with an opportunity to turn good ideas into great mobile apps, with a chance to win big cash prizes: $1000 for third place, $2000 for second, and the grand prize, $3000.

Any UofT student taking courses at UTSC can enter. The app must be made for iOS and/or Android, and it has to demonstrably benefit students. Other than that, the design and functionality of the application is up to you.

Additional resources will be made available throughout the contest, including workshops on project planning, developing and testing for iOS and Android. Also, feel free to team up with other students to collaborate on creating an amazing application, teams can include up to five members. If you have an idea but don’t know much about coding, come to our AppStar Mixer on March 21, 2012 in the Instructional Centre for a chance to have fun, meet new people and possibly recruit team-members.

Key Dates
Contest opens
AppStar Mixer Event
  • This event will give students more information about the contest and give contestants an opportunity to meet new people and possibly recruit team members.
Idea Submission Deadline
Application Blueprint Due
  • A more detailed description of the team’s application is to be submitted to the evaluation committee. Items to consider incorporating in the Blueprint include screenshots, renderings, sketches, etc.
Prototype Demonstration Event
Final Application Submission Deadline
Winners Announcement Event
Project Planning Alumni Jonathan Lim will walk you through the key steps in developing an app, from the beginnings of an idea to the finished product. During Jon's work term, he built 3 apps: YellowSlip, Toronto Highways, and Yolkr. These apps went on to be so successful, it helped him land a job at a now-not-so-small company called The Working Group.

Mid-May, 2012

iOS Programming Apple representatives will be hosting a case study highlighting the story of MyVoice, an accessibility communication aid developed originally as a UofT research project, but is now available as a commercial product. Alex Levy, CEO of MyVoice will be on hand to discuss their history and answer questions.

More information will be available soon.

Testing Testing the app may be just as important as making the app itself. Tips and advice will be given to help the contestants through the necessary steps for effective testing. There will also be a thorough explanation of the evaluation process, guidelines, and criteria.

More information will be available soon.


1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place

Application Judging

All applications submitted by Aug 17, 2012 will be judged by a panel consisting of members from SCSU, computer science faculty, Information and Instructional Technology Services, and Department of Communications and Public Affairs.

Applications will be judged on the following criteria:

Originality How original is the app? Has this been done before?
Quality of programming How difficult was the programming? Were there coding bugs and glitches? Did the team use complex scripts? Is the coding efficient?
Applicability to Student Life on Campus Would students download and use this app? Are students interested in this App?
Design & Usability Quality of design, ease of navigation and meeting accessibility standards
Coherence Does the resulting App cohere to the original proposal? Does it meet the jury’s expectations?

All submitted applications will be tested and reviewed with desktop emulators (something to keep in mind when testing!).

In addition to the submitted application, there are also two required interim deliverables:

June 1 2012: application blueprint (describing in detail your application’s functionality)

Week of July 17 2012: a prototype demonstration of your application (an on campus event where representatives of all teams will be asked to show off their work to date)

For both of these milestones, feedback from the evaluation team will be provided. Sample versions or guidelines of these requirements will be made available in the Resources section of the AppStar contest site.

Contest Rules

  1. Teams and individuals participating in the competition should adhere to high ethical standards and behave in a way that promotes fair play and respect for others.
  2. All team members must be enrolled in UTSC courses either as part-time or full-time in Winter 2012, and/or Summer 2012.
  3. The competition is open to both undergraduate and graduate UofT students.
  4. Teams may have up to five (5) members.
  5. Student participants may not compete on more than one (1) team.
  6. Team members must be responsible for the majority of the work, as well as the majority of resources put into the creation and marketing of the app. Teams may, however, use third-party frameworks, as long as they have acquired appropriate licenses to use them.
  7. Teams are encouraged to solicit help from faculty mentors, or friends, as long as all other contest rules are observed. These additional participants will not be recognized as "official" team members.
  8. Teams may submit only one (1) app for the competition, but they may have an additional version for the alternate operating system (for bonus points).
  9. The proposed idea must be new. No other app (including apps in development) should do what the proposed app does.
  10. All code used to develop official competition entries must be submitted for review. Judges will examine your code as part of the evaluation. Teams retain all rights to their app and code. The app and codes will be deleted/destroyed after evaluation.
  11. Contestants maintain full intellectual property for their submissions. The University of Toronto will not have any claim on the intellectual property of their submissions.
  12. Evaluation committee members agree not to disclose any non-public, confidential or proprietary information including application ideas, know-how, and computer code submitted for the AppStar competition.
  13. Winning contestants agree that the application version submitted to the AppStar competition can be made available free of charge to the University of Toronto community.
  14. Any team found using plagiarized or unauthorized material will be disqualified at UTSC's discretion. For example, do not download non-public domain images and include them in your app. Using an open source library is not plagiarism if you follow the terms of the library's license agreement, which usually involves giving credit to the open source author or project. Follow any applicable licensing terms carefully. If you use someone's code, give credit via a comment in the source code and appropriate acknowledgement in your info/credits screen.
  15. University of Toronto Scarborough reserves the right to disqualify teams if they feel it is in the best interest on the competition. This would include but not be limited to use of images or language that are deemed offensive, indecent, or objectionable.
  16. University of Toronto reserves the right to not award prizes if submissions are not of sufficient quality.
  17. University of Toronto Scarborough Campus reserves the right to change and/or otherwise alter these rules at any time and for any reason.
  18. The mobile app must be developed for one or both of the following operating systems:
    1. Apple iOS
    2. Android
  19. All prizes will be distributed to the team member identified as Team Captain. It is the responsibility of the Team Captain to share the prize among team members according to the agreement of division within that team.