HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill., Aug. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Sears announced the winners of its Startup + Developer Challenge, the retailer's latest code-a-thon designed to foster digital innovations that further enhance the Shop Your Way member experience and strengthen the company's long-standing relationships and develop new ones in the technology community of Silicon Valley. More than 150 participants competed over three days for the chance to see their application brought to life by Sears. Team Omega Ortega developed the grand prize winning app, The Chore Score, and received a test budget from Sears.
"Part of our transformation into the world's greatest integrated retailer is our ongoing commitment to drive industry-leading innovation, fueled by world-class talent," said Imran Jooma, executive vice president and president, Marketing, Online, Pricing, and Financial Services, Sears Holdings. "The Sears Startup + Developer Challenge showcased to some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley how we've used technology to make the shopping experience convenient and rewarding for our Shop Your Way members to drive the business. We're thrilled and inspired not only by the enthusiasm the participants brought to the challenge but by their creativity around our APIs and data that we make available to developers and partners."
Throughout the weekend developers and startup companies created web and mobile commerce, mapping, gaming and CRM solutions, among others. A total of 41 teams submitted entries for a chance to win more than $50,000 in awards from Sears and participating sponsors. Each team presented their app solution to a panel of nine judges, including George Goley, CIO of online business at Sears Holdings, Andy Chu, divisional vice president and general manager at Sears Holdings, Doug Chavez, senior vice president of emerging media at Universal McCann Worldwide, and Robert Scoble, startup liaison officer for Rackspace. Judges evaluated apps based on four criteria; use of Sears APIs, ability to drive traffic to mobile site, ability to drive traffic to store, and the user experience.
Omega Ortega's grand prize winning entry was inspired by personal childhood memories at Sears and Kmart stores. Anthony Tanaka, Rance Patterson and founder, Tom Ortega, developed The Chore Score app as a fun way to incentivize children to do their chores. With their parents' guidance, kids can set up a chore list, track their progress and earn rewards for doing their chores that can be redeemed easily within the app either online or in-store.
"We came to the Sears Startup + Developer Challenge with a desire to build something that successfully drives engagement and sales for Sears," said Ortega. "After hearing from the Sears team on Friday evening, we came up with the app idea on Saturday morning. Our small team was then able to execute on this idea in under 36 hours. Building mobile apps quickly is what we do, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to work with a great brand like Sears."
Additional developer award categories and winning entries included:
- Best use of three or more APIs: Buy with Friends by Cam Urban
- Most holiday-inspired: Instagift by Brian Clark
- Most out-of-the-box: Sears180 by Rauhmel Fox and Jacy Bryla
For additional information on the Sears APIs and data available to developers and partners, check out the Sears Developer Network on Twitter: @SearsAPI.
About Sears Holdings Corporation
Sears Holdings Corporation (NASDAQ: SHLD) is a leading integrated retailer with almost 2,500 full-line and specialty retail stores in the United States and Canada and the home of Shop Your Way, a social shopping experience where members have the ability to earn points and receive benefits across a wide variety of physical and digital formats through ShopYourWay.com. Sears Holdings is the leading home appliance retailer as well as a leader in tools, lawn and garden, fitness equipment and automotive repair and maintenance. Key proprietary brands include Kenmore, Craftsman and DieHard, with a broad apparel offering, including such well-known labels as Lands' End, the Kardashian Kollection, Jaclyn Smith and Joe Boxer, as well as Sofia by Sofia Vergara and The Country Living Home Collection. We are the nation's largest provider of home services, with more than 14 million service and installation calls made annually, and have a long-established commitment to those who serve in the military through initiatives like the Heroes at Home program. We have been named the 2011 Mobile Retailer of the Year, Recipient of the 2013 ENERGY STAR® "Partner of the Year - Sustained Excellence Award" for Product Retailing and Energy Management and was named one of the Top 20 Best Places to Work for Recent Grads. Sears Holdings Corporation operates through its subsidiaries, including Sears, Roebuck and Co. and Kmart Corporation. For more information, visit Sears Holdings' website at www.searsholdings.com. Twitter: @searsholdings || Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SHCCareers
SOURCE Sears Holdings Corporation