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Doodling leads to student created iPhone app

Wednesday, November 20, 2013
  • Speedoodle is a new multiplayer game for the iPhone and iPad created by Corban senior Caleb Stultz.

  • Caleb Stultz is an elementary education major at Corban University.

Sometimes it takes a doodle to get an idea started.

Senior Caleb Stultz is preparing to see his own conceptual app idea become reality through the power of crowdfunding. In January, the elementary education major will see his drawing game, Speedoodle, in the Apple App Store for iPhones and iPads.

Speedoodle is based on a multiplayer pencil and paper game Stultz likes to play. Player one creates a 3-second doodle and player two must finish the doodle using a color palate to turn the doodle into an actual drawing within the app.

The initial concept was mocked up and approved through Sellanapp.com. He then turned to crowdfunding to raise the $7,500 needed for a developer to build the app and get it into the Apple App Store. Individuals around the world pledged nearly $8,300 to make the app a reality.

Crowdfunding is a funding mechanism for those with ideas to connect with those who have money, sometimes just a few dollars and often much more. People around the world make pledges that are secured through an online account and collected when the financial goal is met.

“I had to come up with a financial model that showed people they would get a return in the end,” he said. “I had 48 pledgers and raised a total of $8,259 over a 30-day period.”

As an incentive for pledges, Stultz offered to return 66 percent of the profits to these investors. For those who pledged $500 or more, he offered special access the Speedoodle Facebook page as well as 10 free download codes. The app will be offered for free, but offer in-app purchases for additional features. In an August 2013 story in “Forbes,” Apple App creators earned an average of $21,276 for a successful iPhone/iPad app.

Speedoodle is currently being developed and Stultz will use the remaining $759 in the account to market the app. He hopes to connect with reporters and editors in the industry who may be able to review and promote the app online.

Once Speedoodle is fully developed, he hopes to see it in the Apple App Store in early January. Eventually he would like to see it developed for Android platforms.

While he has no plans to give up his primary goal to become a teacher, he hopes Speedoodle will become a financial success.

“I would love it to pay for school,” he said. “It would be great if within the first year we see 100,000 downloads.

“Even if it doesn’t, this whole process has reaffirmed the power of crowdfunding and how crazy it is that people can come together from all over the world and pledge a small amount of money to make a big project happen,” he added.