After working as an admissions counselor and running college-prep consulting firm Community Strategies Consulting
, Nichelle McCall witnessed first-hand the confusion, stress and disorganization hopeful students go through when applying for colleges.
So McCall decided to make the process a little less stressful. She developed BOLD Guidance
, a mobile app for students, parents and college counselors that streamlines the application process.
“It’s a step-by-step guide with checklists, reminders and task lists,” explains McCall. “We help kids get into college by helping them through the application process on their cell phones.” The information and lists are specific to the individual schools students are applying for. The app is free for students, while counselors and parents pay to view and track progress.
McCall started BOLD Guidance a year ago and launched across 12 schools in September. She entered the summer 2013 FlashStarts accelerator, which gave the company exactly the boost it needed. “The accelerator program was very helpful for us,” McCall says. “They gave us office space, helped us with branding and marketing and developing software. They gave us funding and are continuing to help us throughout the next year.”
The BOLD Guidance app has been well-received. McCall came in third place and took home $5,000 at the COSE Pitch Competition
in October. Also in October, McCall won first place for Best Mobile App in DigitalUndivided Focus 100 Tech Conference
in New York.
Additionally, BOLD Guidance is a finalist in the Mobile Future
, a competition for entrepreneurs who make a difference through mobile innovation. McCall is hoping to win the People’s Choice award.
In 2014, McCall plans to add a social responsibility component to her business. “We plan to allow parents to make individual purchases of BOLD Guidance with the option to pay an additional 50 percent, which BOLD Guidance will match for a first-generation college student to also receive the software,” she says.
BOLD Guidance continues to operate out of the FlashStarts
space in PlayhouseSquare. McCall has one employee, a developer, one contract developer and is currently looking for a sales rep.
Source: Nichelle McCall
Writer: Karin Connelly