Coolest College Startup 2014 (Hint: Hatched in Ohio)

Story excerpts provided by Inc.

The fans have spoken, and this year’s Coolest College Startup is: Applits. The founders are engineering students at Ohio State University in Columbus.

With 4,715 votes cast in all, Applits takes home the top honor: lifetime bragging rights as the Coolest College Startup of 2014. But the founding team also wins free tickets to Inc.’s 2014 GrowCo conference in Nashville in May.

High school classmates Keith Shields and Joshua Tucker from Marcellus, New York, had always been close. But it took a 380-mile separation and piles of mechanical engineering coursework to inspire them to build a business together.

Back in the spring of 2012–a few months after Fruit Ninja grossed an amazing monthly $400,000 in ad revenue and a few months before Instagram sold for $1 billion–the future seemed clear:

“Apps were the next big thing,” says Tucker.

And yet despite their interest, Shields and Tucker, who were sophomores at Ohio State University and Alfred University, respectively, had difficulty.

“They were expensive to make and hard to code,” says Tucker. “We wondered: How do we make this accessible?”

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