High School Teams from Across North Carolina Excel in Ready, Set, App! Competition

RALEIGH: Today, Governor Roy Cooper announced the three winning teams from North Carolina high schools for the Fifth Annual Ready, Set, App! Competition. Eight student teams from across the state attended the final event to pitch their original apps to a panel of business and tech-industry professionals along with a live audience of family members, teachers, and peers.

“Competitions like Ready, Set, App! provide high school students with great opportunities to apply the skills they are learning in school to solve real-world problems,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “These students are North Carolina’s future leaders and innovators, and I am proud of their creativity and team work.”

The following teams were selected as the winners for this year’s competition:

  • First place was Team ServeIT from the Early College of Guilford in Guilford County, who created an app that enables students to simultaneously earn volunteer hours and driving experience, by delivering donations to local non-profit organizations. Team members include Siddarth Giridharan, Olivia Mosca, and Madeline Chandler.
  • Second place was Team Autism Assist from Cox Mill High School in Cabarrus County, whose app utilizes AI to helps users on the autism spectrum recognize social cues and access resources about Autism Spectrum Disorder. Team members include Sarthak Gupta, Aditya Mehta, and Gaurika Gupta.
  • Third place was Team SkinSense from Enloe High School in Wake County who created a melanoma detection app that uses a machine learning model to determine the likeliness that an uploaded image is melanoma, then encourages users to seek professional medical care. Team members include Saiakhil Chilaka, Neil Patel, Rosalind Eccles, Vedant Iyer, and Kunwar Kalra.

This year, Ready, Set, App! set participation records with 95 teams from across 26 counties registering to participate, engaging more than 370 students. Teams are comprised of three to five students along with an advisor. Fifty-six semi-finalist teams submitted fully functioning original apps.

The competition is hosted by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education (NCBCE), a business-led, education non-profit within the Governor’s Office, and sponsored by Lenovo. The contest challenges student teams to design and develop an android mobile application to solve a problem in their school or community. Participating student teams developed 56 original apps for the competition this year. Lenovo professionals, educators, business leaders, and government officials reviewed the 56 apps in an initial round of judging to narrow the field to the eight finalists. The eight finalist teams then pitched their apps on a live stage at the Lenovo Headquarters for the chance to win brand new Lenovo gear. A recording of the competition can be viewed here.

“Lenovo recognizes the value of young, diverse talent and the importance of work-based learning experiences,” said Libby Richards, Community Engagement Manager at Lenovo. “We continue to be impressed with the quality and creativity of the Ready, Set, App! finalists and I am excited to see what the future holds for these bright students.”

In addition to providing a presentation on their app, students also had to answer questions from the panel of judges on topics such as design features and accessibility, group dynamics, and future plans.

To foster success and to create a more equitable competition, Ready, Set, App! provided students with various resources, including project workbooks, virtual workshops, and, most notably, a dedicated intern to act as a peer mentor. The interns, fellow high school students, brought exceptional skills in coding, app design, project management, and more.

The interns meet with teams regularly to provide advice, guidance, and support to ensure their success throughout their app-building journey. Ready, Set, App! interns receive professional development training to enhance their communication and leadership skills. This year’s intern team was co-led by Pranathi Gorty from Wilson Preparatory Academy and Siddharth Maruvada from North Carolina School of Science and Math. New additions to the intern team included Arianna Lee from North Carolina School of Science and Math; Hana Howard from Ashe County High School; Kishan Rajeev Jagadeesh from Apex Friendship High School; and Wisdom Walker from Harper Middle College.

Ready, Set, App! is open to all North Carolina high school students and will be held again next school year with a kickoff planned for fall 2024. Intern applications will open in September and team registration will open shortly after. For more information about the Ready, Set, App! competition, please visit

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