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What2Eat@UTSC wins inaugural Appstar competition


Those wondering about what to eat on campus will soon have a powerful tool at their disposal.

Introducing What2Eat@UTSC, the mobile phone app that connects the UTSC community with various food vendors on campus. Developed by Waqas Nawaz, Mohammad Azmi and Neil Mendonca, the app recently took home top prize in the UTSC AppStar competition.   

“The diversity of ideas we saw in this competition really speaks to the skill and innovation of our students here at UTSC,” says Andrew Egan, manager of web and digital technology with IITS and competition organizer.  

What2Eat@UTSC does more than simply list what food is available where on campus. The Android app is loaded with interesting features including a list of daily specials, the ability to search for foods by keyword as well as rate individual food items on a five-star scale.

Most importantly, it enables users to browse through the menus of all food and beverage services at or nearby UTSC from the convenience of their portable device.

“We came up with the idea because we spend most of our time in the I.C. and we wanted to know what food was available around campus without actually having to physically be there,” says Mohammad Azmi.

The most challenging part in creating the app was staying motivated for the duration of its development, which the team worked on every other day for four months.

“It was a long process so staying motivated was a challenge, but we persevered and managed to develop our vision,” says Neil Mendonca.   

According to the team the plan is to add more features to the app including nutritional information, the ability to sort food items by culture or type, and a restaurant location option with Google maps. 

For winning the competition the team of fourth year computer science students took home a top prize of $3,000. Second place and $2,000 went to John-Alan Simmons and Matt Olan for developing ResLife, an app that makes events, news and other information about residence life easily available to students. Third place and $1,000 went to Rashid Ali for Study Space Spotter, which allows students to find available study space on campus.    

The awards ceremony was also a chance to highlight the future home of the UTSC Hub, the state of the art ideation and experiential learning centre set to open next month on campus.

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