The future is 'appy
When former Queen’s Journal Business Manager David Sinkinson, Artsci’11, was trying to think of creative ways to generate advertising revenue for the campus newspaper, he turned to his brother, software entrepreneur Chris Sinkinson, Artsci’02, MBA’11, for help in coming up with a solution. Together they developed an app called NewsApper that they hope will become the foremost provider of mobile news technology to the newspaper industry.
“We share the same passion for technology and entrepreneurship. And, despite being brothers with 10 years between our ages, we get along very well!” says David. “In this case, our challenge was to come up with a modern way of making newspapers appeal to advertisers.”
The initial opportunity with the Queen’s Journal encouraged the brothers to look beyond campus to the broader newspaper market. They discovered that while bigger newspaper like the New York Times and the Globe and Mail offered content through an app, there wasn’t any cost-effective way for smaller newspapers to offer the same service to their readers.
David and Chris are confident that NewsApper fills this gap in the market in a way that doesn’t require significant resources and can help smaller newspapers generate more revenue: NewsApper pulls new content and publishes fresh issues of the newspaper automatically while newspaper editors can control advertising space to generate revenue.
“David’s work with the Journal and my participation in the Queen’s MBA Entrepreneurship Club were two of the factors that not only got us thinking about the need for this app but provided the positive environment and helpful nudge that we needed to undertake this venture,” explains Chris.
With David returning to Queen’s this May to study for an MBA, the pair plan to continue the development of NewsApper and grow their client base. They also have a number of other booming apps up their sleeves: their Sell Books app, which allows students to scan barcodes on used textbooks to get an instant buyback price quote from their campus bookstore, is already in use at 39 universities and colleges across North America including Villanova University, Virginia Tech, and Oregon State University.