CitrusBits Cultivator Program Awards Alaska Commercial $90,000 Social Impact Grant

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February 8, 2021

CitrusBits will partner with the grocery chain to build eCommerce apps optimized for use in rural Alaska, where shoppers often have suboptimal Internet connectivity.
The world continues to wrestle with the COVID-19 pandemic even as vaccines are slowly becoming available. The economic and social disruptions the pandemic has wrought are devastating. Thousands of businesses still face an existential threat — many have shut down, and tens of millions of jobs have been decimated all over the world. Yet, the world has persevered in the face of this crisis. Technology and technologists have emerged as unlikely heroes, helping curb the epidemic and provide a positive societal impact.

CitrusBits Cultivator Program: A Recap

After the virus spread beyond China, becoming a global pandemic, people across the globe became confined indoors, whether by law or by common sense — or both. As a mobile app development company, we experienced firsthand how people turned to mobile apps to help get through the challenges brought on by public health mandates and social distancing.

People working from home used apps to collaborate and do video conferencing. When schools and universities closed, students turned to technology to enable remote learning. More people began using streaming services for entertainment and to play games. Apps became pivotal to ordering food, groceries, supplies, and even medicine in a contactless manner.

Even the governments and public health organizations including WHO, CDC, and health providers all over the world took to apps to battle COVID-19 on the front lines of the epidemic.

Having designed and developed award-winning mobile apps for businesses including DuPont, Burger King, IrisVision, Johnson & Johnson, The Johns Hopkins University, UCLA, and Harman, the CitrusBits team recognized the potential to play an important role in the development of solutions that help society get through a challenging time.

Thus, the Citrusbits Cultivator Program was born.

Grant Program Receives Strong Interest from Many Groups

“Apps have always had the potential to impact society in a meaningful way, not just during this crisis,” said Harry Lee, CEO of CitrusBits. “Therefore, the idea to award grants up to $100,000 for apps to health organizations, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, businesses, and individuals looking to build apps that had a high social impact, was our way of stimulating strong ideas and compelling organizations to action.”

“The program received applications from more than 70 organizations and individuals during the Spring of 2020. We received well-researched applications from applicants operating in the fields of Mental health, Health & Fitness, COVID-19 Control & Prevention, Gender Equality, Foodbanks & Homeless Services, and Drug Abuse Rehabilitation, to name a few. We want to thank everyone who applied. It was a very competitive field, making it very difficult for us to narrow the field and choose a grant recipient,” explains Lee.


Meet the Winner: Alaska Commercial

Alaska Commercial has been serving Alaskans since 1863. It operates about 33 stores offering food and general merchandise, serving customers all across the state of Alaska, much of which is rural.

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached Alaska, Alaskans accustomed to visiting stores in person to obtain their supplies were faced with a dilemma. While the rest of the country was switching to purchasing the majority of supplies online with contactless delivery, Alaskans in rural areas could not, as existing eCommerce websites were practically unusable due to spotty and slow Internet connectivity. For this reason, Alaska Commercial reached out for support in meeting their customers’ needs.

We are Developing an eCommerce Mobile App for Alaska Commercial
Near the end of 2020, CitrusBits conducted a product strategy engagement (PSE) with Alaska Commercial, during which we built out a product strategy, user stories, and preliminary designs for Alaska Commercial’s mobile eCommerce applications. Now, we are pleased to award Alaska Commercial a $90,000 development grant and to begin building these eCommerce solutions that will address the unique needs of shoppers in rural Alaska.

About CitrusBits

CitrusBits is a mobile app development agency that designs and develops impactful mobile apps and responsive mobile content for businesses of all types. Having developed critical mobile apps for clients including Burger King, Quiksilver, Symantec, and Sotheby’s, CitrusBits is trusted by movers and shakers across all major industries. Yet, we’ve also enjoyed helping small and midsize businesses and select startups turn their mobile aspirations into juicy ROI. We’re passionate about leveraging mobile technology – including iOS, Android, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented/Virtual Reality, Blockchain, and The Internet of Things (IoT) – to help businesses disrupt entire industries and reach their loftiest goals. CitrusBits has helped hundreds of businesses build game-changing mobile apps for more than ten years. Please get in touch if you’d like to talk about your next project.

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