Philip Williams, a senior Computer Science major in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, founded Kitri Software, LLC, during his freshman year at Villanova University. Ben Smith, a junior Computer Science major, began studying iPhone Development his freshman year. In 2011, the two students teamed up and have taken Kitri Software’s applications to a new level.
By initially focusing on applications featuring guides to video games, Kitri Software achieved early success, with one application peaking in the “Top 200” overall in the iTunes App Store and several others landing in the “Top 100” of their respective categories. They later launched a swimming application that converts times between different pool lengths (Note: Smith is a member of the Villanova men’s swim team). The application proved very popular, earning a spot in the “Top 200” reference applications on multiple occasions.
For a “Senior Projects Course” at Villanova, the team completed four full-length iOS games. One game, “Avalanche Dodge,” was recently released to the App Store. In just a few months, the application has over 6,000 downloads. Their other games, including “Bakery Jump” and “Word Flash,” are currently in the Apple review process pending their release to the store.
“Last fall Ben and Phil asked me whether they could work on the iOS games within the context of their Senior Projects course,” said course instructor Dr. Daniel Joyce, Associate Professor of Computing Sciences at Villanova University. “Ben and Phil are very driven and forward thinking. Knowing how conscientious and hard-working they both were from previous experience, I agreed immediately and then just stepped aside and watched them take off. Their project work was so good that I invited them to visit my Software Engineering class this past semester. They gave an interesting and extremely beneficial intro into mobile app development that really resonated with the students.”
Kitri Software, LLC, currently operates on several app store profiles and in total has released applications with over 100,000 downloads from 150 different countries. The two students have used their iOS experience to receive employment offers from top technology companies. This summer, Williams will be working for Apple in Cupertino, Calif. Smith will be working for Texas Instruments in Dallas, Texas.