Knight News Challenge: Cup of Tea

The Solutions Knight Challenge Application
by: Brian, Caitlin, Kathryn, and Taylor

Project Title: Cup of Tea
Requested Amount: $50,000
Expected Amount of time to Complete Project: 14 months

Project Description:
Cup of Tea is an upcoming mobile app which aims to promote physical and emotional wellness amongst college students. Depression has started to become a major problem in many college campuses, but largely remains unknown. As fellow college students, our team decided to create an application that is easily accessible to help spread awareness and also inform its users of different ways to maintain good health.

The app will be separated into a few categories: Exercise, Food, Community, and ‘Random Dose of Happiness.’ We agreed mutually that by focusing on these aspects, college students could gradually work on and improve their health and counteract symptoms of depression.

Exercise will give the users a set of small and short (5-10 minutes) physical exercises aiming to help the user relax or workout certain areas of the body. Examples would include meditation, yoga, or stretching.

Food will mainly focus on what kinds of foods should be avoided and also on how certain types of food could help benefit mental health as well. Recipes and research could be accessed through here.

Community is an area that most wellness apps seem to omit. As our team was brainstorming, we concluded that most depressed people felt alone. To rectify this, we wanted to include a feature that allowed the users to see what local events were happening based off their selected interests. We want to encourage students to go out and socialize with others sharing a similar background. Hot spots, upcoming events, and attractions may be found through here.

‘Random Dose of Happiness’ will vary day by day. This feature will send the users some small form of media that is meant to cheer them up by satisfying curious thoughts or through lighthearted humor. Funny pictures, fun facts, and relaxing proverbs are only a few of the ideas we would like to implement in this area.

Last of all, each category will send the users notifications of articles regarding the topics of the field, for example, exercise could send a link to an article about how exercise can improve physical and mental health. We want to encourage our users to understand why we suggest them to perform certain exercises or to eat certain foods. Moreover, we also want to inform them of how imperative it is for students to maintain their overall health, as depression is a prominent problem.

Cup of Tea is meant to be tailored to its user through surveys or listed interests. We want this application to be fun, inspiring, and informative by providing examples of miniscule exercises and short, scientific reads. We hope to promote mental health awareness that will allow students to make the best out of college. As a team, we understand how stress can take such a strong hold on your life throughout your tenure at university, and by using this app, we hope that student users may achieve a catharsis of such powerful emotions through the encouragement of socialization and physical activity. By understanding your emotional standpoint and hobbies, we want the app to focus on your improvement. Hopefully, this will be your Cup of Tea!

What unmet need does your product meet?
In our culture, and on college campuses especially, self-care is not commonly discussed and there is an immense lack of encouragement to practice self-care. Thus, the most important unmet need that our product, Cup of Tea app, addresses, is the normalization of self-care. Furthermore, while most apps that promote self-care, such as the meditation application Headspace, have financial costs, our app is free, accessible, and convenient to use. Moreover, our app will provide tailored information to make practicing self-care habits easier than ever.
Many apps such as Angry Bird or Instagram may seem like great outlets for leisure-time, but they can actually be highly stress-inducing entanglements. Cup of Tea is quite contrary in that one of the main aims of the app is to provide stress-relief to its users. This makes it particularly useful for any college-age users who may find themselves under unrelenting stress and need help learning about and practicing healthy coping methods.

Interview four potential users of your product about this unmet need. Do not tell them about your idea. Just explore their need. What did you learn? Include names and contact info for interviewees and a few words describing each — age, gender, occupation, town where of residence. Go for variety.

Cell phone used for communication mainly, but it’s always with them.

Jacob Conflitti, 22, M, Freelance writer (graduated May 2014), Trenton, MI
-relaxes more with video games and tv programs than with cell phone

Malory Rodriguez, 20, F, Studying event management, Chicago, IL
~uses her phone 4-5 hours/day
~mostly uses phone for communication and social media
~uses time-saving, easy-to-use apps – google maps, google keep, fitness tracking, songza (music curation)

Everybody mentioned an aspect of mindlessness, and fun. None of the students currently use an Application related to mental wellness, however every student uses social media currently to connect and detach from school/work stresses.

Stephanie Emanuele, 21, F, Creative Writing Major, Holland Michigan
“If I could have an App that makes me happy and is on my phone, that would be perfect.”

Wangeshi Muthui, 22, F, Political Science Major, Ann Arbor Michigan
“What keeps me sane.”

Michael Kinkema, 21, M, Computer Science Major, Grand Rapids Michigan
“Currently the technolgoy is not there.” “Not about true science.”

How big is the potential market for your idea? Mention sources for any statistics you use. Anyone with a smartphone who

The potential market for our idea is any college student with a smart phone/tablet. According to re:fuel’s 2013 College Explorer Study, students spend an average of 30 hours weekly on their phones, spending less time on their computers than their phones in 2013 than in 2012. This massive shift to mobile technology provides an extremely accessible outlet for reaching students. With 77% percent of student using their smartphone first thing when they wake up in the morning, according to a study conducted at the University of Colorado Boulder, the market for our app is extremely suited to our platform.

Students spent less time on computers and more on their cell phones in 2013 than in 2012
Students spend an average of 30 hours weekly on their phone
Fewer than 1 in 5 students report using productivity apps on their phone (time to change is nigh)

Original source: College Explorer, 13 & 14 by re:fuel agency, marketing firm, and Crux research
Tech-savvy college students are gathering gadgets, saying yes to showrooming and rejecting second-screening
Found through: College students own an average of 7 devices

77% of college students use their smartphones first thing when they wake up in the morning.
47% of college students use their smartphones while in the bathroom.

How Cup of Tea is Innovative

Despite the fact that there are already a number of mobile apps trying to promote physical/mental wellness (MyFitnessPal, Pinterest, and other ambience apps) and dieting, their focus is limited only to one aspect, such as meditation or informing users of what kinds of foods to avoid. With Cup of Tea, our team’s goal is to combine the best of all these elements in the aforementioned apps, specifically for college students. We want to emphasize the importance of community, physical and mental exercise, dieting, and relaxation on our overall health, as well as recognizing that these elements are much stronger and effective if combined and used in a fun way. Cup of Tea is an app that will only require 5-10 minutes of the user’s time daily. The app will be tailored to the user’s needs based off of surveys and browsing history. We want to avoid having this app sound like a chore that people use in order to try and feel better; Cup of Tea is meant to be a fun, engaging experience that will also keep users informed of ways to maintain their wellness, as well as spreading awareness of common health issues for college students.

How will your idea be financially sustainable?

Our Application will be financially sustainable via an advertisement system similar to that of companies like Google. Companies will be able to purchase rights to advertise their product/service, and these advertisements will appear based upon the content and user. The projected revenue from set adds will increase as user numbers increase, which will complement the demand for additional funding and maintenance of the App.

Why are you and your team the right people to develop this project?
Foremost, as college students we know our peers’ needs better than anyone else; we understand what will resonate the most with them in our mission to normalize self-care. Furthermore, our team is composed of students from varying backgrounds — chemistry and neuroscience to environment and the arts. Therefore, we can take a more holistic approach in designing and producing this application. Cup of Tea is as well rounded as its creators. It’s an interdisciplinary app made by interdisciplinary people, for everyone.


3 Responses to “Knight News Challenge: Cup of Tea”

  1. This is a really good idea and could be very useful! I particularly like the community section -it’s very necessary and could be incredibly beneficial. My only suggestion would be to add more areas of customization, for example in the food and exercise section of the app. Many college kids don’t have access to their own kitchen, if they’re living in a dorm or sorority house, so recipes would not help them as much as knowing about portion control, or what foods make you “lag”. Allowing the students to input their own information would help target what would interest them, making the application more popular. As for the exercise section, some people only have 10 minutes a day, but others may want to know about longer exercise programs, so again allowing them to enter their own information will be helpful to them.

  2. First, I want to say your knight challenge application is interest and applicable for people with depression. As our class once talked about the depression topic a few weeks ago, I just depression is really serious. Since, in china depression is not be paid attention by people, more of us think depression is a illness. After the discussion of yours, I find depression is serious. Your application use four categories of ways to help people cure the depression. I think this app will get many support from society, both people with depression and without depression could download this app on their phone. And,they will use at any time, any where. The one category that attracts me is the “community”. This activity will let depressed people communicate face to face. Also, some cured people will share their thoughts and help depressed people get out of it. My suggestion is adding a online chatting icon. I think some of depressed people not want to face to face communication to each other at the beginning. They might feel nervous and not want people know they are depressed patient. So, the online chatting will solve this concern. People could chat online first, and share idea by chatting. Overall, this application is contributed to people.

  3. Hi, Solutions Team. This is an interesting idea with a big potential audience. I think all three of the previous comments offer some valuable suggestions. In addition, I have some questions for you: How will you market it? How will you gather enough people to use it? How will you generate the tailored content? Is there anything you can do to take more advantage of the mapping/location sensitivity of phones?Also, you might want to edit the section about the size of your potential market. There’s a bit of repetition there. Also, how is Pinterest a competitor? Explain that some more. Overall, nice work addressing a need.

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