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U of I, Innovation Collective Launch Statewide App Development Roadshow

March 22, 2018

The University of Idaho and the Coeur d’Alene-based Innovation Collective are embarking on a five-day, 20-city tour of the state this month to promote an app development learning initiative called Inspire Idaho.


The Experience Tour runs March 26-30 across the state. The Inspire Idaho team will demonstrate app development and programming and motivate participants to join the rapidly growing “app economy.” The tour is designed to generate awareness and promotion for the Inspire Idaho program, which provides workforce readiness training through University of Idaho Extension offices statewide.


The Inspire Idaho team also includes experts from around the country trained in app development for Apple’s Swift programming language.


Each stop on the initial 20-city tour will include hands-on demonstrations of Apple’s Swift, Xcode and Playground products, as well as allow participants to use iPads to program Sphero robots, and other interactive activities. Admission is free. 


“I can’t wait to see young and old alike have a chance to write basic code and then watch it move robots according to these instructions,” said Charles Buck, executive officer at U of I Coeur d’Alene. “Experiences like this are necessary to remove the fear of the changing economy and allow for inclusive opportunities in our country. This kind of reimagining of education is especially necessary for rural states.”


The Inspire Idaho program works to address access, equity and workforce readiness for Idaho residents by providing those who want to learn code and app development the opportunity to do so by bringing the program, experts and computers to Idaho. The program uses Apple’s Everyone Can Code curriculum. Supported by U of I and the Innovation Collective, the program provides experts and mentors in the community to give guidance and support. Upon completion of the 180-hour curriculum, each team will generate an app. 


“In Idaho, we are one of the lowest average wage states and the shrinking need for humans in certain industries makes a case for us to attempt to connect as many citizens as possible to rapidly growing economies like app development,” said Nick Smoot, founder of Innovation Collective.


For a complete list of locations on the Inspire Idaho tour, go to


Media Contacts:

Jodi Walker
Director of Communications, University of Idaho

Nick Smoot
The Innovation Collective

About the University of Idaho

The University of Idaho, home of the Vandals, is Idaho’s land-grant, national research university. From its residential campus in Moscow, U of I serves the state of Idaho through educational centers in Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls, nine research and Extension centers, plus Extension offices in 42 counties. Home to nearly 12,000 students statewide, U of I is a leader in student-centered learning and excels at interdisciplinary research, service to businesses and communities, and in advancing diversity, citizenship and global outreach. U of I competes in the Big Sky Conference. Learn more at