Sergio Romero and William Welsh show their app, Scamkick at New Mexico State University Campus in Las Cruces on Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019. (Photo: Nathan J Fish/Sun-News)

 

Date: 09/06/19
Writer: Nathan J. Fish, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – Two New Mexico State University students are developing an app to block fraudulent calls and are hoping to debut the product on Aggie Shark Tank. Sergio Romero and William Welsh began developing their app, Scamkick, after Welsh kept getting scam call after robocall after scam call and so forth.

“My friend and I were getting a bunch of weird scammer calls,” Welsh said. “I was like, ‘What can we do to stop it, why does this keep happening?’”

The two were fed up with the bombardment of fraudulent calls so they began brainstorming a way to free themselves and others of the onslaught of scam calls. Luckily, they have the expertise to do so. Romero is a third-year graduate student pursuing a doctorate in mechanical engineering and Welsh, who has a bachelor’s in agriculture extension, is also studying toward a degree in creative media technology.

“The actual idea came up a few years ago when my friend and I were sitting around talking about this idea,” Welsh said. “It wasn’t until I met Sergio that he was like, ‘I really like this idea, let’s work on it,’ and we kept working on it.”

The team expects to release a version for Android by the end of the month, ahead of their Aggie Shark Tank presentation on Oct. 3, allowing for feedback on the beta app. Romero said that they do have plans for an iOS release, but don’t have a set date.

“We want it to be Android and iPhone because not a lot of people do that, we want to do both so that was very hard to figure out how,” Welsh said.

To keep up to date with the app developments, log on to scamkick.com. The duo plan to present their app at Aggie Shark Tank, a program that allows NMSU student and alumni entrepreneurs to pitch their business ideas to “sharks,” aka local venture capitalists who may become investors.

The full article can be seen at : https://www.lcsun-news.com/story/news/2019/09/17/nmsu-scam-calls-app-new-mexico-state-university/2279404001/

Aggie Shark Tank

The fifth Aggie Shark Tank, sponsored by the Hunt Center for Entrepreneurship and hosted by Arrowhead Center at New Mexico State University, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University Ave. The event is open to the public from 4 to 6:30 p.m. with a reception to follow.

Local “sharks” include Beto Pallares, fund manager of Arrowhead Innovation Fund; Samara Mejia Hernandez, founding partner of Chingona Ventures; Lou Sisbarro, cofounder of Sisbarro Dealerships; and Jason Torres, a healthcare angel investor.

Get free tickets today by registering at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/aggie-shark-tank-sponsored-by-the-hunt-center-for-entrepreneurship-tickets-64553573476?aff=efbeventtix.

Learn more about the program at http://sharktank.nmsu.edu or contact Carlos Murguia at cmurguia@nmsu.edu or 575-646-2025.

Nathan J. Fish can be reached at 575-541-5445, nathan.fish@gannett.com or @photojfish on Twitter.