P.E.I. app developer frustrated with ITAP closure

Concerns over future funding for the IT Garage program are frustrating project manager and app developer, Joel London.

Student developers create app called Sportal to help connect people in sport

Joel London is the project manager at the IT Garage in Montague, P.E.I. (Submitted)

Concerns over future funding for the IT Garage program are frustrating project manager and app developer, Joel London.

The IT Garage is a video game and software development incubator program run by the Innovation and Technology Association of Prince Edward Island (ITAP).

The business student said it's disappointing the province has not yet found a way to keep the IT Garage program going after ITAP announced it could no longer operate due to a lack of funding.

ITAP said it could no longer hire staff after the province cut 40 per cent of its funding along with eight other sector councils in July 2015. However programs already underway will continue until they expire.

"It's really an unfortunate situation, I'm at UPEI going into my fourth year of business and this program really helped me in applying what I'm learning in post-secondary education to real world applications," said London.

London is the project manager for the Montague IT Garage which is running a three-month pilot project to help give youth experience in the industry. The group is currently developing an app called Sportal, designed to help users find or create sports teams across the Island.
The IT Garage in Montague, P.E.I., is working on developing a web app to connect people in recreation. (Facebook)

But London is concerned what will happen when the project ends. 

"There always seems to be that gap between industry and education and this program gave the opportunity to kind of bridge that gap and help me utilize the skills I'm learning in school and practice my skills before I actually get out in the real world," he said.

In the meantime, London and his co-developers will continue to develop the app and plan to add recreation facilities and coaches to it while waiting to see what will happen to the program.


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