I am thrilled to announce that OldNews USA won the RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown!
RootsTech is the world’s largest family history conference, held every year in Salt Lake City. The Innovator Showdown is a competition for new software applications that solve a problem related to family history. OldNews USA was selected as one of 10 semi-finalists from 40 entries, which was a huge honor given the quality and variety of the entries. The 10 semi-finalists competed in an event similar to Shark Tank, pitching their apps to a panel of 5 judges and a live audience.
RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown links:
- My submission for OldNews USA on Devpost website
- All of the entries in the Innovator Showdown, also on Devpost
- The list of finalists and semifinalists on the RootsTech 2017 website
- Complete video of the Innovator Showdown semifinals, hosted by Jason Hewlitt
- My interview with Devon Noel Lee, of Family History Fanatics
- Complete video of the Innovator Showdown finals, also hosted by Jason Hewlitt
My Favorite RootsTech Moment
Although it was certainly a thrill to win the Innovator Showdown, my favorite moment at RootsTech happened during the media dinner on Tuesday night, before the competition started. I was demonstrating the OldNews USA app to a man who had some genealogy experience, but had never tried historical newspaper research. He told me the name of his grandfather, the town where his grandfather lived along with the timeframe that he lived there. I entered his grandfather’s information into the OldNews USA app on my phone. Using the first search suggestion, we found a lengthy article about his grandfather that contained a story that was unknown to the family! He was so surprised and so excited to find this story! In less than 2 minutes from the time we met, I was able to email him a clipping of a story about his grandfather along with a complete source citation. Although I wasn’t surprised when we found an article, I was just as excited as he was, maybe more. This experience validated all of my work on OldNews USA, along with my vision for what mobile genealogy apps can accomplish.