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J.D. Brown Center’s NoiseHub gains an investor, moves on to World Wide Developers Conference

November 10, 2016
NoiseHub
Alyssa McDevitt and Alex Santarelli stand outside their NoiseHub office in the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship.

Alyssa McDevitt and Alex Santarelli have scratched the word “no” out of their dictionary.

“Saying ‘no’ would limit us,” Santarelli says. “We’re learning to take feedback and let it push us to do better; to work on the things we’re passionate about because that will be our best work.”

The advice was given to the young entrepreneurs by Jason Shaffer of The Giving Crew, an online crowdfunding platform that helps those in need. Shaffer, an entrepreneur himself, has invested in McDevitt and Santarelli’s business: a social network app for music called NoiseHub that landed them a spot in the J.D. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship’s incubator center.

In the six months that McDevitt, a York College freshman, and Santarelli, a Central York High School junior, have been working out of the J.D. Brown Center, their business has blossomed.

Gaining support

The app, currently in its second beta stage, will allow users to share a clip of a song in their music library. Eventually, McDevitt says, she’d like the app to rank the most popular songs being used on the app and allow users to direct message each other with a song.

“It can be like the modern mixtape for sharing music or today’s version of the jukebox to see what’s popular,” McDevitt says.

When McDevitt presented the app during the 2015 J.D. Brown Center's Elevator Pitch Competition,  her winning idea landed her a spot in the J.D. Brown Center, as well as a $1,000 prize.

Since moving into the incubator in January, McDevitt says, that money has been used to create an LLC for NoiseHub, and the free office space has helped them improve the beta version of the app. With 80 users, Santarelli believes the app will be ready for launch by fall 2016.

Santarelli met Shaffer when he came to speak to his Apollo class at Central York High School, and loved the idea from the beginning.

“It’s great to have so many people believing in something you created from scratch,” McDevitt says. “We think the app is great, but it’s so encouraging when you have people who support you.”

Moving on to bigger things

McDevitt and Santarelli competed against 4,500 students for just 350 scholarships to the World Wide Developers Conference, set for June 13 to 17 in San Francisco. The application process involved creating an app that showcased Apple technologies with a portfolio of work and six essays, Santarelli says.

With just a week to turn in the application, the NoiseHub founders crossed their fingers and waited for the news – they were accepted.

The conference provides young iOS Developers the chance to meet other talented students and network with some of the biggest tech companies in the country. For those launching startups like NoiseHub, it’s also a chance to get a head start on integrating proprietary technologies from Apple into their designs.

Having already turned some heads at Apple, McDevitt and Santarelli have plans to incorporate Apple Music as a final step before launching NoiseHub.

More than 1,000 Apple engineers also are available during the conference to work one-on-one and in small groups to mentor and guide the students.

“You can actually take what you learn at the conference, go back to the hotel and work it into your app, and bring it back the next day for feedback,” Santarelli says. “The experience is invaluable to us.”

Ready for what’s next

As NoiseHub continues to grow and prepare for launch, McDevitt and Santarelli are as excited about the journey as they are the final result.

Whether they grow the business and sell it to a larger company or stick with it and become tech moguls, Santarelli says, they both have a heart for entrepreneurism.

“I think when you do something like this you can’t help but imagine what else you could do,” McDevitt says. “Don’t let anything limit you and keep pushing forward, no matter that the idea is.”