Ishaan Prasad might just be 17, but he is already talking about business development and motivating youth. After all, this Indian-American student is at his second Apple WWDC, having made more than two apps since the age of 13.
This Boston-based teenager’s first app was a children’s game called PetRun. Ishaan created the app when he was under stress as his mother was hospitalised. “I was thrilled that the app got over 1,000 downloads in the first day itself,” he says. The app has over 30,000 downloads and is still the most successful of his creations.
However, the high school student seems more engrossed these days with his new app Match-it-up, an easy way for children like him to learn their native Hindi. The app was created based on his experience at the Sunday school which he frequents to learn his mother tongue. Ishaan’s parents both studied in India, but moved to US for high education and are now successful business leaders.
The app is a matching card game with different levels of difficulty. But the simple aim is to make it easier and fun for Indian American children like him to learn Hindi. “The plan is to create a suite of games so that we can target different aspects of learning Hindi from vocabulary to character recognition and sentence structure,” says the confident teenager, who is in San Jose to attend his second Apple Developer conference.
Ishaan, who is looking forward to start college soon, loves the time he spends mentoring others at the MIT Media Lab’s Clubhouse. Though he has created over five apps and across the three top platforms, his focus is “predominantly on Apple” as he loves the ecosystem and support he has got there. “As I get older and have more time and experience I would love to see what else I could try.”
For Ishaan WWDC is all about the people he gets to meet. “It is not always that you get to meet 5000 developers, a thousand Apple engineers and 350 scholarship students,” he says, adding that the direct access to Apple’s knowledge base is also important.
Disclaimer: The author is attending Apple’s WWDC in San Jose at the invite of Apple India, which is paying for travel, accommodation.