By Tina Venema

In 2011, Kyle Goomansingh and his fiancée went to the movies to enjoy an overdue evening out. Unfortunately, a nearby moviegoer decided to spend a good part of the film texting.

Goomansingh was disappointed, his movie experience degraded. He left the theatre wondering, “How can people communicate in a darkened venue without disturbing others?”

This mathematics sociology grad working as a policy analyst with the Manitoba government, wasn’t looking to become a tech entrepreneur. However, the question lingered and he began to search online for how to build an app that would solve this problem.

While searching, he stumbled on the Communitech Apps Factory and a competition it was holding: submit your idea, pitch and you could win development of your idea by the team. Goomansingh decided to give it a shot. He did not expect to win, but, in the fall of 2011, his app idea made it through the first round of adjudication and then went on to win.

No one was more surprised than Goomansingh. “I really didn’t think I stood a chance,” he said. “I mean, I was a not a tech guy at all, the farthest thing from it.”

Winning the competition set in motion a move to Ontario. His fiancée, now his wife and a longtime Toronto resident, also played a role. Goomansingh arrived ready to build his first mobile application with really no idea of what that entailed.

Development of the In The Dark app began in January, 2012.

“The Apps Factory experience was amazing right from the first phone meeting with the team,” he said. “There was great leadership on the team and a lot of feedback and creativity from the developers.”

Goomansingh particularly liked the agile methodology used by the Apps Factory team. Every two weeks a new and progressive iteration of the application was deployed. He was consulted during every step of the staging, development and testing process.

“For me the biggest thing was that they took my idea and vision seriously, communication was swift, effective, and collegial. Working with the team was thoroughly enjoyable,” Goomansingh says.

His app was somewhat complex. It required multiple languages and multiple mail servers to be integrated, which was not an easy task. Working together, the Apps Factory and Goomansingh were able to meet every challenge and development glitch and keep development moving forward smoothly. “One thing I really appreciated,” said Goomansingh, “was the excellent communication of the Apps Factory Team. They were very forthright with what they could and couldn’t do. They really run a very efficient service.”

In June, 2012, development was complete and Goomansingh began the testing, sales and marketing phase of his mobile application. In The Dark, which is patent filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, is an Android application that allows users to send and receive SMS texts and emails in dark settings. Two new versions of the In The Dark app are available; a freemium and paid version, from the Google Play store.

Goomansingh is currently working with institutions and companies who are interested in adopting In The Dark app’s software as an enterprise solution for company-issued devices, given the trend to bigger screens on mobile devices. His software complements their existing mobile device management strategies.

In addition, Goomansingh has just closed a deal with Datawind Inc., a developer of wireless web access products and services. In The Dark app will be listed as a preferred app on the Datawind App Store. Depending upon its success, there is an option to become a preloaded app on the Aakash tablet.

Goomansingh recently completed upgrades to the application with the Apps Factory team. “I am not going anywhere else,” Goomansingh says. “I thoroughly enjoyed this experience and I have learned a lot. I am pretty excited to move forward and see where it goes from here. This entrepreneurial opportunity has definitely changed my life.”

When it comes to technology, there was a time when Goomansingh was in the dark. However, today he sees himself as an “accidental” entrepreneur. “This experience has opened my mind,” said Goomansingh. “I think differently now. I have new ideas coming to mind all the time and it feels really good.”