Local App Developer Takes 3rd in Nat’l SBA Contest

Eden Prairie resident Robert Grogan developed a smartphone application that finds property rights, solar energy potential, and oil and gas lease statuses for entrepreneurs looking to develop new forms of energy.

Robert Grogan, a software developer from Eden Prairie, built a smartphone application that won third prize in a nationwide app-building contest sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Called “Energy SBA,” Grogan's app allows users to research property rights, solar energy potential, and current status of oil and gas leases; the app draws information from the SBA and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management databases. According to Grogan's submission on the SBA's Web site, the app is meant for entrepreneurs looking to develop new forms of energy.

The competition-which produced seven winners-attracted 23 submissions from across the nation. Grogan was one of the three third-prize recipients that won a sum of $2,000 each. The $5,000 first-place award went to Somesh Kumar, a software developer from Freemont, California, who developed an app that quickly finds SBA and federal loans, grants, and programs for small business owners.

The SBA said that the winning applications will complement its own mobile application that can help users find SBA-affiliated advisers and SBA offices and estimate the costs associated with getting a business off the ground.

“Smartphones and tablets are increasingly the vehicles through which Americans access information,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a statement. “Greater mobility fits with SBA's new focus and is among the steps we are taking to do a better job of connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with the tools to help them start or grow their businesses and create jobs.”

To learn more about Energy SBA and the other winning apps, click here.