It used to be that only programmers could make websites. But in recent years,
millions of websites have been created by non-programmers, as the
barrier to entry has been significantly lowered by helpful website building tools.
Thunkable is a company in our current Winter 2016 batch that wants to help facilitate the same phenomenon for building mobile apps: making it so easy that anyone can do it, with a simple drag-and-drop interface.
Thunkable is the commercial version of the MIT App Inventor, a hugely successful project that launched out of MIT five years ago. TechCrunch's Natasha Lomas wrote about Thunkable and its origins in a recently published story:
"So why the fork of the original MIT project now? The success of MIT’s App Inventor meant it had outgrown the resources afforded it within academia, say Thunkable’s co-founders Arun Saigal (CEO) and WeiHua Li (CTO).Read the full story about Thunkable and how it works in TechCrunch here.
Hence the decision to seek to commercialize the core technology under a new name, building atop the MIT open source code with new features they hope will also support their intention to monetize down the line. (To be clear, Thunkable’s code will not be open source, although they say they do hope to take in community contributions in future.)
While MIT App Inventor’s original target was educators and students, offering a free learning tool to lower the barrier of entry to coding, the pair say the success of the software — which has been used to make some 13 million apps at this point, and garnered 4.3 million registered users — called for spinning out of the academic setting."