When people were rioting on the streets of Egypt two years ago, Northeastern University senior David Muench was missing out on the action.

“My brother called me one night and asked if I had heard about the protests going on in Egypt, but I had to tell him ‘no,’” said Muench, who was working on a co-op at Liberty Mutual at the time. “I was getting home at 9 or 10 o’clock at night and found that there wasn’t really a means where I could – within five or 10 minutes – understand what was going on in the world.”

It was during this phone conversation that the idea for Skimmin, a free smartphone application that aims to give its users the day’s news in under a minute, was born. The app, launched by the brothers in 2011, recently hit 10,000 downloads.

“Skimmin is designed in terms of cold, hard facts,” Muench said. “If you don’t have the time, it shouldn’t take you 15 minutes [to read the news]. It should take you 30 seconds to a minute.”