In keeping with Mayor Bloomberg’s focus on innovation, transparency, accessibility, and accountability, New York City is today launching the NYC BigApps Competition, a challenge to developers to create software based on city data.
The competition will be hosted by ChallengePost, an online network for organizations and individuals to create and offer competitions. The launch of NYC BigApps will be also be officially announced at tonight’s NY Tech Meetup. So, what’s in it for developers? Read on.
The developer of the winning application will receive a cash prize, and Mayor Bloomberg plans to congratulate the winners in person at a dinner. We’re told that the competition winners are to receive $20,000 in cash prizes.
“Last week, we launched the Connected City Initiative to put technology to use improving services and providing information to New Yorkers as fast and in as many ways as possible, and BigApps will be yet another,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
“The information we’re providing is the public’s, and we’re relying on the creativity and talent of New York City’s tech and entrepreneurial communities to come up with innovative and helpful ways to use it. It’s a great example of a 21st-century, public-private partnership.”
The New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications worked with around 30 agencies to provide more than 170 datasets for the competition. The data include geographic locations of all sidewalk cafés, laundry facilities, playgrounds, dog runs, city landmarks, as well as census data, extensive property valuation and assessments, the results of restaurant inspections, lists of permitted citywide events, and even side parking and traffic updates.
Another important aspect of the competition is the expectation that official, city government support of startups will add a measure of vitality to an already vibrant local startup culture.
“Supporting entrepreneurs and startups is an important component of our five borough economic opportunity plan and the launch of the Big Apps competition does just that,” said Deputy Mayor Lieber. “By partnering with the private sector to encourage innovative and forward-thinking applications, we are leveraging existing resources to increase efficiency and transparency in government, stimulate investment, and create jobs.”
Apps will be judged based on their benefit to residents, visitors, and government; their originality; their visual appeal; their effect on data accessibility and government transparency; and yes, their commercial potential.
The NYC BigApps Competition is open to individuals, startups, and non-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees. Datasets will be available for download today from the newly-created Data Mine.
Submissions will be judged by a panel that is to include NY Tech Meetup co-founder Dawn Barber, Betaworks CEO John Borthwick, Mahalo co-founder Jason Calacanis, EDVentures Founder Esther Dyson, FirstMark Capital CEO Lawrence Lenihan, AlleyCorp co-founder Kevin Ryan, DFJ Gotham Ventures managing partner Danny Schultz, and Union Square Ventures managing general partner Fred Wilson.