NEW YORK--For those who say they had an idea but did not know how to make one, you don’t have an excuse anymore. Last February 4, General Assembly hosted the Launch Party of the App Idea Awards with $70,000 worth of design and development costs at stake for anyone or a team to build their app with full ownership of the intellectual property of their idea and no equity ownership when they join the contest.
Nnamdi Okike, co-founder and partner of 645 Ventures, shared his thoughts and experience on the fundraising process at the launch. “Ask yourself what pain point (you are solving) The app is meant to improve the nature of the service,” said Okike whose firm’s portfolio includes Fly Labs, acquired by Google.
To join the contest, you must be all over the age of 18 with a good idea for an app or an app in early stage of development (less than 1,000 users). You could be students, developers, designers, product managers--- even a team of ten or a team of one.
Criteria for judging is as follows:
General strength of concept
Entrepreneurial vision (and general ability to execute app’s proposed business plan)
Team's ability to execute
Okike’s talked about his company’s criteria, which may also be worth keeping mind during the contest. “(Ask yourself) what’s the impetus for starting a company. I’d like to see more unique and innovative thinking as well as the team.”
Okike’s 645 Ventures is one of the judging group consisting of Greycroft, Samsung Venture Investment, First Round, Oak Investment Partners and Norwest Venture Partners
Deadline for application is March 31, 2016. However, the contest will be choosing finalists on a rolling basis. A select a group of 6 finalists will be chosen from the pool of applicants. After receiving mentorship from established entrepreneurs and investors, these 6 teams will polish up their presentations and pitch their app idea to judges in May 2016.
Every applicant will reportedly have an equal opportunity for success. There will be no barriers of financial resources, or locating technology talent. Also, the finalists will receive free classes, no matter what your background or education. The contest will provide online and physical classes about the following topics from experts within the mobile community:
The contest is being conducted by ROKO Labs, General Assembly, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of NY, and Columbia Venture Community.