July 19th, 2014 NYC Big Apps 2014 Brings Focus to Tech in the Big Apple


This past Saturday, the annual NYC BigApps competition/block party was held at Industry City in Brooklyn. The BigApps competition is open to software developers, designers, and members of the public to create web or mobile applications using public and/or private crowdsourced data. Teams compete to create the next ‘big idea’ app to solve community opportunities in NYC, while promoting and demonstrating their projects in the hopes of winning a $100,000 cash prize. Different categories include connected devices, mobile, web, data and gaming apps. The biggest accomplishment, of course, is the adoption of a product by a leading civic group or city agency. 

Participants had access to 1,000+ public data sets, plus data and APIs from dozens of partners. The competition was a big draw for the opportunity to play and develop with some of the most exciting and exclusive devices in production. In addition, over 50 mentors from the City’s leading tech and civic organizations were available as resources to the contestants.

The goal of solving some of NYC’s biggest opportunities were prompted be the BigApps competition, including topics such as the following:

-       Governors Island needs a fun, interactive mobile version of its website to provide visitors with all of the information they need when planning their visit and exploring the Island.

-       NYC’s unemployment rate is hovering around 8%, but every day thousands of job openings go unfilled. To equip clients for success, nonprofits need to tap into real-time data about where the jobs are and what local employers are looking for.

-       Strengthen New York City’s economy against extreme weather and climate change by helping businesses, individuals and neighborhoods understand and prepare for their specific vulnerabilities.

The competition judging on Saturday opened with over one hundred teams, and from there was whittled down to five. The five companies that made it through to the final round of judging, to be held at a later date, are Buskr, Tour-De-City, Cartwheels LLC, and Heat Seek. Heat Seek won as the peoples’ choice favorite and will be moving on to the next round.

Partners for the NYC BigApps 2014 competition include NYCEDC, HR&A, Splash, Super Vision and Let’s Collaborate.