NYC BigApps 3.0 just launched, and it marks the third year of the competition. It’s calling for software developers and members of the public to create and develop web and mobile applications using official city data. The launch was led by Mayor Bloomberg.
The competition started in 2009 and it’s geared towards government transparency and improvement of the lives of New Yorkers and guests alike. There were only 170 official city data sets available back then, and only 85 submissions were acknowledged. The Grand Prize for Best Overall Application for the first year was awarded to WayFinder NYC, an application designed to help locate the nearest subway, bus or New Jersey PATH station. And in the second year, the Grand Prize was awarded to the Roadify iPhone App, which alerts users to the latest subway, bus, or driving conditions by using official transit data and real-time updates from commuters.
It’s important for an upcoming competition to outdo its forerunner, as it capitalizes on the former’s failures and successes. To that end, the New York City government will be offering more data sets from more than 60 City agencies, Commissions, and Business Improvement Districts. There will be about 750 new data sets as they add 230 more. More categories will be added as well, centering around health, education, mobility, and the environment.
During the course of the two previous competitions, 140 cutting-edge applications were created, and this year’s competition is expected to add to the catalogue. From $40,000, total cash prizes will be up to $50,000 plus non-monetary prizes.
“Technology is going to define the 21st century economy, and I want to make sure those jobs are created in New York City,” said Mayor Bloomberg during the New York Tech Meetup. “When I started my technology business, there was no better place to be than the Big Apple. The BigApps competition is just one of the ways we’re making sure that’s still true for today’s entrepreneurs and for the visionaries of the future.”
In line with the Bloomberg Admin’s seamless efforts to advance technology alongside its entrepreneurial community, it has founded two new working groups to keep the tabs on these areas. The first initiative is dubbed the Mayor’s Council on Technology and Innovation, a group of New York City-based leaders that will seek to identify new opportunities for the City to cultivate success in this rapidly growing sector. It will also address areas of concern or risks that the technology sector may face, as well as identify joint action items for the City and members of the Council to undertake.
The second initiative ensures that start-ups are able to leverage talent within the City’s immigrant community. Some of the city’s top immigration law firms will lead seminars to give an overview of the non-immigrant visa categories, requirements for eligibility for both businesses and employees, and employee/beneficiary issues. The seminar will be hosted by General assembly, one of the nin City-sponsored small business incubators.