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NYCEDC Receives Over 100 Submissions For Inaugural NYC BigApps Competition

Press Release


Public Voting for “Popular Choice Application” Award Winners Opens Today

Fostering Technological Innovation and Creating More Transparency in City Government are Part of the Bloomberg Administration’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan

New York City, December 15, 2009 – New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that 112 applications were submitted for the inaugural NYC BigApps Competition, the largest number of applications submitted to an open government initiative nationwide. The NYC BigApps Competition, launched by Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber in October, made more than 170 City datasets available to software developers to create new digital applications for New York City residents and visitors. The Competition was open to individuals, start-up companies, and non-profit organizations with fewer than 50 employees, further developing efforts by the City to facilitate development within the entrepreneurial and start-up community. Thirteen winners will be selected in total, including two Popular Choice Application winners chosen by public vote through the Competition’s web site. Voting for the Popular Choice Application begins today.

“The inaugural NYC BigApps Competition has provided an outlet for innovative software entrepreneurs from New York and around the country to create new applications that will make New York City easier to navigate, work in, and live in,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “Providing residents and visitors with more access to City data, and supporting the City’s technology entrepreneurs are two ways that we are working to transform the City’s economy into the innovation capital of the 21st Century.”

Applications were submitted by software developers from across New York City and states nationwide. NYCEDC and the City’s Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications (DoITT) coordinated with nearly 30 City agencies and commissions to provide datasets for the Competition that included City-wide tree census data, dog runs, property records and sales, graffiti locations, WiFi hotspots, current taxi medallion drivers and current medallions, and restaurant inspection data.

“In the 21st century government needs to do more than simply serve its constituents – it needs to leverage their best ideas and expertise to realize a better New York City together,” said DoITT Commissioner Paul J. Cosgrave.  “NYC BigApps allows us to tap the vast potential of applicants from across the nation, utilizing technology to solve problems for the City’s residents, businesses employees and visitors.”

“The NYC Big Apps Competition engaged the media and technology community in a new and innovative way,” said NYCEDC Vice President for Media, Green, and Emerging Technology Kristy Sundjaja. “The exceptional response that we received from developers not only showcased the talent and diversity of our media and technology entrepreneurs, but underscored the strength of the industry in New York City.”

Applications will be judged on criteria including benefit to residents, visitors, and City government; originality; visual appeal; effectiveness in increasing data accessibility and government transparency; and potential commercial value. The judging panel is comprised of a select group of technology entrepreneurs and information technology-focused venture capital firms including: NY Tech Meetup Co-founder Dawn Barber; Betaworks CEO John Borthwick; Mahalo.com Co-founder Jason Calacanis; EDVenture Chairman Esther Dyson; CEO of FirstMark Capital, Lawrence Lenihan; Gilt Groupe Chairman and Founder Kevin Ryan; DFJ Gotham Ventures Co-founder and Managing Director Danny Schultz; and Union Square Ventures Partner Fred Wilson.

Public voting and viewing of applications will take place on the NYC BigApps site at http://www.nycbigapps.com/submissions beginning today at 12:00 p.m. EST and will continue through 5:00 p.m. EST on January 7, 2010. Judging for Best Overall Application (Grand Prize, Second Prize, Third Prize, and five honorable mentions), Investor’s Choice Application, Data Visualization Application, and City Talent Award also begins today. Winners will be selected and announced at an awards ceremony in February 2010 and will receive a total of $20,000 in cash prizes.

The NYC BigApps Competition was administered by ChallengePost, a New York City-based start-up company that provides an online network for organizations and individuals to create and offer competitions. Over 3,200 people from more across the nation and worldwide from countries including India, Brazil, Australia, Mexico, and the United Kingdom registered their support for the BigApps initiative on the web site. Data compiled for the Competition will remain available to the general public on the Data Mine site at www.nyc.gov/data; more datasets will be added in the coming months.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.

About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.

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