Photo by Brady Dale.
The NYC BigApps 2014 challenge is kicking off this week. It had a pre-Kickoff kickoff at BAM on Monday called the “BigReveal Party.” The main event was NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball walking through the vision for the year and turning it over to their partner, Facebook, to explain why it believed the contest was important.
“We are excited to be here in Brooklyn,” Kimball said, of presenting at BAM, “liberating ourselves from the confines of Manhattan.”
BigApps lasts for four months. It’s a contest where teams come together to take on New York City’s problems with software solutions. With the way it was laid out on Monday, it appears that lots of community organizations and other stakeholders have articulated challenges that teams can take them up on.
Apparently the director was speaking from notes on a tablet that also follows @NYCEDC or #BigApps, because he broke from his script halfway through and said, “I’m reading this and like a million people are tweeting right now. It’s incredible. Keep it coming.”
Kimball said the program was expanding in every way this year. In the past, it had been very focused on mobile, but it’s moving to web, connected devices and anything else that technology might deliver. He also said that they are working to make it a program more open to designers, marketers and business professionals.
We saw a few community challenges shown by video very briefly. IBM wanted to see some sort of model or program that would help people see the unintended consequences of policy. Mayor de Blasio wanted to see technology that would help the city to achieve VisionZero (no pedestrian or bike fatalities from collisions with cars).
Serkan Piantino, Site Director of New York for Facebook, spoke to his company’s sponsorship of the program saying, “From the earliest days of Facebook, we’ve seen the talent we need is in New York.”
Finalists will be announced in July and the winners will be chosen in September. There are $100K in prizes and teams will get support from alumni of the previous four BigApps competitions. The competition is open to technologists of all skill levels.
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