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Bowser and OCTO team up to launch GigabitDCx

Developers and entrepreneurs can now submit applications for the Gigabit DC Challenge, a new app competition with a focus on city mobility and the environment.

GigabitDCx is accepting pitches. (Courtesy photo)

Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Office of the Chief Technology Office (OCTO) are now accepting applications from developers and entrepreneurs looking to compete in the Gigabit DC Challenge (GigabitDCx). The challenge was created to give the community a chance to address the city’s traffic and changing climate by creating gigabit apps. Participants can submit applications in either or both of the focus areas.

Right now, you can sign up as an interested person to join a network of people to form your concept if you need extra guidance. Then you can decide to submit your idea individually or with a team.

The competition will happen in two phases:

  • Phase 1: The committee will be collecting ideas and applicants to match up and create teams, or choose individuals who wish to compete alone. Up to six finalists will be invited to the next round. The submission deadline is Nov. 12 and the six finalists will be announced Nov. 15.
  • Phase 2: Individuals and teams who advance to this round will get a free monthlong hot desk pass at WeWork and a 25 percent discount on a membership for up to three months to focus on prototype development. The teams will get all of the WeWork perks and guidance.

Finalists will have the opportunity to work with the D.C. government to beta-test their solutions. OCTO set up an online challenge platform for participants to submit concepts, interact with subject matter experts for advice and to be used as a communication tool for fellow competitors. You can access and follow the challenge here. The six teams will demo and pitch their solutions to a panel of judges on Jan. 30, 2019.

Two winning teams will be selected to split a $34,000 cash prize funded through D.C.’s partnership with US Ignite and the Smart Gigabit Communities program, according to a press release.

“What I think is important to note is that we are not only looking for ideas but people with tech skills — we hope to pair people up who need help developing ideas, so having a community of tech experts is just as important as the idea,” Nina Liggett, assistant communications director for OCTO told DC in an email.

The kickoff event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 13 at 10:30 a.m. at WeWork at 80 M St SE  register here to attend. At the event you can expect to learn about the challenge, sign up to form teams and tour the WeWork campus.

Companies: WeWork
People: Muriel Bowser

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