Apps / Pitches / Startups

Mayor Bowser and OCTO are teaming up on another app competition

Following GigabitDCx, D.C. government is launching this new competition for tech competitors to develop gigabit app solutions that address public safety and public health challenges.

GWU's Transportation Team accepting their 25K grand prize from GigabitDCx. (Courtesy photo)
Technologists, entrepreneurs and developers alike: here’s a gigabit app competition just for you.

Following the inaugural Gigabit DC Challenge that concluded in February, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the D.C. Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) are now accepting applications from competitors interested in its next joint venture, the DCx Challenge.

On the helm of 5G wireless networks and gigabit services growth in the area, this new challenge is calling on developers to adapt gigabit app solutions that address public safety and/or public health challenges. Bowser and OCTO are also partnering with the Verizon 5G Lab, located in Alley powered by Verizon, so finalists can gain access to a working 5G node to test their high-performance applications.

This challenge will take the conceptualized gigabit applications a step further compared to the first Gigabit DC Challenge. Competitors in the first challenge didn’t have a working 5G node to test their solutions back then, OCTO media rep Nina Liggett told

Stumped on an idea for the challenge? Here’s some solutions that the DCx’s site listed for consideration:

  • How can we use technology to respond and reduce the number of opioid cases in the District?
  • How can body worn camera technology be optimized?
  • How can patient data sharing between emergency medical responders and hospitals be improved?

The application review committee will judge each project’s proof of concept based on six key components: technical soundness and design, innovative approach and weight of impact, cost to prototype and potential ROI, team capability, inclusion, equity and accessibility and public benefit.

“Making sure that people have safe and healthy homes and communities to return to at the end of the day is of paramount importance and part of Mayor Bowser’s commitment to build a safer, stronger DC, that is why we are focused on public health and public safety,” Lindsey Parker, CTO at OCTO, said in a statement.

DCx will be broken into two phases. The first phase will be comprised of the application process, where four four semifinalists will be selected to advance to phase two. Applications are open until August 1 and semifinalists will be announced on August 7.


The semifinalist projects will also receive a refund for the development of their concepts during the first phase, taken from a $14,500 stipend. Depending on what they spent, from taking overhead time off their day jobs to computer software, each team will be able to show proof to gain those funds back, Liggett said.

In the second phase, the developers will build and test their gigabit apps from August 9 to September 1, ahead of the final demo showcase on September 10. In the end, up to two winners will be chosen to share a $20,000 cash award.

Companies: Alley / Verizon

Join the conversation!

Find news, events, jobs and people who share your interests on's open community Slack


DC daily roundup: Inside UMCP's new ethical AI project; HBCU founder excellence; a big VC shutters MoCo office

DC daily roundup: Esports at Maryland rec center; High schoolers' brain algorithm; Power data centers with coal?

DC daily roundup: Tyto Athene's cross-DMV deal; Spirit owner sells to Accenture; meet 2GI's new cohort

DC daily roundup: $10M to streamline govt. contracting; life sciences might dethrone software; Acadia's new $50M

Technically Media