Phoenix Hackers to Compete in International “Tech-Olympics”

Hackers get ready, because Phoenix will be participating in the international Smart City App Hack — a program launched in Barcelona this year to empower people to create apps and solutions for cities around the world. The City of Phoenix is looking for its representative in partnership with the Institute for Digital Progress.
“It’s like the tech-Olympics,” Mayor Greg Stanton said. “Our strongest team will represent Phoenix at the final competition in Barcelona and demonstrate to the international community that our city is harnessing human capital for the greater civic good.”
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Participants are to develop an app that presents a solution to one of five global civic challenges: urban mobility, energy and emissions, shopping and retail, culture and tourism, and the collaborative city.
“The City of Phoenix faces many challenges but what we realized was that a vast majority of these issues are common issues that cities around the globe face,” Councilman Bill Gates, who worked to bring the competition to Phoenix, said. “Issues like potholes, traffic congestion, and water delivery are all part of a city’s daily life whether you are in Phoenix or Barcelona.”
Teams or individuals can send in their ideas or developed apps/businesses for consideration for the Acceleration Phase until August 1. The app acceleration program runs June through October.
“The Smart City App Hack is a way for Phoenix to showcase local entrepreneurs and urban innovation on a global scale,” Councilman Gates said.  “I’m excited to see what our talented tech community can create to make our city smarter.”
The challenge will be an open hack format and participants are allowed to use any public data and sources to help them create an app that will solve or alleviate an issue. The City of Phoenix Open Data Portal is available as a resource.
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City officials and professionals will select the five finalists who will pitch live on stage to a panel of judges with all the other Online Competition applicants at the City Finale. Three winners will receive cash prizes and entrance to the international Smart City App Hack.
This competition will bring attention to the growing technology culture that is here in the Greater Phoenix region, according to Councilman Bill Gates’ Aide Dominic Papa.
“Local governments have historically lagged behind the other sectors when it comes to innovation and technology implementation, and I believe that engaging our citizens in this app hack challenge, and bringing Phoenix to the proverbial international table, is the first of many steps in changing the narrative,” Councilman Gates said.
The Grand Champion will win an all-expense paid trip to represent Phoenix at the Smart City Expo 2015 finale in Barcelona.
For more information and to enter the competition, click here and follow the hashtag #SCAH_Phoenix on Twitter.
For more tech events in the Valley, click here.