A two month-long “virtual hackathon” is currently underway in the region.
The AT&T Tech Valley Civic App Challenge invites locals to compete in a contest: who can design the best app to benefit the community? From March 4 through May 1, residents or students in “Tech Valley” compete to develop the most beneficial apps for their communities.
“Tech Valley,” as the contest rules define it, consists of the following 19 counties: Albany, Clinton, Columbia, Dutchess, Essex, Franklin, Fulton, Greene, Hamilton, Herkimer, Montgomery, Orange, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Ulster, Warren, and Washington. The teams submitting apps must include at least one member who’s a current resident in the area or attends one of the region’s universities.
While the community benefits from the winning app, so does the developer. The grand prize is $10,000, with second and third prize winners earning $5,000 and $2,000 respectively. Two honorable mentions will receive $500 each.
After being pre-screened by Hack Upstate, the apps go before a judging panel made up of local tech experts, elected officials, and community stakeholders.
The apps are judged on three categories: the potential impact they have on Tech Valley (40 percent), the execution (40 percent), and the creativity/novelty (20 percent).
AT&T teamed up with the University at Albany, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, TechConnex, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, Saratoga TechOUT, Hudson Valley Tech Meetup, New York BizLab, Beahive, Tech Valley Mobile Developers Network, Accelerate518, and Hack Upstate to design the competition.
The organizations have already begun recruiting tech developers to compete.
Individual participants can sign up at techvalleyatt.hackupstate.com. For more information, follow the hashtag #TechValleyATT on Twitter.