Why is New York City holding the NYC BigApps competition?

New York City believes that staying ahead of the innovation curve is essential to the City’s future, and that connecting with the software development community will foster new technology that improves the quality of life of New York’s residents and visitors. The City also believes that releasing data to the public provides important transparency that encourages government accountability and accessibility.

What are the criteria for the winning applications?

Software applications will be judged on the Quality of the Idea (Including creativity and originality), Implementation of the Idea (including user experience and design), and Potential Impact on New York City residents, visitors and businesses. For the Investors’ Choice award, apps will also be judged for their commercial potential. Popular Choice awards will be determined by public voting. For full details, review the Official Rules.

Do I retain intellectual property ownership?

Yes, all entrants, regardless of winner status, will retain intellectual property ownership of their software applications. However, entrants must agree to make their applications available for free throughout the competition period and for one year afterward.

You can offer a paid version of your app, but the version that you submit to the challenge must be free throughout the competition and for at least one year afterward. Features that are exclusive to the paid version will not be considered by the judges.

If your app includes some features that are unlocked with payment, those features should not be part of your submission. If your submission video or description includes the paid features, your submission may be disqualified.

Can my app include advertisements?

The challenge rules do not prohibit advertising in applications. Please note, however, that if the content of the ads is deemed inappropriate, your submission may be disqualified.

What will NYCEDC, DoITT, and ChallengePost do with my submission?

The BigApps 3.0 Sponsors and Administrator will have the right to display and promote your submission to the public on the challenge website and partner sites. They will also be allowed to publicize your name in connection with the submission and the challenge.

Can more than one person work on an application and receive credit for it? And if the app wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the creators?

Yes, teams are encouraged. If a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization is selected as a prize winner, the administrator will divide the prize equally among the team members identified at the time of submission. It will be up to the winning team or organization to reallocate the prize money, if they deem it appropriate.

Can I enter more than one application?

Yes. There is no limit to how many times an eligible person or organization may enter. An individual may also participate on behalf of more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. If you submit two or more applications that are substantially similar, the Competition Administrator reserves the right to disqualify submissions or require you to choose one submission to enter into the competition.

Who is eligible to enter the competition and from what countries?

NYC BigApps is open to legal residents, 16 or older, of the 50 United States (including the District of Columbia), and to legally registered corporations or organizations that are domiciled in the United States and employ fewer than 50 people at the time of entry. (See the next question for large organization eligibility.)

We are an organization. Can we enter?

Organizations with fewer than 50 employees may enter and compete for the cash prizes if they are legally established entities (profit, nonprofit, academic) domiciled in the United States. Organizations with 50 or more employees may enter and compete for the Large Organization Recognition Award, which has no cash prize. Large Organizations must also be domiciled in the United States.

Must I use New York City data? Where can I find it?

Yes, software applications must use at least one data set from NYC Open Data, available at http://www.nyc.gov/data.

Why do I have to upload a video?

The Popular Choice award is determined by public voting. Some viewers may not have access to the desktop, web, or mobile platform you used to build your app. A video helps ensure that all users can view and experience your app. The video will also be helpful to the panel of judges. Your video should clearly and concisely show the functionality and purpose of your app. You may create a screencast or use a handheld video camera to make your video, or choose any other method that captures the app’s value and user interface. Your video is not required to have audio, but narration may help viewers understand and appreciate your app.

What are the key competition dates?

The submission deadline is Jan. 25, 2012, at 5 p.m. EST. Judging and public voting will begin on Feb. 9, 2012 at 10 a.m. EST, public voting will end March 8, 2012 at 5 p.m, and judging will end March 15, 2012. EST. Winners will be announced on or around March 29, 2012.

How do I enter?

  1. Create an account on 2011.nycbigapps.com or log in with an existing ChallengePost account.
  2. On 2011.nycbigapps.com, click "Follow" to register your interest in participating. This step ensures that you will receive important challenge updates.
  3. Explore the available data sets on NYC Open Data, and also check out the Developer Resources. Create a working software application that uses at least one New York City data set from NYC Open Data.
  4. Between Oct. 11, 2011 at 7 p.m. EST and Jan. 25, 2012 at 5 p.m. EST, submit your application: (a) Confirm that you have read and agree to the Official Rules, and (b) Submit your application by including a link, video, text description, and image of your working application.

Note: It's important to include a video of your app. Some people may not have access to your app platform and will rely on the video. Be sure to create a video that clearly and concisely shows the functionality and purpose of your app, as well as the data used.

Does my app need to have store approval prior to the submission deadline?

No, but your app should be submitted to the relevant app store for review by the submission deadline. For iPhone apps or apps developed for other platforms that are not easily shared on the web before store approval, you may submit your working software app through a web framework designed for those platforms (such as PhoneGap), and provide the required link to a video of your working application. The Competition Administrator may request access to the application in person or via device UDID provisioning in order to verify any criteria related to your application.

Does my application have to be new for this competition?

No, your application does not have to be created after the launch of the competition, provided it meets all of the submission requirements outlined in the Official Rules. Your submission cannot be substantially similar to a prior submission entered in an earlier NYC BigApps competition.

Will more data be added to NYC Open Data during the competition?

New data sets may be added to NYC Open Data during the competition period until October 25, 2011. After that date, no new data sets will be added, but individual data sets may be updated. You may want to check the NYC Open Data site periodically to see if your data sources have been updated.

What if I have questions about the data?

If you have questions about the data, please contact NYC Open Data. Open Data representatives will respond promptly.

How does public voting work?

Visitors to the site can vote for as many submissions as they like, but no more than once per day for a single submission. At the end of the public voting period, the votes will be tallied and verified to determine the Popular Choice award winners.

How do I follow BigApps 3.0 and receive updates?

Sign up on the challenge website and click “Follow” to receive email updates. Follow us on Twitter: @nycbigapps

Who can I contact if I have a question about the NYC BigApps Competition?

Email us at support@challengepost.com.