NYC BigApps is the premier civic innovation competition in New York City that challenges designers, developers, academics, entrepreneurs, and New Yorkers at large to apply their know-how to improve New York City.

For the last seven years, the BigApps competition has challenged entrepreneurial teams to create innovative products and services that address critical civic and urban issues in New York City and improve quality of life for New Yorkers. This year, competition participants will have access to seven ideation and prototyping workshops that will help participants develop products and services that address pressing challenges faced by New York City youth, immigrants, and seniors.

Workshops will offer training around the five major steps in product development: define, discover, design, test, and refine, including tools for user research and low-cost prototyping. By signing up as a NYC BigApps 2017 participant, you will gain access to exclusive benefits throughout the competition, including priority registration to product development workshops, the opportunity to set up office hours with BigApps mentors, and an invitation to the BigApps Slack channel.

NYC BigApps 2017 winners will receive cash awards, marketing and promotion, acceptance into Civic Hall Labs’ civic accelerator program, and will be eligible to be piloted on hundreds of LinkNYC kiosks across the all five boroughs.

How can data and technology improve the quality of life for New York City Youth (13-18), Seniors (65+), and Immigrants in the following three areas?

challenge areas

During the Fall of 2016, Civic Hall Labs facilitated a series of listening sessions with New York City Youth, Seniors, and Immigrants, and city agencies and community-based organizations who serve them, in order to understand real challenges and opportunities for NYC residents. Learn more about the community engagement process on our blog.

Transportation

How might we use data and technology to make transit easier to use for youth, seniors, and immigrants and develop innovative alternatives to supplement existing transit infrastructure?

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Knowledge

How might we use data and technology to improve access to information to ensure youth, seniors, and immigrants can make informed decisions and take action in their daily lives?

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Community Resiliency

How might we use data and technology to create opportunities for youth, seniors, and immigrants to feel included and socially and physically connected in their daily lives?

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Judges

John Paul Farmer

John Paul Farmer

Director of Technology & Civic Innovation, Microsoft

John Paul Farmer is the Director of Technology & Civic Innovation at Microsoft, based in New York City. He also leads the Innovation Project, a non-profit organization with the mission of spreading innovation best practices, as Founder & CEO.

Previously, John served as the Senior Advisor for Innovation at the White House under President Barack Obama, where he co-founded and led the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to attract top private sector technologists and entrepreneurs for focused tours of duty in government. The program has since been enshrined in law and grew into a movement of civically engaged technologists, data scientists, and entrepreneurs using their skills in the public interest through 18F and the U.S. Digital Service.

Prior to the U.S. government, John envisioned and built new business units in the private sector. He has experience in the technology, finance and healthcare sectors, in particular, and played baseball professionally in the minor league systems of the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. John holds an M.B.A. with honors from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University and an A.B. with honors from Harvard University.

Jen Hensley

Jen Hensley

General Manager - LinkNYC, Intersection

As General Manager of LinkNYC, Jen Hensley oversees all aspects of the Link product in New York City, including deployment, operation and service delivery for the most comprehensive free public Wi-Fi network in the world. Jen brings more than 15 years of experience working with government, civic, and business communities to Intersection, where she directs franchise management, technology and user experience, deployment, marketing, and sales for LinkNYC.

Miguel A. Gamiño, Jr.

Miguel A. Gamiño, Jr.

Chief Technology Officer, City of New York

Miguel A Gamiño Jr. serves the City of New York as Chief Technology Officer (CTO). In this role, he is working with City agencies to develop a Smart City and “Internet of Things” (IoT) strategy that ensures coordination, collaboration and innovation across the City. He also leads the City’s Broadband program, partnering with agencies, private industry and academia to further the Mayor’s goal to ensure every resident and business will have access to affordable, reliable, high-speed broadband service everywhere by 2025.

Mr. Gamiño has unique experience in government, blended with a deep knowledge of technology, the industry that fuels it, and the culture it inspires. As a technology entrepreneur, Gamiño founded two technology companies, managed them through the start-up phase and into successful operations.

Steven Lee

Steven Lee

Managing Director, Robin Hood Foundation

Steven is the Managing Director, Income Security at Robin Hood, a non-profit foundation that targets poverty in New York City by applying sound investment principles to philanthropy. In this role, Steven oversees $40 million in grants in the areas of micro-lending, legal counseling, financial services, access to benefits, workforce development, and social venture financing.

Lori McGlinchey

Lori McGlinchey

Senior Program Officer, Internet Freedom, Ford Foundation

Lori McGlinchey is a member of the Internet Freedom team. Her grant making has supported a dynamic field of organizations that promote universal access, open systems, and clear protections for the public within the Internet environment.

Before joining the foundation in 2014, Lori oversaw the Open Society Foundations’ Internet, media policy, journalism, and government accountability grant making in the US. She also served as assistant director of OSF’s US programs and created a new initiative to strengthen civil society organizations’ technology, governance, communications, and leadership capacity. In addition, Lori developed portfolios and strategies to address the politicization of science-based US policy making and its impact on access to information, whistle-blower protections, science education, and reproductive rights.

Lori has also been a radio producer and created a series for NPR called Jewish Short Stories from Eastern Europe and Beyond, which featured Lauren Bacall, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Leonard Nimoy, and Walter Matthau. She serves on the steering committee of the Media Democracy Fund and on the board of Media Impact Funders.

Andy Saldaña

Andy Saldaña

Director of Operations, NY Tech Alliance

Andy is the Director of Operations for the NY Tech Alliance, a non-profit organization that runs the largest Meetup group in the world with over 53,000 members with a mission to build a more sustainable and diverse technology industry for all New Yorkers. He is also Director of Operations at Livecube, a software development company that provides an event engagement and networking app with gamification; he organizes the Queer Tech Meetup NYC and advocates for diversity and inclusion in tech. He's a lover of coffee, food, spirits and the connections that happen over them.

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