See us in AMNY on your way to work? Coming to the sold out BigApps 2017 launch event at Grand Central Tech? Been refreshing since you heard about the 2017 competition in December?

Either way, we got here together. New York City’s premier civic innovation competition, NYC BigApps 2017 has officially launched. You can read more about the competition here.

Over the past seven years, the NYC BigApps competition has catalyzed the creation of new civic innovations by awarding nearly half million dollars in prize money and generating more than ten million dollars in seed funding toward technology products that improve the lives of New Yorkers.


More than ever before, the NYC BigApps 2017 competition starts with people first. In 2016, NYCEDC and Civic Hall Labs partnered because they share a vision that innovation and entrepreneurship led by New Yorkers can help address daily and institutional challenges. New Yorkers are inventive, aspirational, and resourceful, and under the right conditions and with the right incentives, there’s nothing we can’t do.

With that conviction in mind, NYC BigApps 2017 aims to improve the lives of some of the City’s most vulnerable populations – youth, immigrants, and seniors. More than that, the competition was designed in partnership with these New Yorkers and the local nonprofits and government agencies who work to support them. BigApps applied human-centered design principles to uncover the challenges, concerns, and opportunities of New York City’s youth, immigrants, and seniors through seven in-depth active listening sessions with over a hundred people. At these sessions, participants spoke about challenges to and opportunities for innovation. You can read more about them here. 

Major trends surfaced across the youth, immigrants and seniors groups, and they informed the three BigApps challenges for this year’s competition. How can we improve quality of life for New York City youth, seniors, and immigrants by leveraging data and technology to develop solutions for transportation, knowledge, and community resiliency?


To enter, submit an application by April 30th in one of these three challenge areas. There will be three Grand Prize winners announced in May, each receiving generous cash prizes and admission into Civic Hall Labs’ civic accelerator program, CivicX. In addition, a Judges’ Choice Award sponsored by Intersection will give a winning team the opportunity to pilot their solution on hundreds of LinkNYC kiosks across the five boroughs, reaching more than 50,000 users weekly. All this has been made possible with the support of our Gold Sponsor, Microsoft, and our enthusiastic and committed community partners.

Think you have a compelling ideal? Want to meet potential team members? Need to learn more about product development? Sign up to be a participant and you’ll get early access to mentorship, workshops, and other resources. The first free product development workshop is on January 24th at Civic Hall. We look forward to seeing your ideas progress leading up to the April 30th submission deadline!