Terms & Conditions

Official Terms and Conditions

1. Introduction

NYC BigApps 2017 (the “Competition”) is an initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (the “Sponsor”). The Competition is managed by the Sponsor’s consultant, Civic Hall Labs (“CHL”, hereinafter called the “Administrator”).

The Competition is intended to provide recognition to individuals and entities (“Applicants”) for developing products or services (“Solutions”) that positively impact New York City and address issues facing some of the City’s most vulnerable populations. The Competition intends to award prizes for the Solutions that have the greatest potential positive impact around three person-centric tracks: youth (13-18), seniors (65+), and immigrants (“Challenges”). Finalists and winners may receive cash and in-kind prizes, media promotion, introductions to mentors and investors, and other benefits through the Competition.

Solutions within the Challenge tracks may be eligible for additional prizes and business support offered at the discretion of the entity or entities sponsoring the Challenges (“Challenge Partner”).

2. Eligibility

The Competition is open to individuals and entities. Products may include, but are not limited to, web apps, mobile apps, data visualizations or visualization tools, social games, or products considered a component of the “internet of things.”

If Applicant is submitting a Solution on behalf of an established entity, that entity will not be eligible for Grand Prizes or the Judge’s Choice Award if any of the following is true: 1) Entity has more than 20 employees; 2) Entity has raised more than $500,000 in funding in the last 12 months for this particular solution; or 3) this particular solution has been publicly available for more than 12 months prior to time of submission to the Competition (see Section 5 for additional information on submission requirements). All Applicants, however, may be eligible for additional resources, including implementation support, mentorship, and access to a network of potential pilot partners.

Applicants may submit a new product or service designed specifically for the Competition or an existing product or service that aligns with one or more Challenge tracks. All Solutions must:

  1. Address key challenges faced by some of our City’s most vulnerable populations: youth (ages 13-18), seniors (ages 65+), and immigrants.
  2. Be solely owned by Applicant such that no other party has any rights or interest, whether known or unknown; and not violate the intellectual property, common law, or privacy rights of other parties. An Applicant may contract with a third party to assist with the creation of their Solution, provided the Applicant is the sole and unequivocal owner of all intellectual property and licenses in the Solutions.
  3. Be original; all Applicants are encouraged to review prior NYC BigApps winning submissions at http://www.nycedc.com/services/nyc-bigapps/past-competitions
  4. Be either in English or, if in a language other than English, be accompanied by an English translation of the text.
  5. Not be indecent, defamatory, in obvious bad taste, demonstrate a lack of respect for public morals or conduct, or adversely affect the reputation of the Sponsors; be illegal under applicable laws; depict hatred, defame, threaten a specific community in the society or incite violence; contain vulgar language or violence; or contain pornography, obscenity, or sexual activity.

Applicants selected as Winners of the Competition must also be willing to sign a Winner’s Agreement that certifies that the Applicant has complied with all rules of this Competition. Failure to comply with any of these requirements may result in disqualification from the Competition at the Sponsor’s sole discretion.

Submissions will not be accepted after the Closing Date, unless determined to be in the best interest of the Competition in the sole and absolute discretion of the Administrator. If the Administrator requests additional information from any Applicant, that Applicant will have the opportunity to update the initial submission. The Sponsor and Administrator reserve the right to request additional information from any Applicant at any time.

BigApps is open to legal residents, ages 13 or older, of the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia). All corporations or other organizations participating must be legally domiciled in the United States or incorporated in the United States at the time of entry. Minors must identify themselves upon sign-up and will require parental or legal guardian consent to participate.

The Competition is not open to:

  1. Any CHL affiliate, which includes any officer, director, or employee of CHL or of CHL’s subcontractors for the Competition, or to the immediate family (spouses, parents, step-parents, siblings, step-siblings, children or stepchildren), or to the household members (people who share the same residence at least three (3) months out of the year) of each such CHL affiliate;
  2. Any NYCEDC affiliate, which includes any officer, director, or employee of NYCEDC, or to the immediate family or household members, as defined in the previous bullet, of each such NYCEDC affiliate;
  3. Sponsors, Judges, Mentors, or any of their respective affiliates, immediate family, and household members, as defined in the previous bullets.

Employees of the City of New York who are not involved in the design of the Competition or the evaluation of Applicants and do not work for the Sponsor or any respective affiliates, subsidiaries, or any other company or individual involved with Competition design or the evaluation of Applicants, and their immediate family and household members, may participate, but must make the Administrator aware of potential real or perceived conflicts of interest prior to submission. Grantees and other contractors of NYCEDC, or any of their affiliates, immediate family, and household members, are eligible to participate unless they are directly involved with Competition design or the evaluation of Applicants, or are otherwise deemed ineligible above.

The eligibility of any Applicant is subject to verification at any time. Failure to comply with any request for written confirmation, or failure to cooperate with any investigation, is grounds for disqualification. Applicants who are determined at any time to have violated the eligibility criteria will be disqualified from the Competition.

The Competition is subject to all applicable United States federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Participation constitutes entrant’s full and unconditional agreement to these Official Rules and Sponsor’s and Administrator’s decisions, which are final and binding on all matters related to the Competition. Winning a prize is contingent upon fulfilling all requirements set forth herein.

3. Competition Timeline

Applicants may submit Solutions only through the BigApps.NYC website (“Competition Website”), and only between January 12, 2017 (the “Opening Date”) and April 30, 2017 at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Time (“EDT”) (the “Closing Date”) (the “Competition Submission Period”). The Administrator’s computer is the official timekeeping device for the Competition. It is anticipated that a list of Finalists will be announced in mid-May 2017 and that the Pitch Day and Winners Announcement will take place in New York City in late May 2017.

  1. January 12 – April 30, 2017: Competition Submission Period
  2. Mid-May 2017: Finalists Announced
  3. Late May 2017: Pitch Day & Winners Announcement

The Administrator reserves the right to modify any dates or deadlines set forth in these Rules or otherwise governing the Competition. For more information regarding the Competition timeline following the submission of an entry, please visit the Competition Website.

4. Challenge Tracks and Evaluation Criteria

Eligible Solutions will be evaluated within each of the three tracks by Judges and other selected representatives of the Sponsor (“Evaluators”). The Challenge tracks are listed below:

  1. Transportation
  2. Knowledge
  3. Community Resiliency

Judges and Evaluators will rate each Solution according to their perception of how effectively the Solution addresses critical civic and urban issues in New York City. Judges and Evaluators will broadly consider the following aspects of each Solution:

  1. Solutions should seek to address key challenges faced by some of our City’s most vulnerable populations: youth (ages 13-18), seniors (ages 65+), and immigrants.
  2. Solutions should reflect an understanding of user-centered design and be designed and tested with the end-user in mind.
  3. Solutions should make an innovative contribution to the City of New York. Products and services should be differentiated from those that are currently available.
  4. Solutions must be able to be developed into proof of concept or prototype during the course of the Civic Accelerator Program following the BigApps competition. At point of submission, solutions can be early-stage, but should demonstrate a clear business model and commercialization strategy.
  5. Solutions should demonstrate long-term viability, including size of potential user base, business prospects, and potential for the solution to be implemented citywide.
  6. Solutions submitted by teams, rather than individuals alone, are strongly encouraged. We believe diversity in team makeup across skills and experience-levels increases the likelihood of solution success over time.
  7. The team member submitting the concept must be a legal resident of the US.
  8. Bonus points may be given if team participants attended at least five out of seven Ideation and Prototyping Workshops to be held January through April 2017.

The Sponsor and Administrator are unable to provide feedback on individual applications while the Competition is ongoing. The Sponsor, Administrator, Judges, and Evaluators reserve the right to consider criteria other than the aforementioned, and to assign to each of the above and to any such other criteria such weights as the Sponsor, Administrator, Judges, and Evaluators may determine at their sole discretion.

5. Submission Requirements

All Applicants must enter a submission on the Competition Website and complete all required fields of the Competition submission form before the close of the Competition Submission Period. The Applicant must complete all of the required fields in the Competition submission form in accordance with these Rules. Applicants are advised to submit their solution at least one hour before the deadline to ensure the completed submission is received by the stated deadline.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if an Applicant submits a Solution after the deadline date because the Applicant experienced a technical problem with the Competition Website, the Applicant must immediately contact [email protected], and provide an explanation including screenshots of the technical problem experienced. The Administrator may, in its sole discretion, accept the Solution at issue if it can confirm that a technical problem occurred with the Competition Website system and that the technical problem affected the Applicant’s ability to submit a Solution by the stated deadline.

In addition, to be eligible for any prize, all Applicants who are selected as Finalists will be required to participate in, and present their Solution at, the BigApps Pitch Event, scheduled for late May 2017 in New York City. If Finalist has multiple team members, at least one member must be present at the Pitch Event. Sponsor reserves the right to disqualify at its sole discretion Finalists that fail to participate in the Pitch Event.

6. Evaluation Process

Prior to the Closing Date, Applicants shall specify which of the three Challenge tracks their Solution addresses. Each Solution shall only be submitted to one track. Only one Solution may win the Grand Prize for each Challenge track. Additionally, Applicants may submit multiple Solutions to the Competition, but each Applicant shall only be eligible for one Grand Prize.

Following the Closing Date, the Administrator will screen Solutions for eligibility and may request additional information from any Applicant in order to evaluate eligibility. Eligible Solutions will be evaluated by a group of Evaluators selected by the Sponsor and Administrator following the Closing Date. Evaluators will assess each Solution based on the Evaluation Criteria, and Evaluators will select a group of Finalists.

All Finalists will be invited to present to Judges selected by the Sponsor. Finalists will be required to demo their Solution and address questions from the Judges. Judges may select Grand Prize winners following presentations, and all winners will be announced following the Pitch Event.

Sponsors reserve the right to substitute or modify the list of Evaluators or Judges at any time for any reason. Judges have the right to withdraw without advance notice. Judges will be fair and impartial. A judge may elect to recuse himself or herself from judging a Solution, if in the judge’s sole discretion it is not appropriate for him or her to judge that particular Solution because of a past or current relationship with that particular Applicant or for any other reason. An Applicant will not be at a disadvantage if any judge recuses himself or herself.

Decisions made by the Sponsor, Administrator, Judges, and Evaluators are binding and final on all matters relating to this Competition, and are not subject to appeal or dispute.

7. Prizes

Judges are expected to select one Grand Prize winner in each Challenge track, as detailed below, and each winner shall receive a cash prize as indicated by the Administrator and displayed publicly prior to the Closing Date:

  1. Transportation Challenge Grand Prize
  2. Knowledge Challenge Grand Prize
  3. Community Resiliency Challenge Grand Prize

Additional prizes – potentially including cash and in-kind awards – may be available and will be listed on the Competition Website. In addition to these prizes, Grand Prize winners will be announced publicly following the Pitch Event, will have information posted about their organization on the Competition Website, and will be included in at least one press release by the Sponsor.

For all Prizes, winners are responsible for all taxes and fees associated with prize receipt and/or use. Sponsor reserves the right to substitute prizes of comparable value. No transfer or substitution of a prize is permitted except by Sponsor. Winners may also be required to execute an Affidavit of Eligibility, a Liability Release, a W-9, and a Publicity Release (collectively, the “Award Claim Documents”) as a condition to receiving an award. If an award winner fails or refuses to sign and return all Award Claim Documents within ten calendar days of the Administrator’s request (or a shorter time as exigencies may require), the award winner may be disqualified and an alternate award winner may be selected.

The prize check will be mailed to the winner’s address or wired to the winner’s bank account within 60 days of receipt of the completed Award Claim Documents. If a winning Applicant is a team of individuals, a corporation, or an organization, the prize will be awarded to the primary contact listed on the Solution submission. Awards will be delivered only to an address in the United States.

8. Judge’s Choice Award

Additional prizes for NYC BigApps 2017 winners may include the feature of such Solution on LinkNYC tablets located throughout the City of New York for a certain period of time at no cost (the “Judge’s Choice Award”). LinkNYC is operated by CityBridge, LLC (“CityBridge”) in connection with the Franchise Agreement for the Installation, Operation, and Maintenance of Public Communications Structures in the Boroughs of the Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island by and between the City of New York Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications and CityBridge, LLC (the “Franchise Agreement”). For the purposes of this Rider, the following definitions shall apply: i) each public communication structure is a “Link”: ii) the project affiliated with the Franchise Agreement is “LinkNYC” and iii) a network of Links is the “LinkNYC Network.”

A representative of CityBridge may serve as a Judge or Evaluator for the Competition. The award of the Judge’s Choice Award is subject to CityBridge approval. CityBridge is under no obligation to award the Judge’s Choice Award to an applicant, including, in the event that no Solution meets the technical specifications or other requirements of the Judge’s Choice Award or the NYC BigApps 2017 competition. CityBridge reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify the Judge’s Choice Award, for any reason, including but not limited to, any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond CityBridge’s reasonable control impairs the reputation, integrity or proper functioning of the LinkNYC network, a Link kiosk or a Link kiosk tablet.

In the event that a Judge’s Choice Award is awarded, CityBridge shall maintain a limited and royalty-free license to display, make available and integrate the Solution on the LinkNYC tablets (the “License”). Such License shall permit CityBridge to alter the Solution source code in order to integrate it into the LinkNYC network. CityBridge does not acquire any intellectual property rights except the limited rights necessary to display, make available and integrate the Solution. Each Judge’s Choice Award winner recognizes that the subject matter of the Solution shall not be considered confidential or proprietary information.   Accordingly, each Judge’s Choice Award winner recognizes that CityBridge may, for non-commercial purposes, in the future develop or purchase products, applications or services related to or similar to the subject matter of the Solution, and such action shall not be an infringement of a Judge’s Choice Award winner’s confidential or proprietary information related to the Solution.

9. CivicX / Post-Competition Support

Civic Hall Labs will launch the City’s first civic tech accelerator, CivicX, which will further accelerate Grand Prize winners of the NYC BigApps 2017 competition towards commercialization and creating impact in New York City. Resources for the four-month program following the BigApps competition will include the following:

  • Expert instruction and advising
  • Inclusive design and prototyping
  • Pitch deck bootcamp
  • Access to networks of funders
  • Connection to government and vendor partners
  • Lean startup training
  • Cloud platform services
  • Community building
  • Access to additional resources that may include pro bono legal advice, technology education and workshops, website services, and more

10. Ownership of Information

Applicants will own the intellectual property rights to their Submission, but the City, Sponsor and Administrator will maintain a royalty-free license to, without limitation: a) post the Submissions on BigApps.NYC; b) make the Solutions available for the course of the Competition and 12 months after the conclusion of the Competition; and c) use the Solutions for noncommercial purposes for a period of 12 months after the conclusion of the Competition Submission Period.

In addition, Applicants that choose to accept prizes or other ongoing support provided by a Challenge Partner are bound by the terms publicly posted on the relevant Challenge Partner Page. Grand Prize winners may elect to transfer all intellectual property rights, without limitation, to a willing and interested nonprofit organization, community benefit organization (CBO), corporation, or other qualified individual or team, if approved by Sponsor, Administrator, and Challenge Partner, and if the winner and the designated recipient of rights mutually commit to the exchange of responsibility in writing.

11. Other Things to Know

Entry Conditions and Release

By entering, Applicants agree to the following conditions and release:

(1) Each Applicant agrees to comply with and be bound by these Official Rules and the decisions of the Sponsor, Administrator, Judges and/or Evaluators which are binding and final in all matters relating to this Competition.

(2) Each Applicant also agrees to release and hold harmless the Sponsor, Administrator, and their respective parent, subsidiary, and affiliated companies, the prize suppliers and any other organizations responsible for sponsoring, fulfilling, administering, advertising or promoting the Competition, and all of their respective past and present officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives (collectively, the “Released Parties”) from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liability. These claims, expenses, and liability include, but are not limited to, negligence and damages of any kind to persons and property, including but not limited to invasion of privacy (under appropriation, intrusion, public disclosure of private facts, false light in the public eye or other legal theory), defamation, slander, libel, violation of right of publicity, infringement of trademark, copyright or other intellectual property rights, property damage, or death or personal injury arising out of or relating to an Applicant’s entry, creation of an entry or submission of an entry, participation in the Competition, acceptance or use or misuse of prize (including any travel or activity related thereto) and/or the broadcast, transmission, performance, exploitation or use of entry.

(3) Each Applicant also agrees to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless the Sponsor and Administrator from and against any and all claims, expenses, and liabilities (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to an Applicant’s participation in the Competition and/or Applicant’s acceptance, use or misuse of prize.


Except where prohibited, participation in the Competition constitutes Applicant’s consent to Sponsor’s, Administrator’s and their agents’ use of winner’s name, likeness, photograph, voice, opinions, hometown and state, and Solution screenshots, videos, descriptions, and commentary for promotional purposes in any media, worldwide, without further payment or consideration.

General Conditions

Sponsor and/or Administrator reserve the right to cancel, suspend and/or modify the Competition, or any part of it, if any fraud, technical failures, or any other factor beyond Sponsor’s and/or Administrator’s reasonable control impairs the integrity or proper functioning of the Competition, as determined by Sponsor and/or Administrator in their sole discretion. Sponsor and/or Administrator reserves the right in their sole discretion to disqualify any individual or Competitor it finds to be tampering with the entry process or the operation of the Competition or to be acting in violation of these Official Rules or any other promotion or in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner.

Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsor and/or Administrator reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Limitations of Liability

The Released Parties are not responsible for: (1) any incorrect or inaccurate information, whether caused by entrants, printing errors, or by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilized in the Competition; (2) technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to malfunctions, interruptions, or disconnections in phone lines or network hardware or software; (3) unauthorized human intervention in any part of the entry process or the Competition; (4) technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Competition or the processing of entries; or (5) any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from entrant’s participation in the Competition or receipt or use or misuse of any prize.

Any attempt by any person to deliberately undermine the legitimate operation of the Competition may be a violation of criminal and civil law, and, should such an attempt be made, Sponsors and/or Administrator reserves the right to seek damages from any such person to the fullest extent permitted by law. Sponsor’s and/or Administrator’s failure to enforce any term of these Official Rules shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.


Any disputes and/or decisions arising under this Competition that relates to the award of cash prizes shall be resolved by NYCEDC and such determination shall be final, binding and conclusive.  With respect to any disputes and/or decisions between the applicant and NYCEDC, the Administrator, Judges and/or Evaluators herein, the applicant expressly waives and relinquishes any and all rights it might otherwise have to contest any such disputes and/or decisions.


Sponsors collect personal information from Applicants when Applicants enter the Competition. By agreeing to these Terms and Conditions, Applicants authorize Sponsor and/or Administrator to share personal information with Competition partners, including, but not limited to, Sponsors and Challenge Partners.

Competition Results

Results of the competition will be made available on BigApps.NYC.

Sponsors and Administrator

Sponsor: New York City Economic Development Corporation, 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038

Administrator: Civic Hall Labs, 118 W 22nd Street, New York, NY 10011

Additional Terms

Sponsors and/or Administrator reserve the right to modify the Official Rules, Terms & Conditions, and/or Competition format at any time.  It is anticipated that any such modifications will be posted to the Competition Website and that it will be the responsibility of the Applicants to check the website for any such changes.