News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


PRESS RELEASE 01/21/2014
Subject :

City of Palo Alto Launches Apps Challenge in Support of Civic Innovation and Community Engagement
Contact : Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer    650/329-2121
Claudia Keith, Chief Communications Officer    650/329-2607

Palo Alto, CA —Building on the success of the nationally recognized CityCamp Palo Alto event in June 2013 that was part of the first Annual National Day of Civic Hacking, the City of Palo Alto announced today the launch of the Palo Alto Apps Challenge.

Palo Alto is creating a unique competition that is open to everyone to submit their ideas to use software apps to enhance the engagement between local government and its citizens. The website for the competition is here:

“We hope that this competition will bring people together from different backgrounds and ideas to all focus on one thing – helping to make a difference in our community,” said City Manager James Keene.  “An apps competition sustains the momentum of our efforts to be a leading digital and smart city.  We also expect it will be a lot of fun for families too.”

The competition is designed to help launch an app that can facilitate increased engagement between the community and local governments.  The focus is deliberately broad to encourage a variety of solutions.  Individuals and teams with diverse skills are encouraged to enter. Initially, entrants just need the ability to communicate an idea in a convincing manner while finalists are ultimately required to demonstrate their idea as a working prototype.

“People want to participate and make a difference in their community using their unique skills,” said Palo Alto Chief Information Officer Jonathan Reichental.  “The apps competition is an exciting forum for that to happen.  There is no doubt now that mobile devices are where the future of user computing will reside.  We have to bring more government services to those devices and this competition will help to spur innovation and idea creation in this important area.”

Call for Entries begins on January 21 and runs through February 28.  Submissions are free and open to anyone legally residing in the United States. Cash prizes will be awarded for 1st place ($3,500), 2nd place ($1,000) and 3rd place ($500). Additionally, winners receive a commemorative plaque and free incorporation services.

Important dates include:
January 21 – February 28
Call for Entries. Participants can enter as many times as they wish.

March 1 – March 12
Initial scoring by the judges.

March 13
Announcement of the finalists

April 27
Finalists display work in progress for public and judges to view

May 31 (coincides with the 2nd Annual National Day of Civic Hacking)
Finalists showcase final prototype to the public with judging and prizes awarded.

The goals of the Competition are threefold: (1) to stimulate the development of applications that improve civic engagement; (2) to encourage innovation and the creation of new intellectual property with commercial potential by individuals, startups and small organizations, and (3) to help leverage technology to solve an important city challenge.

Visit for details and to submit your app proposal from Jan 21 – Feb 28. Latest updates can be found on Facebook and on Twitter:

The Palo Alto Apps Challenge is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto, Stanford Federal Credit Union, WilmerHale, Daily Post, and the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation.