BIG APPLE: Facebook New York Is An Official Sponsor Of NYC BigApps 2014

By David Cohen 

NYCBigApps2014Logo650Facebook New York is an official sponsor and participating judge in the fifth annual NYC BigApps 2014 competition, led by the office of New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and the New York City Economic Development Corp. and aimed at spurring “the brightest minds in the New York tech ecosystem” to solve the city’s toughest problems with products including applications, hardware, and games.

NYC BigApps 2014 officially launches Wednesday night with an event at AppNexus headquarters, and participants in the four-month competition will submit connected devices, data tools, games, and other technology products to help solve more than 30 “BigIdea Challenges” in topics including economic mobility, education, health, and the environment.

Submissions are due July 12, and 20 finalists will be selected in late July, prior to the judging event and final award ceremony in September.

Winning teams will receive more than $100,000 in cash prizes, as well as in-kind prizes, with sponsorships from companies including Facebook, eBay, Microsoft, and Mini USA.

Facebook New York Site Director Serkan Piantino said in a Facebook post:

I’m proud to share that Facebook is partnering with the city on this year’s BigApps competition. We feel that it’s important to be not just participants in the growth of tech here in New York, but also investors in the programs and causes that will grow the community around us.

At Facebook, we are a young company with an ambitious mission. We have a lot of work and opportunity left to explore. So we need the brightest, best motivated talent in the world. And we need them to be a part of a community where they can talk about their work, meet with their peers, and open-source their code. From the earliest days of Facebook, we’ve seen that the talent we are looking for is in New York.

As we’ve grown, as the tech industry here has grown, and as engineers have more and more opportunities in front of them, we’re only seeing that accelerate. New York will continue to be a magnet for the best talent in the world.

The community has grown more connected, as well. New Yorkers seem almost unusually willing to help each other out and view themselves not as competitors, but as part of a common movement.

I’m looking forward to seeing some great apps as part of this year’s competition, and I’m happy that Facebook is a part of the success story of New York tech.

de Blasio said in a release announcing NYC BigApps 2014:

New York City has emerged as a major player in the global tech industry, and the BigApps competition underscores our commitment to support the tech sector’s growth and success here. In encouraging the city’s talent to participate in the BigApps competition, we’re also focusing their talent where it can best serve New Yorkers — aimed squarely at a diverse set of challenges that affect the city today.

First Lady Chirlane McCray added:

This competition will harness the creativity of New Yorkers in addressing persistent problems facing our neighbors, whether it’s access to mental health resources for teens, preventing pedestrian accidents, or other pressing issues. BigApps utilizes the enormous potential the tech sector brings our society to develop tools that help all New Yorkers, and I look forward to seeing the bright ideas this year’s competition produces.

NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball said:

Building on its tremendous success the previous four years, the BigApps competition continues to leverage the momentum of the city’s tech sector to create innovative apps and technologies that benefit all New Yorkers. We are proud to support and encourage the growth of the tech ecosystem via BigApps, and wish all entrants the best of luck in this year’s competition.

Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications Acting Commissioner Evan Hines added:

We’re thrilled to continue to partner with New York City’s tech community through the annual NYC BigApps competition. Collaboration is essential for developing innovative solutions to civic challenges, and DoITT-supported NYC Open Data provides a platform for lasting, creative applications.

Readers: Would you like to see similar competitions in other cities?