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Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I enter? What constitutes a complete submission? 

Create an account on BigApps.NYC through the CollabFinder platform. Registration is free, but requires that you have a personal Facebook account. All Contestants must create a Project Page on BigApps.NYC; completion of a Project Page will constitute an official entry into the competition. Contestants without a Facebook account can submit their projects through the Alternative Submission Form. All Project Pages/Form submissions must be completed by Wednesday, October 14, 2015 at 11:59PM EDT.

To be deemed eligible for prizes, all Project Pages must contain the following:

  • A video walk-through of the working App OR a link that allows users to download the App.
  • A text description of the App, including how the App address the issue proposed in the respective Challenge for Apps submitted in the four Challenge categories OR how the App improves civic life in New York City for the wildcard category.
  • A text description of an approach to how the App might be implemented citywide.
  • A list of individuals who contributed to the App and their primary skillset.
  • A list of data sets or APIs used or created by the App.
  • Selection of a Category (one of the four Challenges or wildcard) addressed by the App.
  • If applicable, selection of BigApps Pros competition track.

 

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Eligibility

Am I eligible to compete?

We are an organization. Can we enter?

What kind of Apps am I allowed to submit?

Does my App have to be new for this competition?

I’m not a coder; can I still participate?

None of the skill sets listed on the “join in” page are a perfect match for my skills. What do I do?

Is there a limit to how many projects I can submit or participate in?

Is there a limit to how many people I can have on my team? If the App wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the team members?

 

Competition Details

What are the key competition dates?

How do I enter?

What items do I need to submit to be eligible to win?

Will there be an opportunity to receive feedback on my project before submissions are due?

What are the BigApps 2015 Challenges? Can I submit an App that is unrelated to any of the 2015 Challenge categories?

Can I enter the same App in multiple Challenge categories?

I don’t have a Facebook account. How do I join the competition?

 

Other

I don’t want anyone to see my ideas, is there a way to make my Project Page private?

Do I retain intellectual property ownership?

What will Team BigApps do with my submission?

Why are Challenge submissions eligible for bigger prizes and more resources than wildcard submissions?

I don’t want to compete, but still want to get involved with BigApps. How else can I contribute to the competition?

I have more questions. How do I contact you?

 


Am I eligible to compete?

BigApps is open to legal residents, 14 or older, of the 50 United States (plus the District of Columbia), and to legally registered corporations or organizations that are domiciled in the United States.


We are an organization. Can we enter?

Organizations with fewer than 25 employees that have not raised over $1 million in funding may enter and compete for cash and in-kind prizes as well as post-competition support and implementation resources. Organizations with more than 25 employees or that have raised over $1 million in funding may compete as “BigApps Pros,” but will not be eligible to win cash and in-kind prizes; Pros are eligible to win post-competition support and implementation resources.

BigApps Pros must indicate their status as such when submitting their Apps on the Closing Date.


What kind of Apps am I allowed to submit?

BigApps is about more than just apps. Products may include web apps, mobile apps, data visualization tools, social media, games, or products considered a component of the “internet of things.” To be eligible to win, Apps must improve life in New York City through technology.


Does my App have to be new for this competition?

No. As long as you meet all of the submission requirements outlined in the Terms & Conditions, you may submit an existing product. Note that we and our judges look for products that are adding something net new to the civic tech landscape, so your submission should be distinct from past BigApps winners, and to the extent possible, you should indicate new product features or functions completed during the competition.


I’m not a coder; can I still participate?

Yes! BigApps is open to everyone, including engineers, designers, marketers, content creators, and anyone else interested in improving life in New York City through technology. Find a team using our platform and get started on building your project!


None of the skill sets listed on the “join in” page are a perfect match for my skills. What do I do?

Choose the skill set that is the closest match. For example, if you are a data analyst, you might register as a “developer” or a “scientist.” If you’re still not sure what to choose, submit your skill set via the “something else?” button and Team BigApps will help you select an appropriate skill set.


Is there a limit to how many projects I can submit or participate in?

There is no limit to how many times an eligible person or organization may enter. An individual may also participate on behalf of more than one team, corporation, or nonprofit organization. If you submit two or more Apps that are substantially similar, the Competition Administrator reserves the right to disqualify submissions or require you to choose one submission to enter into the competition.


Is there a limit to how many people I can have on my team? If the App wins a prize, will the prize money be split among the team members?

There is no limit to how many people can participate on a single team. If a team of individuals, or an organization is selected as a prize winner, the Administrator will divide the prize equally among the team members identified at the time of submission. It will be up to the winning team or organization to reallocate the prize money, if they deem it appropriate.


What are the key competition dates?

The submission deadline is October 14, 2015 at 11:59 PM EDT. From the submitted projects, up to 50 teams will be invited to live pitch their projects at Demo Day on November 1, 2015. Up to 20 teams will be selected as Finalists during Demo Day. Finalists will be invited to live pitch their projects at the Awards Ceremony in early December (date TBD), where up to 5 grand prize winners will be selected (one per Challenge and one in the wildcard track).


How do I enter?

It’s easy! Create an account on BigApps.NYC through the CollabFinder platform. Registration is free, but requires that you have a personal Facebook account. Registrants cannot use a company, group, or any other kind of Facebook account to register, although individuals may represent organizations participating in the Competition.

Once you have a profile you can join the NYC BigApps Group and post a project page. This page will serve as your de facto application form, and you will be alerted about any page elements that are required by the submission date. You can create a project page between July 16, 2015 at 6:30 PM EDT and October 14, 2015 at 11:59 PM EDT, after which all complete pages will be considered formal applications and all incomplete pages will be disqualified.

On BigApps.NYC, you can also:

  • Sign up for the NYC BigApps newsletter to ensure that you will receive important competition updates.
  • Explore this year’s Challenges, find teammates, and start project pages.
  • Explore available data sets, mentors, and other resources to help you build your product.

What items do I need to submit to be eligible to win?

All Contestants must create a Project Page on BigApps.NYC. To be deemed eligible for prizes, all Project Pages must contain the following:

  1. A video that shows how the App works or a link that allows users to download the App.
  2. A text description of the App, including how the App address the issue proposed in the respective Challenge for Apps submitted in the four Challenge categories OR how the App improves civic life in New York City for the wildcard category.
  3. A text description of an approach to how the App might be implemented citywide.
  4. A list of individuals who contributed to the App and their primary skillset.
  5. A list of data sets or APIs used or created by the App.
  6. Selection of a Category (one of the four Challenges or wildcard) addressed by the App.
  7. If applicable, selection of BigApps Pros competition track.

Will there be an opportunity to receive feedback on my project before submissions are due?

There will not be a formal feedback process prior to the submission deadline. However, teams are encouraged to attend office hours and other events with Challenge Partners and our mentor network to receive feedback prior to the submission deadline.


What are the BigApps 2015 Challenges? Can I submit an App that is unrelated to any of the 2015 Challenge categories?

Challenges outline key issues facing New Yorkers and ask teams to propose a technological solution for that issue (see Challenge pages for briefs). BigApps 2015 Challenges were developed by leading private- and public-sector thinkers and organizations in New York City, with input from the general public. Each Challenge is run by a Challenge Partner Team, which includes a mix of City agency, private, non-profit, and other experts in that Challenge category. Challenge Partner Teams will provide contestants in the respective Challenge category with guidance, resources, and host supplementary BigApps events specific to the Challenge issue.

Contestants may submit an App unrelated to the Challenges by entering their App in the wildcard category. All wildcard submissions must use technology to improve civic life in New York City in some way (e.g. health, transportation, jobs and economic mobility, etc.). Wildcard contestants will not have access to Challenge Partner Team resources and events.


Can I enter the same App in multiple Challenge categories?

Yes. An App can be entered in more than one Challenge category and the wildcard category, but each App will be eligible for only one Grand Prize.


I don’t have a Facebook account. How do I join the competition?

If you don’t have a Facebook account, you can submit your project through our Alternative Submission Form. Unfortunately, our current website platform only accepts registrations through Facebook, so non-Facebook users will not be able to register for an account, create a profile page, or post a project submission directly onto the website.


I don’t want anyone to see my ideas, is there a way to make my Project Page private?

No. Project pages and official NYC BigApps competition submissions are public and cannot be made private.


Do I retain intellectual property ownership?

Yes, all entrants, regardless of winner status, will retain intellectual property ownership of their software applications. However, as a condition of accepting a BigApps prize, teams must agree to make their products available for free for at least one year following the Award Ceremony.


What will Team BigApps do with my submission?

The BigApps Sponsors and Administrator will have the right to display and promote your submission to the public on the NYC BigApps website and partner sites. They will also be allowed to publicize your name in connection with the submission and the NYC BigApps challenge.


Why are Challenge submissions eligible for bigger prizes and more resources than wildcard submissions?

This year’s BigApps competition is focused on solving four specific Challenges facing New Yorkers: affordable housing, zero waste, connected cities, and civic engagement. Each Challenge is sponsored by a Challenge Partner Team, which includes a mix of City agency, private, non-profit, and other experts in that Challenge issue area. Challenge Partner Teams have partnered with BigApps to offer prizes, events, mentors, and post-competition resources specific to each Challenge category to encourage contestants to develop Apps within one or more of the Challenge categories.

Because the wildcard category does not address a specific issue, it does not have an associated Challenge Partner Team and therefore has no special funding or resources allotted to it.


I don’t want to compete, but still want to get involved with BigApps. How else can I contribute to the competition?

There are many ways to get involved with BigApps besides entering the competition. You can sponsor the competition; contribute data & devices; serve as a mentor, volunteer, or evaluator; and help promote BigApps. Visit our partners (link) page to learn more and sign up.


I have more questions. How do I contact you?

Please e-mail us at info@bigapps.nyc. We will do our best to respond within one to two business days.