Seattle, King County and the state of Washington today began a statewide competition to develop apps using government data sets.
Prizes totaling $77,500 will be given to winners of the Evergreen Apps Challenge. The best overall app will receive $20,000, the second best gets $15,000 and winners in other categories will receive prizes ranging from $500 to $10,000.
Criteria include the quality and implementation of the app ideas and the “potential impact” on state, county and city residents, visitors and businesses.
Don’t count on competition from Microsoft and Amazon.com. The contest is open to individuals, students and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees at the time of entry.
“We expect to see some great apps that combine the best work of our dynamic private and public sectors,” Rogers Weed, director of the state Department of Commerce, said in a release.
Several events are planned during the competition, which runs through Sept. 6.
On Aug. 9, Seattle’s Office of Economic Development is hosting a startup mixer called City Business Casual at the Alexis Hotel’s Library Bistro from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. It’s free with no reservations required.
Aug. 14 is “Geeks on a Ferry,” during which app developers can take the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton and use the Kitsap Conference Center for a sort of hackathon lasting about five hours. Free Boingo Wi-Fi will be provided on the boat ride. A $35 registration fee (or $15 for students) includes a ferry ticket and dinner.
For true Eastsiders, there’s the “SpoCode” data camp in Spokane on Aug. 22 at Riverpoint Academy from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Presentations will be made by ESRI and Socrata.
An awards event is scheduled for Oct. 1 at the Intiman Theatre at Seattle Center.
Apps can tap into data sets made available by the city, state and county, including state geospatial data.
Funding for the event is coming partly through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, via the state broadband office.