The city of Saratoga, New York, IgniteU New York, and Empire State College are partnering to host Saratoga Go!, a competition that challenges individuals and small businesses to create mobile apps that will improve the quality of life for residents and visitors alike. A launch event will be held in April to spell out the details of the three-month competition.
“The goal is to say here are some things that may help in the city,” said Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan. “And we’re hoping to get some big cash awards for the best app ideas that are presented.”
Saratoga Go! encourages participants to create smartphone apps – or other technological solutions – in the following categories: connected community; public services; environmental innovation; education and training; and intelligent infrastructure. There will also be a general category for proposals that don’t fit any of those descriptions. The competition is open to anyone ages 13 and older living in the United States, as well as businesses and corporations, with ideas for making the Saratoga smarter. Throughout the three-month competition, contestants can attend workshops designed to give them helpful information and resources for developing their apps. The educational sessions will also offer training in areas like data, pitching, marketing and customer discovery.
“The commission worked all last year to identify challenges and opportunities for the city in the smart city space,” said Tom Myers, principal consultant at NYSTEC, which runs IgniteU NY and is the city’s consulting partner for the smart city road map. “The way the judging criteria is going to work, we’re certainly going to steer contestants toward those types of solutions, but it is wide open, like any hackathon or any app competition.”
At the end of June, competitors will get the chance to pitch their solutions or apps at an event.
A website where participants can register will be available soon. In the meantime, anyone interested in entering the competition or learning more is encouraged to contact Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.