NYC Mayor Promotes Big Apps Contest via YouTube

Mayor Bill de Blasio's YouTube video attempts to attract locals to participate in the city's fifth annual apps contest, in which developers compete for prizes valued at $300,000.

by / May 6, 2014
NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio promotes the fifth annual Big Apps contest on YouTube. YouTube/NYC Mayor's Office

New York City’s fifth annual Big Apps contest will launch Wednesday May 7, and this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio took to YouTube to promote the event. 

Created from a NYCEDC initiative, the 2014 contest is the city’s attempt to attract the talent of local entrepreneurs, artists, engineers, and programmers to bring more “innovative new technologies and government transparency.” The contest will span four months, and winners will be eligible to receive $100,000 in cash prizes and perks the city has valued at $200,000.

“My big idea is to eliminate traffic fatalities in our city,” de Blasio said in the video. “New York City's families expect and deserve safe streets and your government will no longer regard traffic crashes as mere accidents. We'll feature the winning app on the homepage of NYC.gov, and I'll thank the developers in person at city hall. The tech sector is a crucial part of the city's future and we're counting on you to help us achieve Vision Zero.”

Vision Zero is the mayor’s initiative to reduce the number of New Yorkers who are seriously injured or killed in traffic collisions each year, figures now totaling 4,000 and 250, respectively. Apps that can assist the cause of Vision Zero are one example of the kind of product the city hopes to see as a result of this year’s contest.

In 2013, winning applications included HealthyOut, an app that helps people find healthy places to eat, and Helping Hands, an app that helps people with tasks such as finding information on how to complete high school, find a job or obtain health insurance.

The May 7 Launch event will happen at AppNexus, where participants can meet data providers, partnering companies, and some of the city’s 50 mentors that will assist participants in the development of their ideas. Interested parties can sign up on the Big Apps 2014 website.