Tuesday April 5, 2016 0 comments
DENVER -- The Colorado Secretary of State’s office hosted the third annual Go Code Colorado challenge weekend in Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Fort Collins and Grand Junction April 1-3, with 10 teams -- two from each challenge weekend location -- advancing to the final round of competition.
Three teams will ultimately receive $25,000 each for the best app ideas that use public data to solve a business problem.
Three local tech and business leaders in each location judged the app and business ideas based on specific criteria. All of the Go Code Colorado teams presented ideas that use public data to help businesses build a better competitive strategy, a broad challenge that was intended to put innovative solutions in the hands of creative entrepreneurs.
Ideas ranged from helping women-owned businesses to more efficient mining of natural resources and better-serving food desserts to comprehensive checklists for new businesses.
Go Code Colorado released the challenge statement -- the business problem teams are asked to solve -- in February, allowing for two months of preparation and coding prior to the challenge weekend.
“We are always looking to improve the program, and this year, that started with opening the challenge earlier to give teams more time to work,” said Colorado Secretary of State Wayne Williams. “Teams took advantage and we saw stronger app and business ideas as a result.”
“I was impressed,” said Denver judge and CEO/Founder of Spire Digital Michael Gellman. “The way these teams envisioned how to use public data was highly creative. It should send a message to everyone that a strong open data environment is good for Colorado.”
The finalist teams with challenges they addressed are:
Talk Data To Me -- Developed a platform that connects employee personalities with business cultures.
Get Routed -- Developed an app that creates safe and effective cycling routes for Colorado athletes. Get Routed correlated bear sighting data with bike trails.
Locavore -- Designed mobile app to help food trucks find the best location to park by informing food truck owners of street sweeping days, the amount of foot traffic the area gets, and other beneficial tips.
Data Cats -- Developed an app that gives farmers an opportunity to find places to sell their foods, i.e., farmers markets.
StartUpIn.co -- Created a simple to use web portal which allows anyone to create a new business in Colorado. It has contextual and relevant advice driven by the user's input.
Home Power Direct -- Developed a solar marketplace with education and guided data gathering for customers, system sizing, automated bidding, and market intelligence for equipment providers.
SWO -- Developed an application mapping verified women owned businesses using data from the Business Entities and Trade Names databases.
Energy Tech -- Created Surface Regulation Navigator for Oil and Gas Drilling Sites.
HelpARiderOut -- Developed app to connect riders with current information about conditions so they have a safe, enjoyable ride.
Drop ID -- Created a digital business card to eliminate the hassle of physical business cards.
Local venues stepped in to host the challenge weekend in all five locations throughout the state. In Fort Collins, Galvanize provided space; in Denver it was the public campus for entrepreneurship, Commons on Champa; for Colorado Springs the coworking space Epicentral stepped up; in Durango the coworking space Durango Space hosted; and in Grand Junction the Business Incubator Center opened its doors for participants.
The teams will hone their app and business ideas at a Mentor Weekend in Boulder on April 15 and submit their final code for review in mid-May. On May 26, teams convene in Denver to present to an audience of business leaders, members of the tech entrepreneurship community, government officials, and a panel of five judges at the Seawell Ballroom.
The top three app and business ideas receive $25,000 each to keep developing their apps and businesses.