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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Evergreen Apps contest invites new uses for government data

5/2/2012  10:45:00 AM
Sabra Schneider (206) 684-8328
Kristen Glundberg-Prosser  (206) 386-0049

Evergreen Apps contest invites new uses for government data
First Startup Weekend Government announces awards

SEATTLE – During the first ever Startup Weekend Government held at Seattle City Hall, Mayor Mike McGinn announced the Evergreen Apps Challenge to more than 120 developers, entrepreneurs and community members. The Evergreen Apps Challenge is a partnership between the City of Seattle, King County and Washington State designed to encourage the development of applications using government data while stimulating economic development throughout our state.

"After seeing what ten great teams could accomplish over the course of a weekend, I am very excited to see what the public will generate in the next five months for the Evergreen Apps Contest," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology Committee. "We hope the awards give the Startup Weekend Gov teams incentive to keep going and encourage even more people to participate in this inclusive apps challenge."

The following five applications won awards at Startup Weekend Gov.

  • First place (tie): WhichBus, which combines trip planning and real-time arrival info in one app, and includes a great Twilio-powered SMS interface that lets you text [starting address] – [ending address] to 206-745-6287 and texts you back a bus itinerary, complete with arrival times. Art Rover, which uses the Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs public art database on, among other sources, to create walking maps of public art for tourists and scavenger hunts for locals.
  • Second Place: Reporta, a quick & easy way to report issues in your neighborhood to the City in the same data format the City uses.
  • Third place: Civic Rally, a cross between Kickstarter and the Neighborhood Matching Fund that lets community members post projects and solicit money and volunteer time from their neighbors to complete them.
  • Honorable mention: My Spot, a smartphone app that would let you pay for parking, remind you when your time is up, and let you feed the meter remotely.

Developers across the state are invited to participate in the Evergreen Apps Challenge. Ideas can be shared at the Evergreen Apps ideascale site. Developers looking for an idea for an app to build can look there for suggestions as well.

"Washington's digital economy, from broadband to software to e-commerce, is key to our recovery, growth and competitiveness – it's part of what makes this a great state to launch your ideas," said Rogers Weed, Washington State Commerce Director. "The Evergreen Apps Challenge brings together state, county, city and private talent to help government reach citizens and help Washington companies reach markets. I'd like to thank and encourage the companies, agencies and individuals who are trying out this innovative opportunity to solve civic and economic challenges."

Prize money based on quality, implementation and impact

The Evergreen Apps Challenge is open to people who live, work or study in Washington State. More than 10 prizes totaling over $75,000 is available for award winning apps based on their quality, implementation, and potential impact on WA state, King County and Seattle residents and visitors.

This challenge will officially open on July 9, 2012, and close on September 6, 2012. Further details and requirements for entry will be announced in the coming weeks at

Browse the available open data sets from the three sponsors at:

The competition is funded in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) through the Washington State Broadband Office in the Department of Commerce. It will promote the goals of the national broadband plan, and will help drive demand for broadband services among mobile users across the state by demonstrating the value of connecting with information and services from the state's digital economy.


Department of Information Technology

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