FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 16, 2011
Kathryn Auerbach - Metro Chicago Information Center
APPS FOR METRO CHICAGO ILLINOIS WINNERS ANNOUNCED!
SpotHero wins Apps 4 Metro Chicago Grand Challenge, OkCopay is the Innovate Illinois Award winner and Recycle City Chicago and Chicago Recycle Helper with the Green Opportunities Award!
Mayor Emanuel's Director of Social Media Kevin Hauswirth and Governor Quinn's Chief Operating officer Andy Ross announced the winners of the Apps 4 Metro Chicago Illinois Grand Challenge and the Innovate Illinois Award today at Excelerate Labs. They were joined by the Delta Institute who announced the winner of the Green Opportunities App Award (GO Award). The Apps 4 Metro Chicago Illinois (A4MC) competition is facilitated by the Metro Chicago Information Center (MCIC), a nonprofit research, consulting and information resource committed to increasing the quality, quantity and accessibility of information, and guided by a fundamental philosophy that better information produces better decisions. The A4MC Competition is a collaborative open data civic applications competition which brought together software developers, nonprofits, and residents to create web and mobile applications over 300 data sets made available on the City of Chicago, Cook County, and State of Illinois data portals, and CMAP's MetroPulse. The Apps 4 Metro Chicago IL Grand Challenge is the final, biggest, broadest and best round of the Competition. In this round apps could have any theme as long as they touched on Metro Chicago and the winners covered everything from local entertainment, transportation and leisure, to the environment, conservation and politics. The final round was decided by a Grand Challenge Judging panel comprised of experts committed to building Chicago's entrepreneurial community and encouraging innovation. Grand Challenge Judge Troy Henikoff founder and CEO of Excelerate Labs further showed his support by hosting the announcement at Excelerate Labs.
The competition, which began six months ago on June 24th, continued the historic open data efforts taking place in Chicago, the Chicago metro area, and throughout Illinois. "I congratulate the winning app SpotHero, the other finalists, and all of the people who submitted applications during this successful contest," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "My administration is committed to providing unprecedented access to data so that our residents and tech community can create innovative apps that can improve the quality of life in Chicago as well as foster new business opportunities."
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle recognized the Competition was intended to showcase the power and possibility that can stem from government and resident collaboration and combining data and technology. "The brilliant and innovative finalists in the Apps 4 Metro Chicago are all worthy of recognition," said President Preckwinkle. " We are entering a new age where citizens have the opportunity to create information technology that will dramatically improve how public data and services are delivered. We hope this collaborative effort will inspire even greater participation and will strengthen the relationship between the taxpayers and the government they elect to serve their interests."
The Apps 4 Metro Chicago Illinois Competition also continued to drive economic development through innovation. "This Competition shows us the best of what can be created by Illinois' innovators and entrepreneurs when they have access to everyday data that the government collects," Governor Quinn said. "I commend both OkCopay and iFindit for using datasets made available on Data.Illinois.Gov to provide Illinois residents with valuable services that can improve their lives. Innovators like these spur economic growth throughout our state and nation and are the key to creating jobs and ensuring Illinois' continued competitiveness in the 21st century economy."
The Delta Institute of Chicago is an innovative leader in transforming the Great Lakes Region into the center of the green economy. Delta's awards, totalling $2,500, went to the best apps that promoted green activity, such as energy conservation, waste reduction, recycling, consumption of foods from local, sustainable sources and other environmentally friendly practices. Due to a tie for first place, Delta split the $2,000 top prize between Recycle City Chicago and Chicago Recycle Helper. A $500 runner-up prize went to Light Bulb Finder.
After six months, over 70 submissions, amazing collaborations, and inspirational stories the Apps 4 Metro Chicago Grand Challenge Winners are ....
Innovate Illinois Winners:
Grand Prize: Okay Copay- $4,000
Runner Up: iFindit Chicago- $2,000
Green Opportunities Award:
Co-Winners- Recycle City Chicago & Chicago Recycle Helper ($1000 each)
Runner Up- Light Bulb Finder- $500