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Phoenix Smart City Hack contest launched


PHOENIX – Councilman Bill Gates and Mayor Greg Stanton have announced the launch of the 2016 Phoenix Smart City Hack (SCH) contest. SCH is a global competition that encourages civic entrepreneurship and innovation by empowering residents to develop technology products and startup companies that solve our community’s greatest challenges. Locally, the SCH is sponsored by the City of Phoenix and the Institute for Digital Progress, a nonprofit devoted to making Greater Phoenix a major hub of smart city technology driven by collaborative civic innovation.

Participants in the Phoenix SCH can create and submit tech solutions in one of five global civic Challenge Areas. A semifinal contest in September will narrow down the finalists who will be invited to pitch to a panel of judges at the City Finale in October. The winner of the Phoenix SCH will travel to Barcelona to represent the city at the Smart City Expo international competition in November. In addition to an all-expenses paid trip to Barcelona, the Phoenix winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize to help develop their business. ParkX was the winner of the 2015 Smart City Hack. 

“Phoenix is proud to partner in the Phoenix Smart City Hack for the second year in a row,” Councilman Gates said. “This program cultivates collaboration between citizens, government, and private businesses to solve problems that are difficult for any one entity to tackle alone, all while supporting job creation, innovation, and efficiency.”

“The Smart City Hack is a call for our community’s brightest civic entrepreneurs to develop solutions that make our city a better, smarter place,” Mayor Stanton said. “We look forward to sending another team to Barcelona in the fall to show a global audience the caliber of talent we have in Phoenix, Arizona.”

Interested businesses, teams and individuals are invited to take part in the first phase of the Phoenix SCH during an IDEATHON on June 11 at Co+Hoots Midtown. During the IDEATHON, this year’s five Challenge Areas will be announced, and City of Phoenix staff and subject matter experts will present local needs assessments of these Challenge Areas. App developers, computer programmers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs, urban planners, data scientists and others will come together to brainstorm around these five challenge areas and begin to formulate project ideas and teams.

“The Smart City Hack is a great opportunity to showcase Phoenix’s emergence as a national hub for talented tech entrepreneurs and innovators,” Councilman Daniel Valenzuela said. “Our tech and innovation talent is driving our local economy, and I can’t wait to see our entrepreneurs shine in this year’s competition.”

The event is free and open to the public. Registration is available online at