The City of Austin is excited to announce the winning teams from its GigaTECHs App Competition: Just in Time VR and Kiwi Compute.

Each winning team will receive $19,000 in seed money to further develop their applications. The teams also will be showcased with select cities across the United States participating in the Ignite Smart Gigabit Communities program.

  • Just In Time VR uses virtual reality to train emergency service providers for large-scale disasters.
  • Kiwi Compute is developing a free application to teach middle schoolers how to use the programming language Python.

Additionally, US Ignite has offered a full scholarship to a third finalist, BloxMob, to take its FastTrac Tech Venture program -- a 24-hour, 8-week video conference course about the latest concepts in market analysis and business planning. BloxMob is an app-development platform targeted toward students and teens to promote STEM concepts and skills without requiring knowing how to code.

"These Austin area civic-minded app developers and entrepreneurs blew the judges away with their solid solutions," said Charles Purma III, a manager in the City's Communications and Technology Management department.

The panel of judges, including members of US Ignite, City of Austin, Latinitas, and Experimental Civics, chose the winning entries from 11 finalists, based on how well they exemplified the following app entry requirements:

  • The overall local impact this app is likely to make in one or more of the focus areas: Transportation, Education, Clean energy, Health and Safety.
  • How likely the proposed app is to be developed and deployed by December 2017.
  • How well the proposed app aligns with Austin’s Smart Cities Roadmap/Strategy.
  • How scalable the proposed app is to other Smart Gigabit Communities.
  • How well the proposed app leverages the high-bandwidth, low-latency technology of gigabit internet.
  • How well the proposed app offers accessibility, inclusion, and/or direct benefit to the technologically underserved communities in Austin.
  • The financial viability of the proposed app’s business model.
  • The overall quality of the pitch and/or app demonstration.

"We want to send a big thank you to everyone who participated in the US Ignite and City of Austin’s GigaTECHs App Competition and helped make it a success," Purma said. 

In case you missed it, you can view a recap of the GigTECHs App finalists and the pitch night Aug. 31. Click here to view photos from the event.

The City of Austin’s GigaTECHs Competition is part of a broader nationwide initiative, led by D.C-based U.S Ignite, to encourage next-generation Gigabit Internet applications that provide transformative public benefit. The GigaTECHs Competition is made possible through a collaboration among the City of Austin’s Communications and Technology Management Department, the Office of Innovation, and the Telecommunications and Regulatory Affairs Department. The prize money is made possible by U.S Ignite and the City of Austin’s Communications and Technology Management Department.

Join us tommorrow, The City of Austin will have a news conference from 10 to 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 21, in the City Hall news conference room to answer questions about the competition and its winners. Representatives from both winning teams, as well as City staff from CTM, will be available for questions.

Thank you to all who made this competition a success.