The DC Office of the Chief Technology Office (OCTO) invites area application developers and entrepreneurs to compete in the Gigabit DC Challenge (GigabitDCx). DC seeks next-generation, high-performance applications that advance opportunity and solutions in the focus areas of city mobility and the environment.
GigabitDCx is a two-phased, reverse pitch competition in which competitors will submit proposals to develop and demonstrate gigabit app solutions in the described focus areas. In phase two, semi-finalists will advance their concepts and build prototypes of proposed solutions for a chance to receive one of two final awards.
- Phase 1: Up to six (6) finalists will be invited to advanced to phase 2.
- Phase 2: Up to two (2) awardees splitting $34,000 in award funds.
Competitors will have access to mentors and subject matter experts to advise and answer questions throughout the process. Proposals can focus on one or both challenge areas.
What is a Gigabit Application?
With the emergence of gigabit services to the home and 5G wireless networks, capabilities enabled by such speed will rapidly become more main-stream. A next-generation or “gigabit” application is a high-performance application that leverage the power of gigabit-speed networks to address real-world challenges. Gigabit applications often rely on complex interactions of Internet of Things/cyber-physical systems and local cloud computing to enable the efficient processing of big data and low-latency response time.
City Mobility Solutions
Mobility is the lifeblood of every city and has a direct link to factors such as quality of life, economic development and prosperity, as well as, equity and inclusion. For mobility in the District to be successful, it must be high-performing, resilient, and accessible. How then, can gigabit technologies enhance the way we move people and inform intelligent decisions in mobility and streetscape planning?
Example solutions may include:
- Traffic Safety
Solutions that make District streets safer for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers, including capabilities such as incident recognition and alerting systems for any form of mobility (in line with DC Vision Zero goals).
- Traffic Management
Solutions providing visibility, understanding, and alerting of traffic abnormalities—such as unexpected traffic congestion or an unusual amount of foot traffic in a section of the city—that require immediate city agency response.
- Promoting Multi-Modal Options
Solutions providing visibility of modal options to residents, commuters, and visitors, especially more environmentally friendly options (walking, biking, public transit, etc.).
The District of Columbia is committed to improve and protect the natural resources of the city as well as residents’ and visitors’ health and safety. The District seeks innovative and inclusive gigabit solutions that enhance its ability to reach the goals of Sustainable DC, Climate Ready DC, Clean Energy DC, and the District’s Resilient DC initiative.
Example solutions may include:
- Air Quality Sensing
Solutions providing actionable insights using urban air quality data; enhanced enforcement capabilities of air quality regulations; or alert systems that better inform residents and visitors on health-related air quality factors.
- Water Quantity and Quality Sensing
Solutions providing monitoring, measuring, and alerting on District waterways. This capability could help inform District environmental, planning, and public safety response agencies with real-time information such as water quality and rising levels (especially in flood plain areas).
- Smart Building Sensing
Solutions enhancing building energy and other efficiencies in support of the District's Clean Energy plan and the mission of BuildSmart DC.
- Smart Waste Diversion
In an effort to advance the goals of Zero Waste DC and the Office of the Clean City, solutions could enable residents and visitors to quickly locate waste, compost and recycling options based on location through gamification and reward incentives.
Through GigabitDCx, OCTO seeks to foster the growth of DC’s technology innovation community and strengthen DC as a smart city. However, success isn’t just measured in how we leverage gigabit technology, but in how we use technology to support an inclusive environment that makes the lives of everyone in DC better and ensures no one is left behind.
Support the Challenge
- Share the challenge on social media with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for innovation.
- Click "Follow the Challenge" to recieve status updates.
- Submit an idea! Click "Accept the Challenge" to register to enter.
GigabitDCx is led by the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) in coordination with the SmarterDC initiative. Award funding is made available through DC’s partnership with US Ignite, a nation-wide nonprofit focused on spurring the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities around the country and world. Developer resources and space is made possible by WeWork Labs, a host partner for GigabitDCx. StateScoop is the official media partner for GigabitDCx.
WeWork Labs provides the community, education, connections, and mentorship needed to help anyone take the startup path and grow. Through participation in GigabitDCx, challengers (individuals and teams) that are selected for the second phase of prototype development are invited to experience the WeWork Labs community with a free-month hot desk pass and select startup events provided by WeWork at the 80 M Street NE location. Awardees of the second phase will also enjoy a 25% discount on any WeWork Labs or physical office membership to WeWork at 80 M St SE up to three months in length.
Subject Matter Experts
Subject Matter Experts (SME) from District agencies and others involved with the challenge will be available to help guide developers and teams toward effective and innovative Gigabit solutions.
The District will host two in-person/webcast Question & Answer Check-in sessions to give participating teams the opportunity to ask subject matter experts from the following District agencies and partners for guidance.
- District Department of Transportation (DDOT)
- Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE)
- DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO)
- University Representatives
Industry partners bring a wealth of knowledge and mentorship resources that can help participants in the development of solutions. Resources to competitors may include the following:
- Team matchmaking - help finding experts to develop your idea or match your tech skills with the idea in limbo. Post a request on the team matchmaking section of the community page.
- Developer tools and aids
- Development platforms
- Best practice guidance
- LLC and 501 c(3) formation guidance
Judging Criteria Guidance
In general, the judges will consider the following qualifying criteria in reviewing solutions:
- Technical soundness and design
- Innovative approach and weight of impact
- Cost to prototype and potential ROI
- Team capability
- Inclusion and accessibility
Example criteria definitions are outlined below. Please refer to the judging criteria pages for official scoring. The highest score is 30 points (per phase), in the event of a tie, solutions that address both challenge areas in a meaningful way may be awarded 5 bonus points.
Alignment with Challenge Area(s) and Impact
- Does the proposed solution address city mobility and/or the environment challenge area needs and related District goals (such as Vision Zero, Resilient DC) in a relevant and effective way?
- Does the proposed solution make a meaningful positive impact on the District community?
Technical Description: How Will it Work?
- What are the components of the solution, how do they interact and how does it work? Include up to two schematic diagrams or other images that express this.
- What makes this a next-generation, gigabit solution? (How does it leverage advance network capabilities? (i.e., low-latency/real-time response, cyber-physical/IoT system, edge processing, big data processing…)
- What cyber-physical elements does it need?
- What data will it use/generate and to what end? If it relies on existing data, where is this data and how would you get it?
Financial viability and potential ROI
- Is there a larger market for the proposed solution outside of the District of Columbia?
- What are the potential cost saving factors as well as financial impacts for the District?
- How likely is it that the proposed solution is developed and deployed? Consider the scope of the proposed project compared to the resources available.
- Are the team’s skillsets and resilience sufficient to successfully develop a deployable version of their proposed solution?
Digital Inclusion and Accessibility
- A Smart Gigabit Community includes leveraging accessible technology to support an inclusive environment that makes the lives of everyone in the District of Columbia better and ensures no one is left behind.
- Is the solution being developed or adapted to include diversity of language, culture, age and literacy? Is the solution being developed or adapted to promote accessibility and include disability accommodations? Is the solution accessible on affordable devices?
Terms and Conditions
GigabitDCx is hosted by the Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO), an agency within the District of Columbia Government, in partnership with US Ignite. To participate in this competition (“Challenge”), you must first acknowledge that you have read, understood, and agree to the following Terms and Conditions:
1. Submissions shall be from an individual or a team affiliated with a US-based, non-profit organization (including educational institutions) or for-profit organization.
- If you are submitting as an individual, you must be age 18 or older at the time of entry and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or its territories.
- If you are submitting as a team, and one or more team members is under 18, at least one team member must be age 18 or older at the time of entry and a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. or its territories. This team member will serve as the “team sponsor” and will take responsibility for the team output and any legal agreements.
2. Employees of the District of Columbia Government are not eligible to compete in GigabitDCx. This exclusion shall not apply to employees of educational institutions of the District of Columbia Government serving in advisory capacities.
3. Upon request, you agree to provide OCTO at least one written and/or video testimonial about the GigabitDCx and participate in at least one promotional activity associated with the District of Columbia’s Smart City initiative.
4. By accepting these Terms and Conditions, you affirm that, to your knowledge, there are no intellectual property or patent infringement violations associated with the business operation and application you are pitching in GigabitDCx.
5. If your application is selected as an awardee,
- The District of Columbia Government shall be granted a perpetual, non-exclusive, and irrevocable license to beta-test your solution, to the extent the District of Columbia deems reasonable and pending feasibility to District Government agencies.
- You shall submit proof that the award is being used solely for expenses related to the development of the application that was pitched in the form of receipts, invoices, and/or other documentation for such expenses, in accordance with timelines established by the District of Columbia.
- You shall submit all documentation necessary to receive the award as deemed by the District of Columbia, including but not limited to a Sub-recipient Sub-Award Agreement.
6. The distribution of any financial or in-kind award is at the sole discretion of the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia has discretion to modify award amounts or to not award funds.
7. If the District of Columbia discovers that you have violated these Terms and Conditions, the District reserves the right to refuse to disburse any remaining funds and demand the return of funds previously disbursed to the awardee.
8. Any beta-testing of the application by the District of Columbia shall not be construed as a partnership, joint venture, or other commercial or employment relationship with the District of Columbia.
9. These Terms and Conditions shall be governed by the laws of the District of Columbia, without reference to choice of law.
10. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE PLATFORM OR WITH THE CHALLENGES, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ANY DAMAGES RESULTING FROM LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS, WHETHER OR NOT THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, OR FOR ANY DAMAGES FOR PERSONAL OR BODILY INJURY OR EMOTIONAL DISTRESS ARISING OUT OF OR IN CONNECTION WITH THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS, OR FROM PARTICIPATION IN THE CHALLENGE, WHETHER BASED ON WARRANTY, COPYRIGHT, CONTRACT, TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE), PRODUCT LIABILITY OR ANY OTHER LEGAL THEORY.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES WILL THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA BE LIABLE TO A PARTICIPANT IN THE CHALLENGE FOR MORE THAN FIFTY DOLLARS ($50).