DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer



Propose and build apps that advance DC in the areas of city mobility and the environment through the use of gigabit-speed internet.

Challenge Overview

The Pitch

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.).


Environmental Solutions

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 DCClean 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.

Inclusion Matters

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.

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Challenge Updates

Road Vision by George Washington University’s Transportation Team Wins $25,000 in Start-up and Research Funds

Feb. 12, 2019, 12:45 p.m. PST by DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Bowser Administration Announces the Winners of GigabitDCx
Road Vision by George Washington University’s Transportation
Team Wins $25,000 in Start-up and Research Funds


Washington, DC – The Bowser Administration and Acting Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Lindsey Parker have announced George Washington University’s (GWU) Transportation Team winners of GigabitDCx, a public innovation competition that challenged the tech community to test inventive ideas to confront two of the toughest problem’s cities face today: traffic and a changing climate.

“GigabitDCx is a great example of how simply providing the space and opportunity to share ideas and creativity can lead to big improvements,” said Parker. “We are thrilled to have been able to partner with US Ignite to not only offer an innovation award, but also the opportunity to work with so many diverse, talented entrepreneurs on a common goal for the betterment of the District.”

GWU’s Transportation Team was selected as a winner for its innovative approach to analyzing video feeds from different sources into traffic mobility and safety information. Their solution,Road Vision, uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods to translate video feeds into traffic mobility and safety information (traffic counts, speeds). This data will be utilized by transportation decision makers for congestion mitigation and safety planning.

“Data collection is often time consuming and expensive, but it’s critical in meeting Mayor Bowser’s goals for Vision Zero,” said District Department of Transportation Director Jeff Marootian. “Count technologies like Road Vision that include pedestrians, cyclists, scooters, and vehicles offer a unique chance to address these issues by allowing the public to contribute to data collection and sharing the results publicly.”

The crowdsourced data from Road Vision can supplement government data collection and the shared results provide transparency for the public and policymakers, as well as an incentive for the public to contribute. Lastly, the resulting data can be disseminated in real-time to roadway users, supplementing other traffic data sources, to help users make better route decisions.

GWU’s Transportation Team is led by Professor Samer H. Hamdar, Ph.D., and includes: Claire E. Silverstein Ph.D. Student Researcher, Deng Pan PhD Student/Graduate Fellow, and Amir Farrahi, PMP Part-Time PhD Student, all with the George Washington University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Mark Sussman and Daniel Shep of Washington, DC, received Honorable Mention with their How’s My Driving? application and will receive an award of $9,000.

The next public innovation challenge is scheduled to begin in the Spring, with a new focus area ofpublic health and public safety.Follow this and all upcoming challenges at: herox.com.


About GigabitDCx

Launched October 13, 2018, GigabitDCx attracted over 116 innovators and received 21 submissions. Teams competed to split up to $34,000 in award funds provided by US Ignite and DC’s participation in the Smart Gigabit Communities. The GWU Transportation Team will also have the opportunity to work with the District of Columbia Government to beta-test their solution.

About US Ignite

US Ignite, Inc. is a non‐profit organization accelerating the smart city movement by guiding communities into the connected future, creating a path for private sector growth, and advancing technology research that’s at the heart of smart city development. Learn more.

Winners to be announced Wednesday, February 13

Feb. 8, 2019, 7:15 a.m. PST by DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Thank you all for following and participating in GigabitDCx.

Due to some additional background and research needed on solutions the winner announcement has been moved to next week, Wednesday February 13. 

We thank you for your patience during this time.

All the best,

OCTO Communications.

Announcing the Phase 1 Semi Finalists!

Nov. 19, 2018, 2:16 p.m. PST by DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer

We are so excited to to announce the six semifinalists who will advance to phase 2 in the Gigabit DC Challenge.

The semi-finalists selected are:

  • Mark Sussman and Daniel Schep for How’s My Driving DC? Mobile App, a crowdsourcing solution for pinpointing DC’s most habitually dangerous drivers. (Washington, DC)
  • George Washington University’s Transportation Team for Road Vision, Keeping an Eye on Traffic, an information sharing app that translates video feeds from different sources into traffic mobility and safety information. (Washington, DC)
  • Kenneth Walton’s Corner BOI (Curbside Public Health), a patient navigator that fosters empowerment, informs and enhance the ability of patients to make decisions that lead to better medical care. (Washington, DC)
  • Dorin Munteanu and Radu Motisan with uRADMonitor, and their real-time Environmental Monitoring Network aimed at collecting and storing urban air quality data through a modern, cost effective and easy to deploy technology. (Washington, DC)
  • Sunny Sanwar’s Team (Dynamhex) created a Data-layer for Inclusive Climate Goals & Progress, on top of which smart-city visualization platforms are created. Using machine learning, it empowers stakeholders to inclusively and affordably meet the DC Climate & Energy Action Plan. (Kansas)
  • Andrew Kamal and his Underwater Wireless Sensory Network that can track information about our waterways with a noiseless signal. (Michigan)

Semi-finalists will now advance their concepts and build prototypes of their proposed solutions for a chance to receive or split up to $34,000 in award funds.  Semifinalists will also demonstrate their solutions live in front of the judges, District leaders and the general public 6pm Wednesday, January 30, 2019.

Phase 1 Deadline - Congratulations for Submitting!

Nov. 12, 2018, 2:57 p.m. PST by DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer

Hello GigabitDCx competitors!

We want to take this opportunity to thank you for submitting your innovations to our challenge!

We also wanted to ensure that you’re aware of these forthcoming events:


Our evaluation panel will be go over all of the submissions and evaluating them beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13.

Submissions will first be reviewed for eligibility, then the judges will score. If you are chosen as a semi-finalist to move on to phase 2, we will contact you prior to public announcement. 

The semi-finalist submissions will be announced next week and email notifications to all of you. If for any reason we need more time to judge due to complexity of entires, or requests from the evaluation panel, we will update you on the HeroX platform.

Please note: As of the submission deadline, no further changes can be made to your submissions.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask us directly or leave a comment on the Forum of our crowdsourcing page.

Warm regards,

The DC Office of Chief Technology Officer

Have plans this weekend? Don't forget to submit.

Nov. 9, 2018, 7:05 a.m. PST by DC Office of the Chief Technology Officer

It's not too late! There are just 3 more days to submit your innovative ideas for GigabitDCx. All submissions must be submitted by 5pm ET on Monday November 12, 2018.

In order for your entry to be eligible, your submission must meet the requirements outlined on our crowdsourcing page.

View the How to Submit your entry video at the following link:https://herox.com/help/98-how-to-submit-an-entry-screencast

We are excited to review all of your amazing ideas!

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