Economic Development Newsroom

City Offers Cash Prizes for New Apps

Friday February 8, 2013

Do you have an idea for a smart-phone app that would improve the city?

Metro Government, in partnership with Code for America, is offering $10,000 in cash prizes for apps or computer coding ideas during a Hack-a-thon scheduled for Saturday, February 23.

The event is 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at LVL1, located at 814 E. Broadway, and is open to all with unique ideas.

“The task is to design or prototype an app that helps improve the quality of life in our city,” Mayor Greg Fischer said. “No idea is too strange or too bold. We want to see interesting ideas and innovation at work.”

Hackers need only to bring their laptop or other computer device that can be connected to a projector so people may view the final product.

Beth Niblock, the city’s Chief Information Officer, said people can be inspired by examining all the data that’s currently available in raw form at

“We’ve got crime data, vacant property data, restaurant ratings, 311 data, air quality data, lost pet data and more,” Niblock said.

Ted Smith, Director of Economic Growth and Innovation, said that in order to be eligible for the prize money, all intellectual property developed must be given to Metro for unfettered and unconditional use and access.

A panel of volunteer judges will determine first, second and third place winners.

The Hack-a-Thon is first-come, first-served -- so individuals or teams wanting to participate should arrive early. When all seats and space are gone, registration closes, Smith said.

The event is part of the broader Code Across America: A Week of Civic Innovation.

Earlier this week, Louisville Metro announced it was one of 10 cities nationwide chosen for the Code for America fellowship program. In Louisville, the fellows are examining the criminal justice system.

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