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Five reasons you may want to run an apps contest

You are a nonprofit or government agency looking for a way to invigorate your staff or constituents.

At the Applications for Good San Francisco hack-a-thon, staff and constituents from goodwill worked alongside developers to create a prototype solution for constituent engagement. This led to direct contact between user, agency and producer, a great formula for any product development.

You know there is a tech community where you live, but you have not made contact.

It’s no longer just the major centers that have software innovators. Just about any community has developer and designer groups of some kind. Do some research and see who you can get on board, reach out and have fun.

You are a college or university looking for a viable way to get more involved in the community

Graduate level academic settings are a perfect location for the next generation of challenges and contests. There you have cross-disciplinary, engaged students and their instructors who are often measured on community performance and placement of students in careers. What better way to start the conversation than through an innovation contest or series?

You are a business department or corporation looking to make an impact in the social sector.

Creating or participating in an apps challenge is a clear way to reach a web savvy and forward thinking crowd and demonstrate your commitment to the communities you do business in. Especially if you can house or support outcomes beyond the challenge or initiative.

You are a private startup looking to expand your brand, partnerships or business opportunity

You most likely are already doing everything in this guide. Kudos to you and keep it up.


Crowdsourcing, hack-a-thons and challenges have become common both within the software developer community and in design, urban planning, government and beyond. It’s pretty much a no-brainer. You set a deadline, get some cool prizes, and send it out, right?  Well yes, and there are a bunch more details that will come along the way to consume you

Excerpt from a mini-site with tools and pointers for running your own contest or hack.

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