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NTx Apps Challenge Offers $80k in Prizes for the Best Sustainability Apps

September 30, 2014 at 5:00:00 AM

Innovation competition brings together cities and entrepreneurs to solve growth challenges

NORTH TEXAS – Innovators and entrepreneurs prepare to pitch their sustainability app to the judges of the NTx Apps Challenge at Pitch Night event on October 2 at The Grove. Launched in late July, the NTx Apps Challenge is a 10-week app development competition designed to generate innovative software-based solutions and companies to make North Texas more livable and sustainable, with $80,000 in prizes for the best submissions. For the past two months, teams of developers and entrepreneurs have been building apps that address four key municipal growth challenges; water conservation, waste and recycling, smart energy, and transportation. On October 6th the Grove, teams will present their completed projects to the Challenge Judges, who include Garrett Boone (Co-founder of The Container Store), Ian Kalin (White House Innovation Fellow and Director of Open Data for Socrata), Trey Bowles (Co-founder of the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center), Carole Davis (Water Conservation Division Manager for Dallas Water Utilities), and others.

More than just a competition, NTx Apps is a unique public-private partnership that leverages the talent and skills of the thriving North Texas tech and entrepreneur ecosystem to launch new companies that will solve the region’s major growth challenges. Over the course of the Challenges, participants have worked directly with representatives from local governments and technology firms to develop web and mobile applications that solve municipal growth challenges. Major prizes for each vertical are sponsored by Dallas Water Utilities, Dallas Sanitation Services Department, The City of Denton, Gemalto, Garrett Boone and the North Texas Commission.

“With our region’s population set to double in the next 50 years, we need creative solutions to help us solve future challenges with water, waste, energy and transportation,” said Robert Kent, Director of Public Policy for the North Texas Commission and NTx Apps Challenge co-founder. “By bringing together our region’s startup entrepreneurs, technology firms and local governments, NTx Apps is an innovation ecosystem capable of generating powerful solutions for these issues.”

The Challenge has included numerous “hackathon” events, where participants can work collaboratively with representatives from local governments on their app, as well as workshops on app development, coding and business skills from local experts. Through a special partnership with Gemalto, teams have been provided with special hardware that allows their apps to utilize mobile-to-mobile and “Internet of Things” (IoT) principals.

“The Cleanweb Initiative has worked in over 20 countries with thousands of entrepreneurs to spur on the successful application of web and mobile technologies to solve resource challenges,” says Blake Burris, CEO and Chief Hacktivist for The Cleanweb Initiative and NTx Apps Challenge co-founder. “We are thrilled to be applying those principles here in DFW to help local entrepreneurs tackle the big challenges our region faces, while helping create the next North Texas startup success story.”

NTx Apps is the first app challenge of this scale in Texas, and is modeled after several successful programs in New York City and San Diego. Additional sponsors the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center (“The DEC”), University of North Texas’s Discovery Park, Dialexa, Socrata, Bottle Rocket Apps, AT&T Foundry, and community partners Launch DFW, Dallas New Tech, Techmill Denton, The Grove, IDEA Works FW, the City of Addison, UNT Innovation Greenhouse, Code Collective, Earth People Media, DFW Excellerator and Collide Village.

Each winning submission receives the following prize package:

• Cash: $10k cash upfront

• Follow-on funding: An additional $10k in follow-on funding for continued development and work on the app

• Mentorship: Each winning team is paired with a local app development, marketing, or creative agency to help polish their product and help bring it to market

• Office space: Each team get six months of desk space at a local co-working place

• Post-Challenge Showcase: Winning teams get to pitch their creation in a special showcase in November hosted by Dallas New Tech

About the North Texas Commission:

Established in 1971, the North Texas Commission is a regional non-profit consortium of businesses, cities, counties, chambers of commerce, economic development entities and higher education institutions in the North Texas Region. The North Texas Commission improves the economic vitality, infrastructure and lifestyle of North Texas by marketing the region, promoting collaboration and advocating on critical issues.

About The Cleanweb Initiative:

The Cleanweb Initiative is a member-driven organization composed of developers, entrepreneurs, investors, and enterprises large and small who believe that the growing web of information technologies may be our most powerful – and profitable – tool to improve global sustainability, economic prosperity, and human well-being. Cleanweb activities now span 20 countries. Founding partners of The Cleanweb Initiative include Facebook, The American Clean Skies Foundation, Sidecar and the Spring Forward Foundation. Learn more at

Media Contact:
Kimberly Walton
North Texas Commission
972-989-4559 (cell)

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