News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Palo Alto Apps Challenge Finalists to Showcase Ideas at Community Event
Contact : Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer    650-329-2121
Palo Alto, CA—The nine finalists for the first annual Palo Alto Apps Challenge, a unique competition to identify community invented civic-focused solutions, will showcase prototypes of their apps for the community at the Palo Alto Art Center, 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto on April 27 from 1-4 p.m.

The community is invited to the event to learn more about the ideas and apps and provide feedback to the finalists. This will help to shape the proposed solutions to best meet the needs of the community and to position the finalists for success at the finale on May 31 when a winner will be announced.

"We hope that this competition will bring people together from different backgrounds and ideas to all focus on one thing—helping to make a difference in our community," said City Manager James Keene. “An apps competition sustains the momentum of our efforts to be a leading digital and smart city.”

The Palo Alto Apps Challenge, which solicited ideas for apps that would enhance the engagement between local government and its citizens, was created as a follow-up to last year's highly successful CityCamp Palo Alto civic innovation event. While CityCamp focused on idea generation, the Apps Challenge moves to apps creation. Over 70 individuals and teams submitted ideas for an app, and 30 percent of the entrants were under the age of 18. Like CityCamp, the Apps Challenge coincides with the annual White House-championed National Day of Civic Hacking. 

“The Palo Alto Apps Challenge is part of a growing global momentum to leverage the emerging app ecosystem and a community enthusiasm to participate in building civic-related solutions,” said Jonathan Reichental, Chief Information Officer for the City of Palo Alto. “I’ve been blown away by the extent our finalists have embraced this challenge and their real desire to deliver solutions not just to win a competition, but to create real value in our community.”

Over the past four weeks, finalists have worked on designing, coding and developing their civic apps. To help facilitate the challenge, they also had the rare opportunity to work with eight of the brightest developers at Cloudera, one of the hottest, most innovative organizations in Silicon Valley. Apps Challenge teams spent valuable time with developers who offered advice, suggestions and answers to some of the more pressing questions the finalists had. 

“It was very humbling to see individuals driven by the desire to help the community participate in civic innovation,” said Peter Cooper-Ellis, Director of Engineering at Cloudera. “They have taken their passion and are in the process of producing scalable, useful apps.” 

The finalists’ app ideas address a wide range of issues, including bike safety, animal services, teen activities, parking, community education and climate change. 

In addition to the recognition of building a solution for the community, creators of the top three apps will win cash prizes:  First Prize-$3,500; Second Prize-$1,000; and Third Prize-$500

For more information on the Palo Alto Apps Challenge, visit, or follow us on Facebook: and Twitter:

The Palo Alto Apps Challenge is sponsored by the City of Palo Alto, Stanford Federal Credit Union, WilmerHale, The Daily Post, and the Palo Alto Recreation Foundation.