Colorado names 3 winners of annual mobile app contest
By Tamara Chuang | Denver Post
Go Code Colorado, a statewide coding competition to create mobile apps for the good of Colorado residents, culminated Thursday night with three $25,000 winners.
Winners include Foodcaster (Denver) to help food truck drivers find a place to park, Hively (Colorado Springs) to match skills and personality of employees to employers and Regulation Explorer (Fort Collins), which helps energy companies figure out the best spot to drill.
Many of the projects are still in the early stages, but it’s always interesting to see what public data inspire. Giving entrepreneurs a financial boost is part of the idea behind GoCode. The funds come from the state as part of a one-year agreement. The state grants a license to the winning developer “to use the intellectual property developed during the competition. In return, Go Code Colorado asks the winning teams to maintain the software and to provide analytics on how their software is used in return,” according to organizers.
During her presentation, Paige Crowley of Foodcaster said that the app can help food trucks figure out not only how to abide by city parking regulations but to find a spot where people are. The company mashes together food-truck regulation data with Google Maps and social media to show where potential customers are.
“We show drivers not only where they can park but where people are going to be,” Crowley said.
Hively’s app shares personality traits and videos of the prospective employee to help employers find whose personalities fit with the rest of the company. It uses location-based data where the jobs are, as well as business entity and salary data.
“It’s said that businesses hire based on skills, knowledge and ability but they fire based on personality and behavior,” Hively’s founders shared. “It’s the intangibles that (the) traditional hiring process fails to address.”
Regulation Explorer founders said its product streamlines the permit process for oil and gas drilling by using 16 publicly available data sets. Usually, investigating potential sites can take months and thousands of dollars, the company said.
The other seven finalists included:
- Plate Hub, Denver, a platform to connect food growers to those in need of fresh foods. It used data from the department of public health, agriculture, census and business entities.
- StartUpIn.co, Durango, a resource for business startups to find needed documentation, search trade names and connect with lawyers and accountants. It used business-entity data and professional and occupational licenses data.
- HomePowerDirect, Durango, a platform to see if homeowners are good candidates for solar. If so, it connects them to solar companies. It used energy resources data and data from the Colorado GIS office.
- HopLocal, Colorado Springs, a platform to help users plan out activities and routes to get somewhere. A few datasets used were Colorado Department of Transportation and business entities.
- Drop Cardz, Grand Junction, a geolocation app that allows companies to drop a business card in a geographic region instead of having to carry a physical card. The app uses cellular data.
- Help a Rider Out, Grand Junction, an app for mountain bike trail riders to report conditions and push notifications of mountain bike events (such as Waze for mountain biking). It used datasets from Colorado Parks and Wildlife, GIS datasets and business entities.
- Startup to CEO, Fort Collins, a platform to provide resources (like grant information) for women-owned businesses and those wanting to start a business. Datasets used were from the state Department of Regulatory Agencies, from the Department of Labor and employment and census data.
Judges included Dianna Anderson, vice president, Global Data Strategy at IQNavigator; Deborah Blyth, chief information security officer for the state; Andre Durand, founder, chairman and CEO at Ping Identity Corp.; Nicole Gravagna, adviser, author and health tech leader; and MergeLane CEO Sue Heilbronner.