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IUPUI to be site of civic hack challenge launch event


INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis will be site of the main launch event for a civic hack challenge pitting Hoosiers against Texans.
The launch will take place in Room 152 in the Informatics and Communications Technology Complex, 535 W. Michigan St., beginning at 10 a.m. Jan. 31.

Civic hacking is an opportunity for citizens, software developers and entrepreneurs to collaborate and create, build and invent new solutions to civic challenges using publicly released data, code and technology.

The #hackINvTX Challenge is a contest for the residents of both states to create apps that best serve citizens. Each state is presenting two challenges, with the winners of the four challenges each earning $4,000. A grand-prize champion from one state will be selected by a national panel from the four challenge winners. The grand-prize recipients receive an additional $4,000.The competition concludes Feb. 23.

The two challenges for Indiana are:

  • Create a centralized, streamlined and secure permit applications platform for the Indiana Department of Environmental Management.
  • Develop for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security a method to register and create a checklist of available/needed services for Hoosiers visiting a one-stop-shop after a disaster.

Last year, more than 100 college students and industry professionals applied their creativity and tech skills to propose solutions to civic challenges. The winning app automatically detected and reported potholes to the Indianapolis mayor’s office.

“This is a chance to encourage our citizens to use their skills to improve government services,” said Indiana state chief information officer Paul Baltzell. “I believe that the intelligence and skill of Hoosiers and Texans will shine through and they will develop innovative solutions to these problems and potentially turn them into full-blown products. My hope is that some of these teams that form will eventually turn into businesses and bolster the burgeoning tech scene in Indiana.”

The State of Indiana has partnered with Develop Indy and TechPoint to run the competition for Hoosiers.  Supporting sponsors include Indiana University and IUPUI.