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Cloud Computing: Article

App Idea Awards Participants to Compete to Get App Made for Free

New Competition Will Award $70,000 toward App Design and Development, No Strings Attached

A new contest will let entrepreneurs compete for the chance to get their app made for free. The App Idea Awards, a production of General Assembly, ROKO Labs, Harvard Business School Alumni Angels of Greater New York and the Columbia Venture Community, will award $70,000 in app design and development costs to the company with the best app idea, without requiring the company to offer up intellectual property rights or equity in exchange.

The App Idea Awards aims to spread enthusiasm for entrepreneurship by offering the opportunity for anyone--not just coders--to build the next big app. The winning team won't need to build a functioning product, but they will need to demonstrate the strength of their idea and the scalability of their business model.

"With the App Idea Awards, we are trying to democratize the tech industry by eliminating one of the biggest barriers to starting a company today: creating a minimum viable product," said Dmitry Rakovitsky, Founder and CEO of ROKO Labs. "Events like the App Idea Awards are critical to leveling the playing field so that good ideas can make their way from daydreams to reality, no matter the innovator's level of technical skill."

Several industry leaders have already voiced their support of the App Idea Awards, including Jason Klein, CEO of On Grid Ventures; Adam Quinton, CEO of Lucas Point Ventures; David Eisner, active investor and senior advisor at East Wind Advisors; Dawn Barber, co-founder of the NY Tech Meetup; and Matt Walleart, East Coast lead at Microsoft Ventures.

"I'm thrilled that a competition like the App Idea Awards has come along," Dawn Barber noted. "The App Idea Awards are the perfect opportunity to engage groups that have often been left out of the industry with the chance to break new ground. I'm proud of ROKO Labs for coming up with this and happy to support it."

The competition kicked off last week with a launch party at General Assembly's New York space. From now until March 31, anyone over the age of 18 years old may submit their app idea for the competition. Judges will assess the teams on several criteria, including entrepreneurial vision, user flow and design, monetization strategy, and ability to execute proposed business plan.

The competition will enter phase two on April 5, when the Awards team will notify six finalists of their selection to pitch at the May 3 finals event. Leading up to the finals, the teams will work with assigned mentors to refine their pitches, work on their presentation skills and streamline their business plans.

The finals will take place in New York, where judges from leading venture capital firms such as First Round Capital, Greycroft Partners, 645 Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Samsung Ventures will decide the recipients of the $70,000 app design and development prize. To learn more about the App Idea Awards or to submit an app idea, visit www.appideaawards.com

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Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Silicon Valley and Paris, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Blockchain, Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Tip her if you like her articles: http://xeniar.tip.me