Code for Hillsborough Challenge Spurs Innovation

Developers Create New Multicultural Visitors Guide Mobile App

More than 100 technology innovators gathered June 5-7 at Microsoft in Tampa for a chance to compete and create mobile app and tech solutions during the Code for Hillsborough National Day of Civic Hacking. Hillsborough County Economic Development Innovation Initiative (EDI2) and Code for Tampa Bay Brigade worked together to host the annual event. Code for Hillsborough aims to illustrate the power of open government and support meaningful collaboration between the public and private sectors.

During the weekend, participants were challenged to create useful applications that address community needs, utilizing data supplied from the county, state and community partners. Project challenges included:

  • 9-1-1 Educational Application
  • Multicultural Visitors Guide to Hillsborough County
  • Hillsborough County Emergency Preparedness Interactive Map
  • Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council Application
  • Hillsborough County Entrepreneur Collaborative Center App
  • Tampa Downtown Partnership Shuttle App
  • Jail Population Management Dashboard
  • Florida Statewide Challenge - Florida Vendor Payment System
  • Climate Change Green Card
  • Hillsborough Community Atlas

The top project award was presented to Jonathan Burns, Wilman Chiang, Denys Kukushkin, Ashira Pelt, and Elisha Stevenson for developing a Multicultural Visitor’s Guide app, which includes links to Visit Tampa Bay and the state tourism office, Visit Florida; a Google-interfaced map with prominent venues highlighted; a background history or photo of the venues, and a walking trail or driving route.

Charu Puri and Varun Puri earned second place for creating an Emergency Preparedness Interactive Map. The third-place award was presented to Harry Puri and Sameer Puri for developing a Tampa Bay Trade and Protocol Council app.

The event also featured presentations from technology experts on best practices in tech, the complexities of transparency, and challenges government agencies and residents face in accessing services or resources.

The 2015 Code for Hillsborough partners in civic engagement include: