The Institute for Digital Progress (iDP) is a local non-profit organization started in 2015 with a single goal in mind: building better, more sustainable and more resilient cities to improve the overall quality of life for all citizens by accelerating the adoption and implementation of smart city solutions. Working in conjunction with the office of Mayor Greg Stanton from the City of Phoenix, iDP inspires entrepreneurship and collaboration amongst government, citizens, and local businesses, in the ever growing tech sector of the Phoenix region; through the fun and enticement of competition.
Founded by two Arizona locals with a passion to help improve their home cities for all of their friends and family, iDP began by cultivating a relationship with the City of Barcelona, Spain, considered one of the leading “Smart Cities” in the world, to have Phoenix participate in the inaugural International Smart City App Hack competition held at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in November 2015.
Last year, iDP created and implemented the Phoenix Smart City App Hack Competition that took place from June 2015 through November 2015, and included twenty five initial local app submissions which were evaluated and rated by a panel of qualified judges made up of city officials, local tech business representatives, and other technical experts from the local universities and corporations.
Five teams were selected to enter into the “Acceleration Phase,” where free mentorship and app development was provided to the teams over a three month period from local incubators and business professionals from CoHoots, Intraedge, Dezapp, Elbow Room Studios, Tallwave, Coplex, and Intel. At the conclusion of the acceleration phase, the five winners presented their app solutions in front of the judging panel and a live studio audience at the Orpheum Theater in October of 2015.
Local startup Park X was selected as the inaugural 2015 Grand Champion, and received admission and travel expenses to attend, compete and represent PHX at the International Smart City App Hack Competition at the Smart City Expo in Barcelona, Spain, placing second in the Urban Mobility category.
After the conclusion of the 2015 competition, many of the participants have seen continued success, including Park X winning a contract with Austin, TX as the city’s sole mobile parking app provider.
Based on the competition’s success, iDP founders were the only participating city organization that was asked to be the key note speakers during the international competition at the Smart City Expo, discussing the importance of collaboration between cities and their citizens, and how other cities could replicate the successes realized through the Phoenix competition.
iDP recently launched the 2016 edition of the Smart City Hack to once again encourage civic entrepreneurship and innovation and empowering residents to develop technology products and startup companies that solve our community’s greatest challenges.
Over 160 individuals took part in the first event on June 11 at Co+Hoots. During this “IDEATHON” civic leaders, proud citizens, community groups, youth, dreamers and problem solvers came together to pitch ideas and solve city problems together.
iDP assists local entrepreneurs and startups accelerate their urban ideas to market, grow the economy and make cities better. Our mission is to be a new type of Metropolitan Leadership, bringing together businesses, universities, city leaders and citizens so that they can work with each other to solve the problems that our cities face and improve the quality of life for all residents. iDP will continue to provide the platform to transform cities on a global scale.