Next IoT innovation may come from new hackathon-incubator hybrids like the NTx App Challenge

Juxt-image Juxt supports drivers of alternative fuel vehicles

The inaugural NTx Apps Challenge has awarded US$80,000 to five teams of web entrepreneurs who created sustainability apps to address four key municipal growth challenges; water conservation, waste and recycling, smart energy, and transportation. The winners were announced during an award ceremony at The Treehouse in Addison, North Texas, USA.

The population in our cities is expected to double by 2050 and traditional infrastructure for energy, water, transportation, waste removal and recycling are no longer sufficient to keep pace with growth. The Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology solutions hold the key to solving this challenge and collaborative hackathon and incubator programs such as the NTx App Challenge are creating inventions and innovation that work.

The NTx App Challenge brought together government, enterprise, non-profits and universities and inspired developers to create IoT applications to help solve the challenges facing fast-growing urban areas. Five winning IoT applications were awarded $80,000 in cash and prizes along with support to help bring their solutions to market.

The winners of the NTx Apps Challenge are:

  • Smart Energy: Energy PalA mobile app for Android that displays real-time electricity usage to homeowners and allows users to track the electric usage of individual appliances. Developed by Ian Macalinao (Student at University of Texas at Dallas), Brandon Truong (Student at Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science), Dylan Macalinao (Student at School for the Talented and Gifted), and Adil Virani (Student at Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science).
  • Water Conservation: Sprink.lyA web-app and smart sprinkler system that incorporates weather data, neighbourhood water usage, and even municipal water restrictions to prevent overwatering of residential lawns. Developed by Michael Erdahl and Urmil Shah, both engineers at Texas Instruments.
  • Transportation: JuxtA mobile app for iOS that allows drivers of alternative fuel vehicles to find fuelling stations, parking spaces, and other points of interest along their route, and share this information with other app users. Developed by: Gerard Matthew, Priyanka Sharma, and Harish Upadhyayula.
  • Waste and Recycling: Compost DentonA municipal composting service that uses a web-app to manage customers, weight tracking of materials composted, route optimization for drivers, and environmental monitoring of compost piles. Created by Andrew Miller and Thomas Wild, Co-Founders of Compost Denton.
  • The Internet of Things: GridLockA smart traffic light network that adjusts traffic light schedules to optimise traffic flow, through real-time monitoring and analysis of traffic conditions. Developed by Zedd Mekhaiel and James Staud.

Each winning submission received the following prize package:

  • Cash: $10,000 cash upfront
  • Follow-on funding: An additional $10,000 in follow-on funding for continued development and work on the app available to the winners in the Water Conservation, Transportation, and Waste & Recycling category.
  • Mentorship: Each winning team is paired with mentors from local technology companies Bottle Rocket, Gemalto, or Velocis to help further develop their app and bring it to market.
  • Office space: Teams are provided with desks at local co-working spaces: The Dallas Entrepreneurship Center (The DEC), IDEAWorks FW, Addiosn Treehouse, Fort Work, and nōd
  • Post-Challenge Showcase: Winning teams get to pitch their creation in a special showcase during the November edition of Dallas New Tech

Over the course of 10 weeks, contest participants received mentorship, office space and engineering support as well as free and discounted Gemalto M2M (machine-to-machine) technology, including the Cinterion Concept Board, an all-in-one Java-based IoT development kit, and the cloud-based SensorLogic platform to host applications.

Next_IoT_fixedOn October 6 at The Grove, 18 teams presented their completed projects to the Challenge Judges, who included Garrett Boone (Co-founder of The Container Store), Trey Bowles (Co-founder of the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center), Jorge Varela (Assistant Director at TECH Fort Worth), Carole Davis (Water Conservation Division Manager for Dallas Water Utilities), Laurent Assaf (Director of Business Development, Gemalto), and others.

“More than just a competition, NTx Apps is a unique public-private partnership that brings together the best minds in technology, entrepreneurship, and municipal government to solve some critical issues our region is facing,” said Robert Kent, NTx Apps Challenge co-founder and director of Public Policy for the North Texas Commission. “We hope to see more collaborative efforts like this in the future to create innovative solutions for North Texas’s toughest challenges.”

“The NTX community answered the call to tackle challenges facing our region. I’m pleased to see both the calibre of talent and the solutions conceived,” added Blake Burris, CEO of The Cleanweb Initiative, “It is my hope that winners create companies that become scalable companies ultimately impacting our region — environmentally and economically.”

NTx Apps is the first app challenge of this scale in Texas, and is modelled on several successful programmes in New York City and San Diego. Major prizes for the Challenge are sponsored by Dallas Water Utilities, Dallas Sanitation Services Department, The City of Denton, Gemalto, Garrett Boone and the North Texas Commission. Additional sponsors the Dallas Entrepreneurship Center (The DEC), University of North Texas’s Discovery Park, Dialexa, Socrata, Bottle Rocket Apps, AT&T Foundry, and community partners Launch DFW, Dallas New Tech, Techmill Denton, The Grove, IDEA Works FW, the City of Addison, UNT Innovation Greenhouse, Code Collective, Earth People Media, DFW Excellerator and Collide Village.

 

RECENT ARTICLES

TD SYNNEX expands solution offering with Google Cloud

Posted on: May 20, 2022

19 May 2022 – TD SYNNEX announced the expansion of its cloud solution portfolio with the addition of Google Cloud offerings. Available immediately to partners, Google Cloud provides users with a suite of cloud computing services businesses can use to enhance productivity and workflow.

Read more

Self-driving technology firm Sensible 4 receives €8mn to boost sustainable transport

Posted on: May 19, 2022

Luxembourg & Finland. 19 May, 2022 – Sensible 4’s software enables vehicles to operate under the most challenging weather conditions, including snow, heavy rain, fog and sandstorms. Autonomous driving contributes to sustainable transport, reducing the number of traffic accidents and carbon dioxide and polluting emissions. It also provides a solution to the shortage of public

Read more
FEATURED IoT STORIES

9 IoT applications that will change everything

Posted on: September 1, 2021

Whether you are a future-minded CEO, tech-driven CEO or IT leader, you’ve come across the term IoT before. It’s often used alongside superlatives regarding how it will revolutionize the way you work, play, and live. But is it just another buzzword, or is it the as-promised technological holy grail? The truth is that Internet of

Read more

Which IoT Platform 2021? IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide

Posted on: August 30, 2021

There are several different parts in a complete IoT solution, all of which must work together to get the result needed, write IoT Now Enterprise Buyers’ Guide – Which IoT Platform 2021? authors Robin Duke-Woolley, the CEO and Bill Ingle, a senior analyst, at Beecham Research. Figure 1 shows these parts and, although not all

Read more

CAT-M1 vs NB-IoT – examining the real differences

Posted on: June 21, 2021

As industry players look to provide the next generation of IoT connectivity, two different standards have emerged under release 13 of 3GPP – CAT-M1 and NB-IoT.

Read more

IoT and home automation: What does the future hold?

Posted on: June 10, 2020

Once a dream, home automation using iot is slowly but steadily becoming a part of daily lives around the world. In fact, it is believed that the global market for smart home automation will reach $40 billion by 2020.

Read more

5 challenges still facing the Internet of Things

Posted on: June 3, 2020

The Internet of Things (IoT) has quickly become a huge part of how people live, communicate and do business. All around the world, web-enabled devices are turning our world into a more switched-on place to live.

Read more

What is IoT?

Posted on: July 7, 2019

What is IoT Data as a new oil IoT connectivity What is IoT video So what’s IoT? The phrase ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) is officially everywhere. It constantly shows up in my Google news feed, the weekend tech supplements are waxing lyrical about it and the volume of marketing emails I receive advertising ‘smart, connected

Read more