About Civic App Challenge

The AT&T Rochester Civic App Challenge is a two month virtual hackathon for Rochester’s most talented computer scientists, software developers and hardware engineers to build products that have the potential to benefit Upstate New York.


AT&T and its partners Rochester Institute of Technology, Digital Rochester, High Tech Rochester and Hack Upstate aim to unite developers in the greater Rochester region to develop mobile apps serving community needs while demonstrating how mobile technologies can lead to the next generation of tech jobs and investment.

$18,000 in prizes

Participants are encouraged to collaborate with technologists, designers, entrepreneurs, engineers, advocates, community service professionals and anyone else with a passion for innovation and a love of Rochester and the surrounding region.


Developers already working on a community service-themed app for the public can submit it for consideration.

Grand Prize






Two Honorable Mentions

$500 each


Developers inspired to create a new civic application from scratch can submit it for consideration.

Grand Prize






Two Honorable Mentions

$500 each


Developers are encouraged to leverage and contribute to public data sets and APIs available on Github:



RIT Center for MAGIC, located in Student Innovation Hall (labeled CSI in section D6 on the map). Student Innovation Hall is a round glass structure near Global Village. On the windows to the building, you will see banners that have the MAGIC logo, as well as the Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

159 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY, 14623
Get Directions


Parking for the event is in S lot (see here). Please enter the campus using the main entrance off of Jefferson Rd and follow the signage (it will read Rochester Civic App Challenge Press Conference) that we have in place to direct you to the event location. Twenty spaces have been reserved for this event at the east end of the 5th set of double rows of the parking lot; please look for our Public Safety officers who will be on hand to assist you if necessary.


Hon. Joseph D. Morelle

New York State Assembly Majority Leader (D-Irondequoit)

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (59th District)

Deputy Republican Conference Leader for Economic Development and Member of Senate Committee on Science, Technology, Incubation and Entrepreneurship

Marissa Shorenstein

AT&T New York President

Lisa Doerner

Executive Director, Digital Rochester

Dr. Stephen Jacobs

Professor, Associate Director of the MAGIC Center

Mike Riedlinger

Program Manager of Technology Commercialization, High Tech Rochester

Anthony Jefferson

Senior Lecturer, RIT

Jeff Sonstein

Associate Professor, RIT & Chief Architect, BlindSpotApp.com

Remy DeCausemaker

Assistant Director - Lab for Technological Literacy, RIT

Todd Bernhard

Founder & CTO, AllAccess.US

Ralph Bean

Software Engineer, Red Hat

Paul Solt

iOS Developer & Instructor, RIT

Steve Maier

Senior Technical Evangelist, Microsoft

Michael Fisher

Editorial Director,Pocketnow

Tim Stevens

Editor at Large,CNET


Civic Requirement

Submissions must address challenges relevant to the city of Rochester, NY and its surrounding areas.

Team Requirement

Teams must have at least one individual on their team from the greater Rochester area (i.e., Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Wayne, Yates) or a student attending a Rochester school.


Products must be submitted before 11:59pm April 23rd via the Hacker League ‘Project’ submissions page. Source code must be made available online under licenses approved by the Open Source Initiative.

Judging Criteria

  • Potential Impact on Rochester (40%)
  • Execution (40%)
  • Creativity / Novelty (20%)

Note: All potential intellectual property belongs to the product teams


All events will take place at RIT's Center for MAGIC, located in the Student Innovation Hall (labeled CSI in section D6 on this map)

Kickoff Event

Thursday February 20th

  • 11:00am: Open to the public

24 hr Kickoff Hackathon

Friday February 21st

  • Feb 21st 6:00pm: Doors Open
  • Feb 22nd 6:00pm: Demos begin
  • More Info Here

Check-in Event

Wednesday March 5th

  • 5:00pm: Doors open / networking
  • 5:15pm: Informal gathering to connect and discuss progress

Submissions Deadline

Wednesday April 23rd

  • 11:59pm: Deadline for online submissions via Hacker League

Demos / Awards

Tuesday May 13th

  • 11:00am: Open to the public



Grand prize ($5,000)

Public Market Guide

Public Market Guide, Monroe County Edition, created by Nick Evevsky of Webster and Peter Traeg of Greece, which contains social media, event and venue information on farmers markets around the county, including the Rochester Public Market

2nd place ($2,000)


RShield, created by University of Rochester student Francis John Hinson and Princeton University student Andrew Jung-Ming Ng, which uses a laptop webcam to create an in-home or business security system

Third place ($1,000)


RocReport, created by RIT student Debjit Saha and Syracuse University student Ricky Laishram, to serve as a virtual marketplace for area contractors to learn about civic projects

Honorable Mention ($500)

Erie Canal App

Erie Canal App, created by Eric Harty of Gates to provide information on boat launches, locks and other features along the canal

Honorable Mention ($500)

College Locator App

College Locator App, created by Nilay Yildirim of Henrietta and Gregory Sapio of Syracuse, which provides information on New York state colleges, including institutional profiles, available scholarships, financial aid and cost details


Grand prize ($5,125)


CityWhisk, created by Marissa McDowell, an RIT graduate student and Jonathan Markowicz of Rochester, which allows the user to create an entertainment itinerary using information on a variety of businesses and attractions

2nd place ($2,125)

Monroe Minutes

Monroe Minutes, created by Timothy Duffy of Henrietta, an aggregator and indexer for producing meeting minutes

Third place ($1,125)

NextPlex Mobile

NextPlex Mobile, created by Nathan Henderson and Kyle Macey of Greece and Lail Brown of Rochester, which focuses on public events for entrepreneurs and technologists, providing a directory of civic and small business resources

Honorable Mention ($625)

RHoK the Hood

RHoK the Hood, created by RIT students Mihir Singh and Mike Nolan, which provides concise versions of information frequently requested through Freedom of Information law

Hack Upstate