A trip to San Diego and $25,000 are up for grabs by submitting an app idea in the inaugural Accela Construct App Challenge!

Got a killer idea for an app that opens up government data and makes it available to citizens? Or want to build a tool for people and businesses to interact more easily with their local and state governments? Then submit your concept today! Winners will receive cash prizes and a stipend to attend Accela's annual customer event, Accela Engage 2014 in San Diego where you'll have the opportunity to demo your idea in front of city, county and state agencies, partners and other civic-minded developers.

Entries must demonstrate usage of the Accela Construct APIs and there's brownie points for anyone who consumes datasets from CivicData.com.

Got questions? Contact us at developers@accela.com.

Enter the Contest


We’re interested in fostering civic startups because we’ve seen the impact they can have on engaging citizens, making governments more open and productive, and in spurring the creation of new businesses and economic growth in communities. Accela already works with over 500 agencies in the U.S. to make their delivery of public services more streamlined and efficient. Now we’re looking to partner with app developers to extend that impact even further.

Unlike your traditional hackathon, the Accela Construct App Challenge begins with a contest of ideas. All you need to enter is a good app idea (or significant enhancement to an existing app) and to provide the following:

  • A completed online registration form with your contact information, app name and description, description of integration with Accela Construct APIs and/or CivicData and acceptance of terms and conditions
  • A minimum of three key prototype screens for the proposed app (these may be as simple as sketches and wireframes, or as advanced as fully interactive clickable prototypes)
  • Bonus points: 2 - 5 minute video highlighting the civic challenge your app will address and how your app will tackle the problem and improve the experience.

Complete the online registration form

Enter Contest
then click Join Hackathon.

After our judges select the best app ideas, we’ll work with you to help get them built through our Mentorship Program – providing Accela experts to help with your technical needs and prize money!


Total Prize Pool: $25,000 + 2 Trips to San Diego

Existing Civic Apps:
Grand Prize: $7,000 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program
Second Prize: $4,000 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program
Third Prize: $1,500 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program

New Civic Apps:
Grand Prize: $7,000 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program
Second Prize: $4,000 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program
Third Prize: $1,500 or Software Equivalent + Mentorship Program

*Prize monies will not be paid until completed apps are demonstrated.
**Grand prize winners will receive a stipend of $1000 to cover travel and accommodations as well as complimentary registration to attend the 2014 Accela Engage User Conference.

Key Dates

Event entry period runs from Friday, May 16, 2014 through Monday, July 7, 2014 (8 weeks)

Tuesday, July 1 at 12:00am - Registration Deadline. *Update: The advanced registration requirement has been removed. New entries may be submitted up to the time the contest closes.*
Tuesday, July 8 at 12:00am - Submission Deadline
Tuesday, July 15 - Winners Announced
Monday, August 4 - Winners Showcased and Prizes Awarded at Accela Engage

Judging Criteria

Civic Impact Requirement (50%) – Submitted app concepts must address challenges for government workers, citizens, and/or businesses in working with a government agency to complete a process or fulfill a civic need.

Integration Requirement (30%) – Submitted app concepts must demonstrate how they will integrate with the Accela Civic Platform and specify which Accela Construct APIs will be invoked. Integration with CivicData datasets is strongly encouraged. Integration with CivicID is required.

Creativity/Novelty (20%) - We’re looking for innovative approaches to serving the public or making government worker’s jobs more enjoyable. Taking a new approach to an established process or adding features that improve the user experience will be recognized.

Submission Requirement – Applicants must meet all registration and submission deadlines and requirements.


Steve Ressler

Steve Ressler
Founder and President, GovLoop

Jon Walton

Jon Walton
CIO, San Mateo County

Clara Brenner
CEO and

Jeff Stiles
VP of Marketing, Accela


Steve Ressler


Jon Walton





  • Limit one entry per individual or organization in either prize category.
  • Winners must provide relevant tax payer information to receive cash prizes.
  • Prizes will be paid upon delivery of a completed app (submitted, accepted, listed and made commercially available on either iTunes, Google Play, and/or Windows Marketplace) within 6 months of the award date.
  • Apps must be listed on the Accela Civic Store.
  • Winners agree to be showcased in Accela Promotional material and other press.
  • Submitted videos and other materials become the property of Accela, Inc. including the submissions which do not win.
  • Apps and code produced by entrants will remain the property of the developer.
  • Selection of winners is at sole discretion of Accela, Inc. and appointed judges within operating procedures.
  • If winners are unable to accept cash prizes, Accela will provide a software credit in the amount of the prize, which may be applied to any Accela products. (Applies to some government agents and agencies) Credit must be claimed within 180 days of award.
  • View Terms and Conditions