My cleanweb energy takeaways from the 2013 NYC BigApps Contest

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Last night I attended the NYC BigApps 2013 event held at IAC’s headquarters in lower Manhattan. It was absolutely amazing to see so many creative individuals come together to work on software solutions for areas such as Jobs and Economic Mobility, Lifelong Learning, Healthy Living and an area near and dear to my own heart, The Cleanweb: Energy, Environment, and Resilience. To say there was a positive buzz in the room would be an understatement and the event was capped off by NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg presenting prize money to winners.

Seeing software playing a pivotal role in making life a bit easier through applications focused on navigation and healthy dining was great yet to see. However, for me, what is being done and even discussed about being implemented in the energy space was darn right fascinating. Software can in fact alter the power grid, transportation markets, manufacturing and a post-crisis environment impacted by weather, hacking and supply constraints.

The packed house in attendance last night, the support of Mayor Bloomberg (pictured below with me) and a global move to create hackathons to solve problems are all a collective testament that software solutions and social sharing are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what kinds of positive changes we can expect in the future. This idea is strengthened by the fact efficiency is the new battle cry of today’s energy markets (a priority for our new Energy Secretary). That bodes well for the use of software to modernize both traditional and more advanced power sources and industries alike.

Sustainability is changing the behavior of Corporate America and influencing spending that no doubt will affect the bottom line. Thus, software solutions are not just going to be directed toward power and storage. You can expect that water supply and consumption monitoring, as well as the evolution of recycling carbon, to all become more widespread by companies ranging from startups to Nike to Coca-Cola to even ExxonMobil. The motivation for efficiency may in some cases be the preservation of our environment, but for many companies there will be financial necessity to keep costs down in an era of more stringent climate mandates. This means the idea of Cleantech is about to get turned on its head by Cleanweb, the disruptive and innovative ways to tap IT in order to make sure there is adequate water supply and to also streamline the creation, distribution and consumption of power.

Winning Apps

The winning app for Best Cleanweb: Energy, Environment and Resilience App was given to Solar List. Solar List is an app that trains students and young entrepreneurs to educate homeowners about their solar options by providing free, third-party solar assessments with our app. Educated homeowners are then referred to the company’s preferred network of installers.

Here is a complete list of all 2013 BigApp winners:

  • Best Cleanweb: Energy, Environment and Resilience App: Solar List
  • Best Jobs and Economic Mobility App (First Prize): Child Care Desk
  • Best Jobs and Economic Mobility App (Second Prize): Helping Hands
  • Best Jobs and Economic Mobility App (Third Prize): Hired in NY
  • Best Lifelong LearningApo: Hopscotch
  • Best Healthy Living App: Healthy Out
  • Best Wildcard App: Poncho
  • Grand Prize Winner: Healthy Out 

 

Below is a breakdown of some very cool apps related to energy I believe are worth a download (they are are also seeking collaborators)

Climafy is an app created to help residential home owners better understand the benefits of turning homes into more eco-friendly places to reside. The app also locates contractors to easily help decision making when it comes to turning homes into efficient green homes.

15X15 is an app developed to track NYC’s progress on theNew YorkStategoal of a 15% reduction in energy consumption by the year 2015. The app is really a good concept considering we need to hold decision-makers accountable beyond Election Day. Therefore this app will show the components of the goal over time and how each component has progressed against this goal. The components include T&D, Codes & Standards, Utilities, NYSERDA, NYS Agencies, NYPA and LIPA. 

NYC Social Travel Traffic NOAA All-In-1 is an app allowing users to find step by step routes, including corporate locations as well as jobs available or even restaurants in a given area with specific weather information to help you plan your day accordingly.

A yet to be named app developed by Katherine Nehring which is basically a composting tool to help people identify where they can throw away garbage. Composting is a growing industry, just ask Mayor Bloomberg.

Radius is an app that makes environmentally issues more of a social agenda to create more awareness, stir conversation and education about cleantech and environmental issues.

What I learned

Much is being done but much more still needs to be done in terms of understanding how and where software can help positively impact the use of many of our resources. That means there is an enormous “apportunity” for cleanweb solutions to be a big part of our energy future.

Event

This upcoming Monday evening (June 24th), I have the distinct honor to be introducing New York Energy Czar Richard Kauffman at New York Energy Week. If you will be there please come say hello.

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