Smart City App Hack Description

The “Smart City App Hack” (SCAH) is a competition initiated by the City of Barcelona and organized by dotopen as an open platform for cities around the world wishing to foster local entrepreneurship and value creation for their citizens. The “Smart City App Hack” brings together a global network of smart cities that face similar challenges and share one vision: to turn citizens into App Makers, empowering them to build apps and businesses that will make for a better city. Participants can find inspiration in the cities main themes: urban mobility, energy & emissions, shopping & retail, culture & tourism, and the collaborative city. A global team of mobile experts helps participants to build their app over the course of 7 months: from idea to final app. Each participating city will celebrate its local City Final event to choose the best apps locally. A final award gala at Smart City Expo 2015 rounds up the project awarding the top apps at an international level. The Smart City App Hack is sponsored by FIWARE and MasterCard both providing invaluable support including mentorship in their respective areas.

Decode Dubai, Hack-at-home and Online Competition:

The “Dubai Smart City App Hack” launches on June 11, 2015 with the Decode Dubai hackathon event focused on team building, concept working and networking with mentors.

After the launch event, a period of working on app concepts and products (“hack-at-home”) will begin, running until September 2015. During this period, participants can register at the platform, create teams, and get support from a team of experts (mentors) in order to get valuable feedback that will help them develop these ideas into finished apps.

“Hack-at-home” is a platform for supporting a mentored app development process. It enables the creation of multi-disciplinary teams, online collaboration, and support from mentors and experts as well as peers. All registered participants have access to public communication tools of the platform in order to interact with the mentors and other users, including forums, webinars, posts, and online discussions. Use of appropriate language on these channels is required, and the organizers reserve the right to ban users that use any kind of offensive language. Participants have available private sessions with the mentors for the feedback on idea, project, demo and troubleshooting questions. The information exchanged between participants and mentors will have restricted access and shall not be available to other participants. Use of English language is required although in private mentoring sessions local language is also acceptable, if agreed with the mentor.

SCAH DUBAI CITY FINAL – Rules of Participation

To complete the local segment of the Smart City App Hack in Dubai, there will be an open process to select the top 10 finalists to the City Final.

In order to be selected to present at the SCAH Dubai City Final, candidates must submit their apps to the Online Competition, that includes apps created or developed within the SCAH incubation process and any other app fulfilling the following criteria:

  • Submissions and presentations to the Online Competition are free and open to any developer, team or firm. All participants must be 18 or older. Underage participants will be considered with written acknowledgement from their parents or legal guardians.
  • The competition is open to apps running on ANY platform. Web apps are also considered valid.
  • Applicants can submit more than one app. However only one app from each applicant can be chosen as a winning app.
  • Applications must serve one of the areas defined on the competition website – The jury maintains the right to disqualify any app not following these conditions and criteria for participation.
  • Actual commercial availability at the time of submission is not required but the audience and judges must be able to see/test the app (either provide a link to a store or to a private hosting of the app). Apps must be made available in the platform store the latest by the end of September, before the judging concludes.
  • Apps are submitted on the Online Competition through the AppCircus platform at Terms and Conditions of AppCircus apply.
  • App submission is open from September 6, 2015 to September 20, 2015. Only apps received between those dates will be considered. Dotopen reserves the right to extend the submission period with the corresponding publicity.

Selection of the finalists

Out of the eligible submissions, one (1) winner will be chosen by public voting during the Online competition on the Dubai SCAH site based on the votes gathered through a social media enabled voting system (using Twitter unique user login). Only one vote (tweet) per person is considered as a valid vote. dotopen will take reasonable measures to detect any fraudulent use of the voting system and transactions will be monitored (gathering IP and user data) to deliver accurate results. If an app receives irregular votes or multiple votes from the same user or users, including but not limited to, votes generated by a robotic, programmed, script, macro, other automated means or other source, the app may be disqualified.

The online vote will take place during the following period:
Start Date: September 23, 2015
Close Date: October 3, 2015
Dotopen may extend the voting period with the corresponding publicity.

Any other future prize notwithstanding, the winner of the online competition will be automatically nominated as a finalist and receive a pitching slot in the SCAH Dubai City Final.

In order to complete the list of 10 finalists to the City Final, the remaining nine (9) will be selected by an independent jury formed by city representatives, partners, sponsors, dotopen, along with other experts. The selected 9 apps will join the winner of the online competition. In order to facilitate the judging process, the information of the app profiles as provided by the participant will will be the starting point for evaluation by the panel of judges.

Criteria of Judging

The criteria that the jury will follow for the evaluation of the finalists/winners are:

  • Addresses the focus areas and solves a real user’s need.
  • Quality of user interface.
  • Technical and operational feasibility.
  • Economic and financial sustainability.
  • Creativity and innovation.
  • Use of one or more of the resources promoted by the cities, like the FIWARE APIs, Mastercard APIs, Open Data sets, etc.

The Event

The city final event will follow the standard Appcircus format with a 3 minute pitch on stage, before a well-know jury and a live audience. The following details apply for this event:

  • All pitches can be in local language(s) during the City Final but must ready for a presentation in English during the Smart City Expo global Final, should they get selected.
  • The content of the presentations, materials and deliberations shared during the event, will not be subject of any confidentiality and will be considered to have entered the public domain. All participants are encouraged to get legal advice regarding the disclosure of intellectual property or any other trade secret.
  • In order to be awarded a slot to pitch and opportunity to win one of the prizes, the participant must confirm his or her presence to showcase the app live on stage during the final event. Otherwise, the team/app will be disqualified and a runner-up will be chosen.
  • Date and Venue: OCTOBER 20, 2015.


One “Best Dubai SCAH App” winner will be chosen at the Dubai City Final and be awarded the following prizes:

  • An all expenses paid trip to Barcelona, in order to represent Dubai in the SCAH Global final, in the Smart City Expo and World Congress 2015, taking place in Barcelona on November 17-19, 2015. That includes plane ticket and hotel for all registered members of the winning team (up to 5 members). Visa application must be handled by the team members themselves.
  • A nomination to the Mobile Premier Awards 2016, the reference app show happening in Barcelona during the Mobile World Congress 2016.
  • Free In5 Membership for 6 months

Two runner-up apps will receive:

  • Free In5 Membership for 4 months
  • The opportunity to be selected as one of the remaining slots for the 15 finalists for the Global Final in the Smart City Expo.

Delivery of the Prizes to the Prize Winner(s)

In order to arrange the delivery of the prizes, participants will be directly contacted by email by the organizers (Dubai Internet City) on November 2015 the latest and will be asked to provide:

  • full name
  • ID/passport number
  • telephone number
  • other personal information necessary like bank account for cash prize transfer etc.

Additionally the winner of the best app will get a slot to pitch at the SCAH Global Final at Smart City Expo. Thus, the winner will be asked to agree in writing to present their app live at the final gala and prepare a 3-min pitch in English for this presentation (if the local winner is not capable of such commitment and runner-up will be contacted instead).

Use of Image authorization

Participants of the events organized by the cities and the Smart Cities App Hack irrevocably consent to and authorize the use by the project and its organizers (dotopen and local organizers), of any and all photographs, video, voice recordings, or other media taken of them including derivative works thereof (collectively, the “Images”), and any reproduction of them in any form in any third-party media whatsoever, for communication and promotional reasons.


In conformity with Spanish Organic Law 15/1999, December 13, on Personal Data Protection, the personal and private data provided by the participants will be stored in a file solely owned by dotopen with the sole purpose of participating in this challenge and of communicating to you about appcircus activities. Personal data will not be shared with any other entity, without written consent of the owner. By participating in the Smart City App Hack you accept this privacy policy. Participants will be able to exercise their rights to access, amendment and deletion of the data according to applicable legislation by addressing dotopen at or by mail to:
dotopen, S.L.
Zamora 46
08005 Barcelona
© 2015, dotopen, S.L.. All rights reserved.