Announcing the Business App Challenge

Last week, the Administration took an important step forward in our effort to support and strengthen American businesses with the launch of BusinessUSA – a one stop online platform that will make it easier for businesses to access the information they need to grow, hire and export. Today, we’re announcing a challenge to the public to take this even further.

Just a few hours ago, the U.S. Department of Commerce kicked off a $10,000 contest for application developers to come up with new ways to use Commerce and other government data to support American businesses and better connect them with available services and resources.

This data is vast and rich, but often underutilized and difficult to access. This contest will help change that. By challenging developers to leverage government data in new and innovative ways, they’ll help businesses fund new activities, learn about and evaluate opportunities in the US and abroad, support education and training, and more.

So do you have an idea for an app that could help businesses grow and create jobs?  If so, we want to put it to work. Submissions will be accepted beginning today through April 30, 2012, and I’ll be serving on a top-notch panel of judges that will evaluate and vote on them later this spring.

Be sure to check out the contest rules and entry requirements here, and look through this list of developer-friendly data sets. To read more about the contest, click here.

I’m looking forward to seeing your ideas soon.

Steven VanRoekel is the Federal Chief Information Officer – for more information visit

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