Mobile Appathon Challenge 2016

All SF State students are invited to join the challenge! Participants submit a wide variety of innovative app ideas and prototypes that address the practical problem of personal, business, environmental, civic, or social significance. Your entry is evaluated by a panel of industry experts. Both individual and team entries (up to 4 students per team) are allowed.

Submission Specification

The contest challenge is about exploring innovative ideas for shaping tomorrow’s business, environmental, civic, and social landscape through mobile technology. The winning idea should be realistic within the technology and economic landscape over the next one to three years. You may provide a business analysis to accompany the core app idea and prototype you submit. In addition, you are encouraged to employ design thinking methodology during the ideation process.  We recommend your submission be 800 to 1500 words. The deadline for submission is 11:59 p.m. PST, Friday, May 13, 2016.

Your document submission must include the following sections:


Description of the Idea

  • Problem Statement: what problems are you solving, why is it important?
  • Target Audience: who is your target audience (or persona)?
  • Key Idea: what is your key solution to the problem?

Technical Design

  • Technology Platform: explain which platform is used and why the technology platform is feasible for implementing your mobile solution
  • Data Structure Design: what kind of data structure would you need for implementing your mobile app? How is it accessed?
  • Wireframe/Prototype Design: low fidelity and high fidelity prototype or mockup of key screens of your mobile app, please include screenshots or links
  • Core Functionality Implementation: you are required to develop and implement the core features of your app, i.e., at least part of your app should be functional and working. Provide links to demonstrate the part of your application that is up and running, include the username and password if login is required.

Business Case

  • Business Model and Value Proposition: what is your business model?
  • Cost and Benefits Analysis: how can you be financially viable?

Link to a YouTube Video (optional)

Videos do not take the place of written entries. We consider them optional. However, a quality video could be a powerful complement to your written entry.

Evaluation Criteria

Our reviewers evaluate each submission based on multiple criteria, approximately equally weighted and roughly summarized as:

  • creativity
  • desirability, from the end user’s perspective
  • technical feasibility
  • business viability
  • core functionality implementation

Prizes and Awards

  • Overall Winner: $400 Amazon Gift Card and “First Prize” Winner Award, presented at IMSA Graduation Ceremony
  • Innovation Excellence Award: for the team that proposes the most innovative / disruptive business idea, presented at IMSA Graduation Ceremony
  • UX Design Excellence Award: for the team that prototypes the best user experience through interface design, presented at IMSA Graduation Ceremony
  • Technical Implementation Excellence Award: for the team that delivers the most impressive implementation of the core functionality through cutting edge technology, presented at IMSA Graduation Ceremony.

Key Dates

  • Submission deadline: Friday, May 13, 11:59 p.m. PST
  • App idea presentation: May 18, DTC 609, 6:30 - 9:15 p.m.; some judges may be present at the presentation
  • Appathon Challenge winner announcement: May 25
  • Award presentation: Friday May 27, 1 - 3 p.m., Courtyard Marriott San Francisco Downtown, 299 Second St, San Francisco, CA 94105

Ready to submit your entry?

Please complete the form and upload your document. Thanks!