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July 14, 2011


City’s First-Ever Digital Programming Event – Produced in Partnership with General Assembly – to Take Place July 30th - 31st

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced “Reinvent,” the City’s first-ever hackathon, or collaborative website development and design event. Reinvent will take place at General Assembly, a Manhattan technology and design business incubator for entrepreneurs, during the weekend of July 30th -July 31st. It invites developers and designers to create imaginative, new prototypes of, the City of New York’s primary web presence.  The goal of the event, building off the success of the City’s annual Big Apps competition, is to encourage collaboration and engagement with New York City’s technology and design community while helping to inform the City’s redesign of, as outlined in the Road Map for the Digital City, introduced by Mayor Bloomberg in late May.

“New York City is constantly working to improve the way government serves the people of our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Enhancing, New York City government’s website, is another way to make it easier, faster, and more rewarding to get the information and services you need. The Reinvent hackathon is an opportunity to open up the redesign process to innovation and creativity from New York City’s incredibly talented design and development community.”

Interested firms, as well as individual developers and designers, are invited to learn more and apply to participate on During the hackathon weekend, participants will work in teams and individually to develop working prototypes that represent their vision of the future of To support the process, New York City government will offer anonymous traffic analytics data to provide context on the current use of the site, and help encourage an even more human-centered, search-driven experience. Technology partners including Facebook, Foursquare, Google, Twitter, YouTube, and Donors Choose will also provide support and access to their APIs (application programming interfaces).

At the conclusion of the two-day event, a panel of judges from New York City and General Assembly, including representatives from the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT), NYC & Company, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the Mayor’s Office, and New York City’s technology and startup community will evaluate the prototypes and distribute prizes. Applications for the event and hackathon prototypes will be judged based on usability, experience, design/aesthetics, technological innovation, versatility, and viability. Working prototypes will be presented to the public for feedback, conversation, and transparency.

 “‘Reinvent provides a unique chance for government to engage in a meaningful and creative way with private companies who want to show off their talents and skills to New York City,” said Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver. “We want them to show off and show us the best that they can do. This is a terrific example of NYC Digital being able to coordinate the private sector with the public sector and work across agencies to bring a new and innovative concept to City government.”

“With nearly 30 million visitors a year, is the online gateway for New York City information and services,” said DoITT Commissioner Carole Post.  “Now, through the Reinvent hackathon, the public is encouraged to offer its best ideas on modernizing the City’s virtual face to the world – keeping it as innovative and vibrant as the people it serves.”

“New York City’s vibrant technology and design community has collectively served hundreds of millions through its development of world-leading digital platforms,” said Chief Digital Officer Rachel Sterne. “Through, we are excited to collaboratively shape the future of our City’s greatest public digital resource, We look forward to supporting the continued creativity, innovation and engagement of New York City’s technology community.”

“Technology-enabled industries are certain to play a critical role in the future of New York City’s economy, which is why we are thrilled to be a part of Reinvent,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Providing computer programmers with a platform to demonstrate their immense talents will allow their businesses to grow and thrive, while at the same time providing an important public service to the City.”

“We are constantly impressed by the collective power of the New York technology and design community, and we are in a unique position of witnessing, on a daily basis, what it can achieve,” said General Assembly co-founder Matthew O. Brimer. “Reinvent will help showcase that talent and passion to the world. This is what civic participation should look like in the digital age.”

NYC Digital is part of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, which consists of the Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting; NYC Digital and NYC Media - the official TV, radio and online network of the City of New York. The agency’s mission is to streamline government communications by making information accessible, leveraging technology to aid in the transparency of government and by supporting relevant media and entertainment industries in New York City. NYC Digital is guided by the Road Map for the Digital City, a comprehensive plan to realize New York City’s digital potential through a focus on Access, Open Government, Engagement and Industry.

General Assembly delivers a pragmatic education in technology, design, and business through the lens of entrepreneurship. General Assembly provides this content in the context of a like minded community and at a fraction of the financial and opportunity cost of traditional graduate programs. The General Assembly community also includes some of the city’s most promising startups that work full time out of its New York City campus, as well as communal members who come from all parts of the NYC start up ecosystem.


Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent   (212) 788-2958

Chris Coffey/Marybeth Ihle (Media & Entertainment)   (212-669-7742


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