Accela Crowns Winner of Accela Construct App Challenge

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Leader in Civic Tech Fuels New Solutions for $142B Market to Better Connect Citizens, Businesses and Government Agencies

Accela, the leading provider of civic engagement solutions for government, today announced the winners of the 2014 Accela Construct App Challenge. The contest called on civic-minded developers to leverage Accela APIs and SDKs and the free online data portal to build apps that help bridge the gap between citizens and the government agencies that serve them. Winning innovations range from robotic inspectors and Google Glass solutions to location-based public alert solutions. Submissions were reviewed by a panel of judges that included Steve Ressler, founder and president, GovLoop; Clara Brenner, CEO and co-founder, Tumml; Jon Walton, CIO, San Mateo County; and Jeff Stiles, VP of Marketing, Accela.

The grand prize for new civic application is awarded to Inspector Buddy by Android Technologies, while the grand prize for existing civic application is awarded to VuSpex™ Smartphone Inspection Solutions. Second place in new applications is awarded to Gov-Safe, and to ePermitHub in existing applications. Third place in new applications is awarded to Construct for Google Glass, and to MassKnowtify in existing applications.

“The winners of this year’s Accela App Challenge are shining examples of the dynamic, new ways that civic developers and advocates can help us connect government, citizens and businesses for more informed and productive communities,” said Maury Blackman, President and CEO, Accela. “Deploying apps like these on our open and scalable Civic Platform will build a stronger ecosystem of solutions that opens new opportunities for people and agencies to thrive.”

In the last twelve months, Accela attracted one of the largest funding rounds ever in civic technology and made a series of strategic acquisitions to strengthen its platform and customer base. Both developments strengthen Accela’s ability to capture a larger share of the estimated $142 billion market opportunity to improve the way citizens and governments engage. Accela’s initiatives include driving efforts to open and optimize data for the public good and fostering innovators such as those in the app challenge.

The Accela Construct App Challenge is offering prizes totaling $25,000. Grand prize winners each receive a cash prize in addition to mentorship and sales support as their solutions are made available to Accela’s 800 government agency customers worldwide. Grand prize winners will also participate in the keynote session at Accela Engage, the annual customer conference that gathers more than 500 government agency attendees.

Winners of this year’s challenge are:

New Civic App Category

Grand Prize Winner: Inspector Buddy by Android Technologies is an affordable telepresence robot for property inspectors. The robot takes pictures and video that are automatically uploaded and attached to the main property inspection record. The application runs on the low-cost and readily available RoboMe robot, as well as a Microsoft® Windows phone and tablet/laptop to complete the package. The remote-controlled robot can reach places humans cannot, facilitating more thorough property inspections and protecting the property inspector against potential injury. The Inspector Buddy application is easy to install and integrates with the Accela Construct and CivicID APIs.

Second Place: Gov-Safe is the Survivor Assistance Form Editor (SAFE) that locates you, identifies your local disaster assistance center (DAC), allows you to begin filling out forms and tracks your status. When combined with the Accela Civic Platform, Gov-Safe also lets municipalities run reports, complete documents for their own government relief assistance, find specific survivor data, and develop asset management and prioritization of relief efforts.

Third Place: Construct for Google Glass provides a powerful gateway to inspections, permitting and code enforcement by allowing the use of voice commands with quick visual bursts of information. This proof of concept using Google Glass and the Accela Construct API focuses on usefulness for inspectors in the field, helping them retrieve all their inspections, route to a specific inspection, work with inspection checklists, result an inspection and pull record information related to inspections all from the lightweight headset.

Existing Civic App Category

Grand Prize: VuSpex™ Smartphone Inspection Solutions is an application that integrates with Accela Land Management Civic Function to transform the building inspection process. The patent-pending application leverages mobile, live-video technology and Accela Permitting and Inspection Scheduling to reduce costs and improve efficiency for both the builder and the inspection agency. VuSpex connects the onsite builder to the building inspector desktop or tablet with a live audio and video stream so the inspector can view, annotate and document the inspection. VuSpex supports government agency green initiatives and saves time and money for building contractors, inspectors and their agencies.

Second Place: ePermitHub allows jurisdictions to publish permitting information and services to a common portal where citizens are presented information in a standardized and consumer-friendly interface, regardless of the jurisdiction. Jurisdictions manage content and service integration through a simple admin console and receive analytics on their electronic permitting process. Citizens, design professionals, contractors and other construction professionals will have their own permit dashboard, which allows for tracking and collaboration across agencies.

Third Place: MassKnowtify is a location-based platform for sharing public alerts and notifications that are timely, accurate and relevant. Because it functions as a mobile application and as a web-based service, it can be accessed anywhere on any device. MassKnowtify is tailored to a variety of local government agencies and services, such as police, fire, public works and transportation, to better connect them to citizens. MassKnowtify leverages the Accela Construct API to create additional benefits for local governments.

Learn more about the 2014 Accela Construct App Challenge.

Learn more about Accela Engage, to be held Aug. 4-8, 2014 in San Diego, Calif.

About Accela
At Accela, we believe that engagement makes all the difference. We’re ushering in a new era where democracy thrives when government works directly with the people, coming to citizens on their terms through mobile devices, social media and networks, and open data. By streamlining critical agency functions like land and asset management, licensing, legislative management, resource and recreation management, and public health and safety, the Accela Civic Platform bridges the gap between agencies and citizens. We help build better communities by powering thousands of services and millions of transactions daily for agencies of all sizes.
Accela is headquartered in San Ramon, California, with offices in San Francisco, New York, Melbourne and Dubai. For more information, visit

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Erica Harvill
Accela, Inc.
+1 (925) 605-8178
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