Dogtown Media CEO Invited by Representative Ted Lieu to Judge the 2020 Congressional App Challenge for California’s 33rd District

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Representative Ted Lieu has invited Marc Fischer, the CEO of mobile app development firm Dogtown Media, to judge this year’s Congressional App Challenge for the 33rd district of California. Started in 2014, the Congressional App Challenge strives to inspire the youth of America to get more involved in their STEM education by innovating with mobile technology.

It’s an exciting honor to witness the next generation of innovators harness the potential of STEM to improve our lives. — Marc Fischer

4.3 million jobs in the technology sector are projected to go unfilled this year alone, leading to $162 billion in lost revenue. Unless this is addressed, the tech talent shortage will only worsen exponentially by 2030. Fortunately, Ted Lieu, the Representative for California’s 33rd congressional district, has a solution: Inspire and include more of America’s youth to innovate in the 2020 Congressional App Challenge. And he has invited Marc Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of mobile app development company Dogtown Media, to judge the competition.

In an effort to “connect today’s Congress with tomorrow’s coders,” the Congressional App Challenge was established by the United States House of Representatives in 2014. It strives to encourage students from every corner of the country to get more involved in their STEM education by creating and submitting mobile app concepts for a chance to receive national recognition and have their work featured in Washington, D.C.’s Capitol Building.

The event holds a special place in Congressman Ted Lieu’s heart: “As one of just four computer science majors in Congress, I believe it is essential to encourage and nurture a generation of technology-savvy students who will continue to innovate our economy and advance our technological edge. The App Challenge provides young students throughout my district an opportunity to pursue their creative and technical talents. I encourage all eligible students to participate.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Congressional App Challenge has grown exponentially and extended its reach to underserved, diverse, and rural student populations. In 2019, 48 states participated in the event, and 10,211 students submitted mobile apps. That’s a 373% increase from 2016. The Congressional App Challenge now drastically outpaces Silicon Valley in terms of the wide variety of students it reaches. Compared to the famous technology hub, participants in the Congressional App Challenge are four times more likely to identify as black, five times more likely to identify as latinx, and two times more likely to identify as female.

Besides its impact on U.S. students, the Congressional App Challenge how Congress views computer science and STEM. Not only is each district winner featured in the Capitol Building for one year, but they’re also publicly recognized by their Representative. Since 2016, the number of Congress members involved in the competition has grown by 54%, and mentions of computer science and STEM in congress have increased by over 2000%.

Lieu has invited Marc Fischer, Co-Founder and CEO of Dogtown Media, a mobile technology studio based in Venice Beach, to judge this year’s competition. “It’s an exciting honor to witness the next generation of innovators harness the potential of STEM to improve our lives,” Fischer said. “I thank Congressman Lieu for the opportunity to help inspire, educate, and foster a passion for technology in our youth.”

Headquartered in Venice Beach, California, Dogtown Media is a mobile technology studio that leverages disruptive design strategies and dynamic development to deliver industry-leading apps. To date, the company has created over 250 mobile apps in industries including Healthcare app development, IoT, and Artificial Intelligence.

The 2020 Congressional App Challenge will be held on November 19, 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s event will be completely digital.

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Ben McDermott