US Ignite Smart Gigabit Community Reverse Pitch Challenge

US Ignite Smart Gigabit Community (SGC) Reverse Pitch Challenge

Hacking Socio-technical issues with Open municipal data

We are proud to announce that University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has been granted an award from US Ignite to host a Smart Gigabit Communities Reverse Pitch Challenge. Illinois, the Midwest Big Data Hub (, and the City of Champaign are partnering with HackIllinois ( to hold the Challenge during HackIllinois, taking place February 23-25, 2018. We are looking for the best designs for new smart gigabit solutions to support city services in national priority areas, enhance civic awareness of socio-technical issues, and develop the ecosystem for a smart community.

US Ignite, Inc. ( spurs the creation of next-generation applications and services that leverage advanced networking technologies to build the foundation for smart communities. US Ignite is a nonprofit organization that connects communities using advanced technology, develops next-generation smart city apps, and develops networks to drive economic opportunities. US Ignite’s Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) program accelerates the adoption of ultra-fast, programmable fiber and wireless networks as the bedrock of smart communities by identifying new economic and social opportunities created by those networks.

The goal of the Reverse Pitch event is to empower the local change makers and idea generators to ideate and develop innovative gigabit applications solutions. Using our supportive platform, these ideas will have a place to launch and have the chance to bring transformative benefits to the Urbana-Champaign Community.

Why Gigabit?

  • Smart communities will require applications that use a lot of bandwidth, such as
    • Interactive, high-definition gaming
    • Augmented Reality for education and training
  • Significant reduction in latency (response times across the system), imagine
    • Knowing when a flash flood will hit your neighborhood
    • Improved food delivery services with driverless cars
  • Software-defined services that require customization, including
    • Data transmission on a private, secure network
    • Optimizing network resources in real-time, dynamically

Hint: Please check this for some gigabit application ideas

What are the Challenges?

1. Improved efficiency of City services with data visualization and analysis

The City of Champaign has provided multiple years of Public Works data, geospatial data, and service request data collected via the See.Click.Fix app.

You can download the open municipal data from github (the data will be available on the day of HackIllinois).

We are seeking gigabit application ideas that can

      • Support an interactive data analysis tool in real-time
      • Visualize data to identify potential “hotspots” and support decision-making and neighborhood planning
      • Easily integrate with GIS or online map (e.g. Google Maps)
      • Streamline workflows for the City to support environmental improvements

Hint: What are the common issues? Are there patterns? How to help users quickly identify and respond to the problems when they are working in the field? 

2. Enhanced monitoring of micro climate change in our City

The City of Champaign needs an improved micro climate monitoring application to help improve weather prediction and observation. The application will create the ability for municipal staff, including police and other emergency agencies, to pro-actively position resources in response to weather events moving across the community.

We are seeking gigabit applications ideas that can

      • Develop sensors (hardware) and software to monitor micro climate change
      • Easily integrate with GIS or online map (e.g. Google Maps)
      • Connect with mobile-app for community members to self report weather activities
      • Allow city officials to respond in real-time

Hint: What data to collect? How to collect, transmit, and visualize these data? How can users quickly identify potential weather threats and take actions?

Why join the Reverse Pitch Challenge?

Winning projects will be awarded with

    • Gift
    • Opportunities to work with faculty members and research team to support project design and development
    • Chances to work with MBDH and National Data Services mentors
    • Showcase the application to the nationwide Smart Gigabit Communities

How to join the Reverse Pitch Challenge?

Everyone is welcome to join the Reverse Pitch Challenge. We look forward to working with you at HackIllinois! Feel free to stop by our base in Siebel Center. We have mentors with expertise in civil engineering, data analysis, visualization, GIS, and other skills to build smart gigabit applications.

Please submit your project following HackIllinois’ instructions. Submissions can include any of the following: ideas, business plans, design drafts, or prototypes. In your submission, please highlight the gigabit features in your project. We will judge the projects using several criteria, including innovation, sustainability, alignment with the stated application goals, reliability of the design and potential for implementation, etc.

The core spirit of HackIllinois and Smart Gigabit Communities (SGC) is the openness and sharing of the applications or services. SGC and the winning project will sign a written agreement indicating winner’s willingness to participate as part of the SGC portfolio. The agreement will outline which elements of the application will be available under which open-source licenses.


  • Reverse Pitch event page (this page):
  • Visit our project gibhub for data and resources for hackers: (data will be available on the day of HackIllinois)
  • If you have any questions, please contact Julian (Chieh-Li) Chin (

Organizers and Partners:



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