US Treasury calls in Facebook and Google judges for mobile finance app competition

US Treasury calls in Facebook and Google judges for mobile finance app competition

The US Treasury has brought in experts from Facebook, Google and Harvard to help judge a public competition it is running to find financial services-related mobile apps.

The Treasury teamed up with the D2D Fund and Center for Financial Services Innovation to launch its MyMoneyAppUp Challenge last month, inviting entrepreneurs, software developers and students to submit ideas and designs for "next-generation mobile tools to help Americans control and shape their financial futures".

The competition is split into two parts; the IdeaBank and an app design challenge with winners from both receiving cash prizes from a pot of $25,000,

The IdeaBank asks for members of the general public to submit app concepts on the Web site using no more than 140 characters. These are then put to an open crowd-sourced vote and a panel of judges will pick winners from the 10 most popular, with prizes ranging from $250 to $1000.

At the time of writing 129 ideas have been submitted, the most popular of which, with 27 votes, says: "I want an app that Let's me enter purchases and rate/track how happy they did or didn't make me over time, so I can adjust my spending accordingly."

The app design challenge is asking for more comprehensive proposals, inviting users to fill in an online form naming their app, describing its concept, why it is innovative, how it will promote financial capability or access and its feasibility.

Designs must be submitted by 12 August when they will be judged by a panel including Katie Burke Mitic, director of platform marketing at Facebook, Sendhil Mullainathan, professor of economics at Harvard, and Jonathan Weiner, business development, payments at Google.

The winning entrant will receive $10,000, two runners up $5000 and two honourable mentions $2500. They can then move on to the complimentary theFinCapDev competition to build a prototype.

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