The Context.IO App Challenge

I recently agreed to be a judge for the Context.IO App Challenge. It is a long-format online hackathon. Developers and entrepreneurs have until September 1 to build and submit consumer applications that use the Context.IO API, with a chance to win over $50k ($125k cash prizes in total).

Context.IO is a product of Return Path, where I’ve been on the board since 2000.

Context.IO is an API that allows you to easily build applications on top of the data from your user’s email accounts. It removes the complexity of working with email servers and the nuances across different email providers (Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, etc.) to greatly reduce development time.

The email inbox is a huge opportunity for entrepreneurs because so much of what happens in today’s world (commerce transactions, communications, content sharing) flows through email and there are over a billion active email inboxes.

The judges are Brad Feld, David Cohen and Matt Blumberg. This is our judging criteria:

  • Quality of Idea: Is the idea creative, original and innovative?
  • Implementation of Idea: Was the idea well executed?
  • Potential Impact: Is the app providing sufficient value to it’s users?
  • Market Readiness: Is the app market ready? Is it available in a public, online store? Has it been localized for international markets?

Anyone interested in participating should register for the challenge on the Challengepost website and get started with Context.IO by signing up for an API key on their website.