App•ti•tude: Blackberry App Development Contest

March 22, 2011 | 0 Comments

BlackBerry-Curve-8330Today [Mar.22] the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism in conjunction with Research In Motion [RIM], and local carriers Cellular One and M3 Wireless announced “App•ti•tude”; a competition for software developers and entrepreneurs to create innovative applications for the BlackBerry smartphone and the new Blackberry PlayBook.

Minister of Business Development & Tourism Patrice Minors said, “The Ministry of Business Development and Tourism, is excited to sponsor this event which serves to challenge our developers and would be developers, to create applications suitable for the Bermuda marketplace and perhaps for the global marketplace as well.”

“By doing so, we hope to stimulate and encourage a whole new crop of Bermuda entrepreneurs who may be financially rewarded and recognised for their efforts and intellect.

“App•ti•tude has proven to be a popular competition and we have been wowed by the submissions in 2009. Without question, technology changes at breakneck speed, and if we are to ensure that we remain competitive on a global level, then we must provide forums and events such as these which not only serve as a growth opportunity for learning, but as a growth opportunity for our local entrepreneurs.”

”The BlackBerry platform provides a truly unparalleled mobile experience for millions of people and we are thrilled to learn that this competition will enhance that experience for customers in Bermuda”, said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion.

Entrants to the competition are asked to develop and submit applications that are Bermuda-focused and both individuals and teams are encouraged to enter. Winning entries can receive a FREE trip to the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Conference, which runs October 18 – 20 in San Francisco, California and up to $5,000. Developers under the age of twenty-five, can enter in the Youth Category. The top application in this category will win a Blackberry PlayBook and $2,000.

“The popularity of mobile applications is growing worldwide but here in Bermuda, there is a lack of Bermuda-focused applications,” said Sheila Lines, CEO of M3 Wireless. “The application development contest is a great initiative by the Department of E-Commerce to help create Bermuda-focused applications for BlackBerry smartphones. M3 is very happy to once again support this contest,” she continued.

“CellularOne is proud to partner with the Ministry, RIM and others in the industry to support App•ti•tude for the second consecutive year. As market trends and demands for smartphones increase in wireless telecommunications, it is important to exhibit the talents of those Bermudians who are innovators with an entrepreneurial spirit within the industry.” says Rob McNabb, CellularOne Director of Marketing.

The corporate winner of the 2009 App•ti•tude competition, Table.bm, is available to users via their mobile app and a fully operational website. “Our number of restaurants covered is growing each month,” said John Kyle.

“There is no cost to either the either the restaurant or the public for its use.” While usage is not as high as they would like, they are pleased with the results as the number of users continue to grow. Recent enhancements allow hotel concierge services to make reservations on a guest’s behalf and confirmation is sent to both email addresses. “We’re currently working on a voice response module and welcome suggestions to make table.bm more useful.”

For those who need direction on how to get started in this competition, RIM will be flying down their own specialist to host a free Blackberry application development boot camp for would-be entrants. This boot camp will be held in April and details and registration information can be found at www.apptitude.bm.

For additional information on the competition tomorrow [Mar.23] from 5.30 p.m. – 7.30 p.m. Wired Wednesday will provide an additional networking and learning opportunity. Wired Wednesday, in association with the Business Technology Division of the Bermuda Chamber of Commerce, will take place at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. For more information or to RSVP email flines@bcc.bm.

Minister Minor’s full remarks follow below:

Good afternoon,

This Government supports creativity, innovation and out of the box thinking.

So it gives me great pleasure to announce the return of the “App•ti•tude” competition.

In, 2009, the Department of e-Commerce hosted this event in conjunction with Research in Motion (RIM), and the local carriers including, Cellular One and M3 Wireless. We were the first government that RIM, the creators of the Blackberry smartphone, partnered with to host this type of initiative.

Now I know that there are some techies out there who have been eagerly awaiting the return of this event; however, for those who may not be familiar with the “App•ti•tude” competition, allow me a few brief moments to expand on this initiative.

“App•ti•tude” is a competition designed for software developers and entrepreneurs to create innovative applications for the Blackberry Smartphone and the new Blackberry PlayBook.

The contest is open to all residents, and entrants to the competition are asked to develop and submit applications that are Bermuda-focused. Entrants to the “App•ti•tude” contest can win up to $5,000 plus a trip to BlackBerry’s own Developers Conference in San Francisco, October 18-20, 2011.

Entrants under the age of 25 can enter the Youth Category for a chance to win a BlackBerry Playbook and $2,000. Entries can be submitted individually or as a team. Register online to participate between March 23rd and May 31st, 2011.

All applications must be fully developed and ready to go live upon submission on August 8th, 2011. They must be newly created applications which have not been published or made available anywhere publicly prior to this competition.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Ministry of Business Development and Tourism, is excited to sponsor this event which serves to challenge our developers and would be developers, to create applications suitable for the Bermuda marketplace and perhaps for the global marketplace as well. By doing so, we hope to stimulate and encourage a whole new crop of Bermuda entrepreneurs who may be financially rewarded and recognised for their efforts and intellect.

Apptitude has proven to be a popular competition and we have been wowed by the submissions in 2009. I should note that the corporate winner of the 2009 App•ti•tude competition, Table.bm, is up and running and is available to users via their mobile app and a fully operational website.

Without question, technology changes at breakneck speed, and if we are to ensure that we remain competitive on a global level, then we must provide forums and events such as these which not only serve as a growth opportunity for learning, but as a growth opportunity for our local entrepreneurs.

Ladies and gentlemen, smartphones and tablets are examples of limitless technology. And Bermuda is proving to be just as astute and savvy as our competitive jurisdictions in embracing this technology.

In fact in the Department of E-Commerce’s publication “The State of ICT in Bermuda 2009” highlighted that an astounding 94% of Bermuda households own a cell phone.

Although we are a small island, 94% penetration in cell phone ownership is extremely high and makes a statement all by itself. However there are very few locally based applications, and one might ask why in a country with such high penetration are there few locally based applications for smart phones. In other jurisdictions you can do online banking, find restaurants and shops, listen to local and international radio broadcasts and get the latest news on your mobile device. So, there’s no reason why we cannot have the same in Bermuda.

Bermuda not only has the talent to create and produce innovative concepts, but as we continue to sponsor initiatives such as this, by partnering with top international companies, we are recognizing, encouraging and supporting our home grown talent.

Lastly, we recognize that some will need direction on how to get started in this competition. To that end, we are so pleased to announce that once again RIM will be flying down their own specialist to host a free Blackberry application development boot camp for would-be entrants.

This boot camp will be held in April and you will find all the details and registration information at www.apptitude.bm.

I would once again like to thank our partners RIM, Schereene Outerbridge of Cellular One and Karen Pyo of M3 Wireless.

Without their support this initiative would not be possible.

Thank you.

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