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Developers invited to build consumer applications using email data in Context.IO App Challenge

- August 14, 2015 2 MIN READ

There’s less than three weeks left to submit your apps to the Context.IO App Challenge, a long-format online hackathon offering US$125,000 worth of cash prizes. The challenge, which opened up in May this year, has invited developers and tech entrepreneurs around the world to build consumer applications using email data.

Submissions will be judged on the 8th of September by high-profile VCs and reputable figures in the startup space including Fred Wilson (Union Square Ventures), Brad Feld (Foundry Group), David Cohen (Techstars), Matt Blumberg (Return Path) and Joshua Baer (Capital Factory).

A product of New York-headquartered data solutions company Return Path, which employs 500 people and has 12 offices globally, Context.IO is an API that makes it simple to connect to email servers that use IMAP or Exchange and sync email data.

The API has been used to build applications on top of users’ email data (e.g. contacts, messages, threads, files, receipts, and rule-based notifications). A few of Feld’s favourites include productivity app MailtimeParibus, an app that monitors opportunities to get your money back and files price adjustment claims; and Airhelp, which helps air passengers around the world secure compensation for delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flights.  

Another notable example is Shopami, an app that monitors all the deals and offers that are sent to your inbox and sends you reminders when they’re about to expire. 

This year, Feld and fellow judges are expecting to see “a healthy mix of inbox management tools along with apps that deliver value in other ways outside the inbox.”

For the uninitiated, examples of how email data can be used include: storing receipts and coupons; sharing photos and documents; managing tasks and projects; receiving notifications from other applications; keeping track of travel itineraries and things to read; managing relationships; saving contact information; and collaborating with a group.

The app submissions will be judged according to quality of idea; implementation of idea; potential impact; and market readiness.

The top three prizes include US$50,000 and a 30-minute mentoring session with one of the judges (Grand Prize); $25,000 (1st Runner Up); and $15,000 (2nd Runner Up). Other cash prizes include Best Student App ($10,000); Best Receipt Parsing App ($10,000); Best User Growth in App During Submission Period ($10,000); and Popular Choice ($5,000).

Submissions close on the 1st of September and winners will be announced on the 15th of October.

More information on the Context.IO App Challenge is available via contextio.devpost.com.

Image: Context.IO team.