US Ignite Will Convene Reverse Pitch Events Throughout the United States

US Ignite’s Reverse Pitch Competition turns the tables on the traditional competition by pitching challenges to you.

Local businesses, city governments, and civic organizations within Smart Gigabit Communities have the opportunity to present their problem statements to the wider community to curate fresh solutions.

Our Reverse Pitch events are focused on empowering the local change makers and idea generators out there to ideate and develop innovative gigabit applications solutions. Using our supportive platform, these ideas have a place to launch and have the chance to bring transformative benefits to their communities.

This year, US Ignite will co-sponsor up to 10 Reverse Pitch competitions.

Visit the webpages below to find out more information!


Ignite SA has launched its first 2018 Gigabit Challenge called "Preserve".

Description: Ignite SA has launched the first 2018 Gigabit Challenge called "Preserve". The South Australian Museum holds one of the largest, most important collections of Aboriginal cultural heritage on the planet.  GigCity Adelaide has also expanded its network, allowing further accessibility to a super-fast broadband network.  This presents a unique opportunity to allow people across the world to experience the past using modern, advanced technologies.

Special to Community: IgniteSA has partnered with the South Australian Museum and the State Government to bring you the IgniteSA Gigabit Challenge: Preserve. Preserve challenges you to design and develop a solution that will unlock the world's most important collection of Aboriginal cultural heritage and transform it into a completely revolutionized Museum visitor experience.

Why Now? The South Australian Museum holds one of the world’s largest, most important collections of Aboriginal culture in the world. This comprises of 30,000 individual artifacts of great significance to Aboriginal cultural heritage. While exciting, the sheer number of artifacts means The SA Museum can only display 10% of the collection at any one time. This means that visitors are missing out on discovering the rich, important history of the world’s oldest living culture.

Partners: US Ignite; South Australian Museum and the Australian State Government

Prizes: Compete for up to $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Pacific Cultures Gallery, South Australian Museum, North Terrace, Adelaide

When:  Wednesday, May 2, 2018 from 10:30 am - 1:30 pm

Contact: Jasmine Vreugdenburg at [email protected]

More Information:


Lafayette, Louisiana

LUS Fiber Smart City Challenge

Description: Partnering with US Ignite, Adoxio, and local community leaders, LUS Fiber is hosting Lafayette’s first-ever Smart City Challenge. Areas of focus for the Reverse Pitch include public safety, traffic, commuting and transportation.

Special to Community: Lafayette's Smart City Challenge is focused on empowering idea generators and creating a space for all to come together and solve for transportation. Finding human-centered, high-impact solutions to the way our city and our people transport themselves will have a direct impact on our quality of life.

Why Now?: By highlighting and connecting local and regional talent, this hackathon will inclusively integrate the Lafayette community into a space where, together, true solutions will be found. With access to LUS Fiber technology, Lafayette, Louisiana – a Smart Gigabit Community – is committed to empowering local change through the ideation and development of innovative gigabit applications.

Partners: US Ignite, LUS Fiber, Adoxio Business Solutions, LEDA, Nokia, Experimental Civics, Innov8, University of Louisiana, LCVC, One Acadiana, and Lafayette Science Museum 

Prizes: Compete for up to $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Lafayette Science Museum; 433 Jefferson Street 2nd Floor, Lafayette, LA 70501

When: April 26, 2018-April 27, 2018

Contact: Kayla Miles Brooks at [email protected]


Lafayette, Louisiana

Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

Hacking at Socio-technical Challenges, a Smart Gigabit Community collaboration between HackIllinois and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Description:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Reverse Pitch will establish civic-focused gigabit development efforts, emphasizing on Public Safety and Transportation areas of national priority. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) will partner with the HackIllinois to enhance the awareness of socio-technical opportunities, challenges, and strategies for UIUC smart community, as well as identify gigabit applications developers, existing gigabit applications, and applications in the development pipeline.

Special to Community: This Reverse Pitch event, a collaboration effort between UIUC and Midwest Big Data Hub, will leverage a nationally recognized collegiate hackathon, HackIllinois, to empower civic-minded individuals to use open municipal data to improve the local ecosystem.

Why Now?: The City of Champaign recently adopted a “smart city” focus and has a renewed interest in partnering with the University to offer leadership in this space.  A thriving civic-minded interest in using open data to create novel solutions exists among the campus community and is embraced by the HackIllinois community. Timing is such that the region is focused on common smart city goals, including gigabit applications and technology.

Partners: US Ignite; Midwest Big Data Hub & National; Data Service; HackIllinois; City of Champaign; UC2B Community Benefit Group

Prizes: Compete for up to $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Illini Union - 1401 West Green Street, Urbana, IL 61801 and  Siebel Center for Computer Science - 201 North Goodwin Avenue, Urbana, IL 61801

When: February 23, 2018-February 25, 2018

Contact: Julian Chin at [email protected]


Urbana-Champaign, Illinois

San Diego, California

San Diego Smart Gigabit Communities Reverse Pitch Hackathon

Description: The San Diego Smart Gigabit Communities Reverse Pitch Hackathon is spearheaded by CyberTECH and Cleantech San Diego. At this event, Reverse Pitch partner, the City of San Diego, will discuss the community challenges it is looking to regional application developers to help it solve and share more about the technology available to developers, hackers, and entrepreneurs.  interested in meeting the challenge. At the initial event, teams of pre-qualified entrants will engage in the challenge of creating smart gigabit applications that support the needs of San Diegans in these categories: Wireless Health Care, Climate Action, City permitting and Registration, and Public Safety.

Special to Community: This program aims to enhance San Diego's innovation ecosystem by accelerating the development and deployment of next-generation gigabit applications and services that run on advanced, ultra high-speed networks.

Why Now?: To follow-up last year’s selection of CyberTECH and Cleantech San Diego as key innovation partners for San Diego’s designation as a Smart Gigabit Community, this first in a series of “Reverse Pitch Hackathons” will launch a five-month competitive process, competing for $50,000 in prize monies.

Partners: US Ignite; City of San Diego; Cox Communications; Current by GE, Intel; Qualcomm AT&T; Nex Cubed; San Diego Venture Group; Cooley

Prizes: Compete for up to $50,000 of cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: NEST CoWork - 1855 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

When: Kickoff Event on February 15, 2018 from 12:00 PM – 8:30 PM pacificFinal Event on June 28, 2018

Contact: Darin Andersen at [email protected]


San Diego, California

Eugene-Springfield. Oregon

Hack for a Cause

Description: Hack for a Cause has become a community tradition. This third-annual iteration will be a landmark event that brings together diverse players across all forms of education, nonprofits, small and medium-sized business, government, startups, and creatives. Joining together, we create a shared-sense of belonging by solving community issues in novel ways through emerging technology and innovative problem-solving.

Special to Community: Hack for a Cause is an inclusive event that invites and attracts individuals from all walks of life - regardless of class, gender, race, or background and we believe this diversity of participation results in higher-quality solutions and outcomes. Anyone from local professionals and business owners, developers, marketers, designers, digital & traditional creatives, students, youth, and just anyone interested in our expanding technology community in the Eugene-Springfield area.

Why Now?: Though this will be the third-annual Hack for a Cause - this will be the first year with the introduction of gigabit-enhanced challenge solutions. This advanced tool will allow us to take the solutions to the next level by utilizing our advancing gigabit-speed fiber network locally and increase the efficiency and possibilities locally.

Partners: Visit the Hack for Cause Website to learn more about the Reverse Pitch partners!

Prizes: Compete for up to $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where:  Downtown Athletic Club -  999 Willamette Street Eugene, OR 97401

When: April 6, 2018-April 8, 2018

Contact: Allison Weatherly at [email protected]


Eugene-Springfield. Oregon

Madison, Wisconsin

ParaDrop Smart Home Gigabit Challenge 2018

Description: University of Wisconsin-Madison's Reverse Pitch event, will focus specifically on three main areas of national priority: Education, Digital Inclusion, and Public Safety. Additionally, this Reverse Pitch will leverage the ParaDrop edge computing platform for implementing and augmenting streaming Virtual Reality (VR) applications.

Why Now?: Madison has an incredibly vibrant community of students and entrepreneurs that makes ground-breaking work possible. The Madison SGC has begun working with community members to build a variety of applications in the broad home automation space, and has have received enthusiastic responses from multiple academic groups interested in developing educational and training materials using virtual reality, notably the virtual field trip concept.

Special to Community: The goal of this challenge is to encourage developers to design, implement, deploy, and demonstrate various applications that focus on concerns for public safety and/or education. Madison is home to the ParaDrop project which has built a developer-friendly platform that facilitates high-bandwidth and low-latency applications through edge computing. Since Paradrop’s creation, the Madison Smart Gigabit Community has also been working on a VR application framework that runs in conjunction with ParaDrop to deliver seamless high definition VR video content to wireless headsets. The Madison Smart Gigabit Communities team is excited to open this platform to developers in order to create innovative applications, especially in the public safety and education spaces.

Partners: US Ignite

Prizes: Compete for $20,000+ in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: University of Wisconsin- Madison Department of Computer Sciences, Room 1240

When: February 22, 2018 from 5:30-7:30pm central

Contact: [email protected]


Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas

Kansas City US Ignite Reverse Pitch Competition

Description/National Priority: KC Digital Drive does a mix of long-tail idea generating and application matching programming, punctuated by more visible, "hackathon-style" events. For this year's Reverse Pitch, KC Digital Drive is planning to tackle the challenges focused on transportation, energy, and health care. KC Digital Drive has a broad network of startups, developers and entrepreneurs through Code for KC and 1 Billion Bits. 

Why Now?: This Reverse Pitch comes at a good time as KC Digital Drive looks to expand its work in energy and transportation.

Special to Community: KC Digital Drive typically uses a Reverse Pitch mentality in our community work around application development, but rarely has prize money to work with, so the support of US Ignite and the National Science Foundation (NSF) is a great benefit. The Reverse Pitch will also give KC Digital Drive a great chance for publicity for the Digital Town Square and an opportunity to explore use cases for this new infrastructure.

Partners: US Ignite; EDC of KCMO; Kauffman Foundation

Prizes: Compete for $20,000+ in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: TBD - likely the Google Fiber Space, possibly iWerx in North Kansas City. Stay tuned for more information!

When: June 25-28, 2018 (co-located with the Gigabit City Summit)

Contact: [email protected]


Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas

Burlington, Vermont

BTV Ignite "Reverse Pitch" Competition

Description/National Priority: This Reverse Pitch event, hosted by BTV Ignite, will focus on delivering education with the gigabit internet. The program will engage educational leaders which will help the Burlington Smart Gigabit Community create 21st century ideas for improving student experiences.  BTV Ignite expects the digital solutions developed to help break down geographic barriers, empowering and linking students in Burlington, across Vermont, and with national resources.

Why Now?:The Reverse Pitch will bring together Vermont’s innovators to find novel approaches for delivering education.  Introducing the capabilities of Burlington's city-wide gigabit internet as well as their engagement in the US Ignite family of communities,  this competition will encourage developers to create high-bandwidth solutions for use locally and in collaboration nationally.   

Special to Community: Burlington has a vibrant developer and startup community.  The Reverse Pitch links these innovators with our educational leaders, stimulating new and creative approaches in our schools and STEM academies. As a new collaboration amongst groups that haven't necessarily worked together before, the Reverse Pitch can spawn great new ideas.

Partners: US Ignite; The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development; The University of Vermont; Burlington Telecom

Prizes: Compete for $20,000+ in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: The University of Vermont in Burlington, VT

When: May 4, 2018

Contact: [email protected]


Burlington, Vermont

Flint, Michigan

Flint Smart City Initiative Reverse Pitch Competition

Description: This Reverse Pitch event, hosted by Factory Two, will be focused on the national priority of Public Safety. The Flint Smart Gigabit Community can’t wait to share their challenges with their community and find potential technology solutions to their largest hurdles. Factory Two is built on the idea that learning, sharing, and creating are empowering and transformative forces which can open doors and revolutionize both perceptions and realities. Challenge areas include: reducing gun crime and reducing loss of life due to the opioid crisis. 

Special to Community: Flint has had a long-term problem with Public Safety, so the opportunity to have the best tech minds in the state looking at solutions is exciting!

Why Now?: Through the Smart Gigabit Communities program, Factory Two is bringing some solidarity to a traditionally-fractured tech community. This is allowing some of Flint's brightest technological minds to come together to solve Flint’s most challenging problems.

Partners: US Ignite, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

Prizes: Compete for $20,000+ in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Factory Two - 129 N. Grand Traverse St, Flint, MI 48503

When: April 27, 2018 (Ideation); June 2 (Reverse Pitch)

Contact: Dan Kurin at [email protected]


Flint, Michigan


Smart Air – Gigabit Solutions Pitch

Description: This Reverse Pitch, hosted by Utah Ignite, will focus on environment as a national priority, specifically, air quality.  Utah has some of the worst air quality in the country, as Utah’s weather and geography combine to create a recipe for bad weather. Utah Ignite proposes this Reverse Pitch to solve Utah’s air quality monitoring and management issues in real time at a more micro or neighborhood level with gigabit speed technologies.

Special to Community: The Utah Legislature has attempted to pass legislation to deal with air quality issues. Private organizations have tried to change behavior to improve air quality, but it’s time for the community to find solutions.

Why Now?  Utah has a large entrepreneurial and technical community. Utah Ignite will promote a gigabit application solution that requires many sensors, including gigabit speed sensors, and big data to enhance the lives of those that live in Utah.

Partners: US Ignite; Utah Valley University Business Resource Center (UVU BRC); Grow Utah Ventures; Lehi Area Chamber of Commerce; Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED)

Prizes: Compete for up to $40,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Silicon Slopes, 2600 Executive Pkwy, Lehi, UT 84043

When: Thursday, March 1, 2018 from 6 pm - 8 pm mountain

Contact: Peter Jay at [email protected]

More Information:


San Francisco


Description: Bridge Summit aims to bring together the greatest minds in innovation to help bridge the gap between the public and private sectors in government technology. This May, the 4th annual BridgeSF conference will occur - this partnership is a collaboration between City Innovate Foundation and the City of San Francisco. The event will showcase innovation through city spotlights, city panels on resolving challenges, citizen-critical tracks, international startup demos and keynotes from next-gen initiative leaders.

Why Now?: BridgeSF is a highly interactive, three-day conference that will bridge the gap between the public and private sectors in the growing GovTech field by bringing together cities, startups, academia, enterprise companies, venture capitalists and media from around the world. BridgeSF 2018 will focus on Data, Mobility, Connected Cities, Blockchain, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Artificial Intelligence. BridgeSF will bring together 25+ U.S. Cities and 15+ International Cities. For more information please visit: BridgeSF. BridgeSF is offering the US Ignite Community a 40% discount on Full Conference Passes, for tickets please visit: USIgniteCommunity. The US Ignite Reverse Pitch event will be colocated with BridgeSF.  

Partners: US Ignite and more than 20 other partners

Prizes: Compete for up to $20,000 in cash and in-kind prizes!

Where: Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center and LinkedIn Headquarters; San Francisco, CA

When: May 22-24, 2018

Contact: Kamran Saddique at [email protected]