the Urban App Challenge: grants from R230,000 to R810,000 up for grabs

In 2014 Cape Town will become the World Design Capital, taking over the reins from Helsinki.

“With more than half the world’s population now living in urban areas, design has become an increasingly fundamental tool to make cities more competitive, attractive, liveable and efficient. The World Design Capital designation is a city promotion project that celebrates the accomplishments of cities that have used design as a tool to reinvent themselves and improve social, cultural and economic life.” International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (Icsid)


Helsinki, Nokia South Africa and Microsoft is celebrating Cape Town’s selection as World Design Capital for 2014 by launching the Urban App Challenge in partnership with AppCampus, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and mLab Southern Africa.

AppCampus is a mobile application accelerator program managed by Aalto University in Espoo, Finland. It is a US$24 million joint investment between Microsoft and Nokia over the next 3 years, to foster mobile application development on the Windows Phone and Series 40 platforms.

The Urban App Challenge invites mobile developers and designers to create mobile applications that inspire and promote Urban Transformation in their city.

The top three winners of the Urban App Challenge will be offered grants of between R230 000 and R810 000 from App Campus and Nokia, depending on the sophistication of the app. The challenge is open to all developers and designers living in South Africa and apps may be based on any city or urban area in South Africa. The terms, conditions and rules of the Challenge will follow that of the AppCampus program which can be found on

Challenge Brief

Think about what inspires you about your city? How can mobile apps improve your urban experience and share it with visitors?

Entries must be submitted as a one-page document describing your Urban App concept and include wireframes of your application by no later than midnight on 31 October 2012.

Finalists will need to demo a prototype application to judges and will be judged on both prototype functionality and design. Applications need to be developed on Windows Phone or Nokia Series 40 platforms.

A demo opportunity will be organized with finalists.

Email your entry to

Here are some examples of Nokia apps to inspire you. (click image to watch the video)


Nokia City Lens


Nokia Transport


Nokia Pulse