Can the power of PokemonGo improve the livability and sustainability of our cities? 

citizenAR is a tranformational tech design challenge sponsored by the U.S. State Department that asks ten cross-disciplinary, university teams from the Bay Area and beyond to imagine new ways of engaging city-dwellers in making their environment more sustainable, just and livable using augmented reality technology in fun and social ways.  

During this fun and informative,  day-long hackathon and tech carnival event, teams will interact with tech, business, design and urban sustainability leaders from the Bay Area and engage with local youth from San Francisco's Tenderloin District, one of our city's and nation's most challenging neighborhoods.  Participants will gain first-hand insight into the livability and environmental problems residents face everyday and want solved.     

At the end of the day, teams will pitch their best mobile app, game or online platform idea to a panel of industry judges in a heated competition for cool prizes.

All hackathon participants will have the opportunity to apply for a follow-on $10,000 Tech in the Tenderloin TNT grant to bring their concept, or other related augmented or virtual reality idea, to life.

What makes our hackathon different?

  1. This is a boutique hackathon focused on providing high-quality, meaningful interactions between participants, speakers, mentors and sponsors.  To ensure you get the best possible experience, space is limited to approximately 45 contestants, or around 10 teams.  Yes, there will be great prizes and tech toys, but we also want you to leave with opportunities and relationships that will outlast the event.   
  2. We’re going to ask you to work on some pretty tough problems at the intersection of augmented reality, urban sustainability and public engagement that could change the way we live and interact while also helping mitigate climate change.  Teams will have the opportunity to engage with neighborhood youth from San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood to gain first-hand insight into the livability challenges they face everyday and need solved.  
  3. We have some pretty impressive sponsors that will give you prestigious bragging rights.  Our hackathon is sponsored by none less than the U.S. State Department and the Mayor’s Office of San Francisco (and more!).  Plus, you’ll get a cool trophy to prove you won.


We are seeking preformed teams from universities, professional academies and academically affiliated Institutes, Centers, Clubs, etc.

Team members can consist of part-time or full-time undergraduate, graduate (Masters or PhD), or professional students.

All team members must be from the same school. School ID’s will be checked at the door during registration. 

Not sure if your team or teammate is eligible? Reach out and ask us!



You will develop a concept for a mobile augmented reality app, game or online platform that will engage city-dwellers in making their environment more sustainable, just and/or livable.   

At the end of the day, teams will deliver a pitch deck to a panel of judges.    

If your team wants to build a prototype during the hackathon they are welcome to do so.  But building a prototype is optional.

Please submit all prototype coding through DevPost.   

Hackathon Sponsors


$11,500 in prizes

Team Pitch / Mentoring Sessions with Jay Nath, Chief Innovation Officer, SF Mayor's Office of Civic Innovation

One team will be awarded one pitch/mentoring session with Jay Nath! Session will be conducted in-person or online depending on team location.

$10,000 TNT follow-on grant opportunity

All hackathon participants will have the opportunity to apply for a follow-on $10,000 TNT Grant from Tech in the Tenderloin to bring their hackathon idea (or other related augmented or virtual reality concept) to life. See website ( for additional information. Details announced during hackathon.

3D Augmented Reality Trophies from Novaby (3)

Three teams will be awarded a 3D augmented reality trophy custom made by Teams will receive a picture of themselves with the trophy and the originial 3D model they can use in their own AR applications.

Devpost Achievements

Submitting to this hackathon could earn you:

How to enter

Applications are ONLY available at

Applications must be received from a team of 3-5 students (graduate or undergraduate) by September 18th, 2017.


Laureen Heinz

Laureen Heinz
Senior Manager / Deloitte Digital

Justin Quimby

Justin Quimby
Senior Product Manager/ Google

Youth Judge

Youth Judge
Kroc Center Youth

Judging Criteria

  • Relevance of Solution to Hackathon Theme
  • Creativity of Solution
  • Feasibility of Solution
  • Quality of Pitch Presentation
  • Team Work

Questions? Email the hackathon manager

Tell your friends

Hackathon sponsors

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