Virginia Tech, an organizing partner in the Smart City Challenge, is recruiting student and entrepreneurial-minded folks from the university community to participate in the hackathon-style competition. The Smart City Challenge encourages breakthrough innovation to help shape the future of urban places, making them more livable and equitable.

“We would love to see student form teams to compete,” said Mel Jones, the associate director and research scientist at the Center for Housing Research at Virginia Tech. “Anyone can register to compete and there will be more than $300,000 in prizes. It's a great opportunity to turn great ideas into reality and make a positive impact on lives all over the world.”

Even though this first annual competition is focused on the greater Washington, D.C., metro area, solutions there could be models for other places, according to Jones.

“It’s going to be a fun event with lots of opportunities for learning and improving ideas and solutions,” said Jones. “And for winners, it will be a real opportunity to bring ideas to fruition.”

Learn more about the Smart City Challenge here.  

For more information, contact Mel Jones at or by phone at 540-231-3993.