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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

RootsTech Innovator Showdown to Award $100,000 in prizes

Time is passing and February, 2016 will be here sooner than you think. If you are going to participate in RootsTech 2016 or attend, it is now time to make your plans. recently announced the following:

2016 Innovator Showdown Information

$100,000 Innovator Showdown Prizes

$50,000 Cash Prizes:
Judges' Choice 1st Place, $20,000
Judges' Choice 2nd Place, $14,000
Judges' Choice 3rd Place, $6,000
People's Choice, $10,000
$50,000 In-kind (estimated value): In-kind prizes may include consulting, mentoring, development, marketing, co-location services, accounting services, or legal services.


Similar to the 2015 event, we will have an experienced judging panel choose several semi-finalists and invite them to come to RootsTech for a semi-final round of judging on Wednesday, February 3. The judges will then choose finalists that will present their projects in the live showdown event with a large consumer audience on Friday, February 5. Final judging and people's choice awards will be determined live, during the event, and awards given to winners.
The judging panel will consist of experts in family history, investing, and business. They will be looking for innovative technology as well as a product that would be viable in the market.
NEW in 2016: All innovators who are invited to RootsTech as a semifinalist are invited to present their projects in the “Innovator Alley,” an area inside the large expo hall where over 23,000 people can preview their application.

Judging Criteria and Rules

Specific judging criteria and official rules are available at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown submission site at
Unlike a traditional “developer challenge,” the RootsTech Innovator Showdown rewards more than just neat technology. Your project needs to have some sort of potential to it, and that primarily means making sure it is something that people will want to use. Does it solve a genuine problem?
Preference will be given to solutions that apply across generations and include “the rising generation” (ages 13-30) in addition to older audiences. This may include gamification, games, community building, sharing, or other relevant capabilities. “Likes” on Facebook or similar indications of user interest may be influential for judges.
Please note, the suggestions above may not reflect the exact criteria in the rules to be published on September 1, 2015. 

About RootsTech

RootsTech is the world’s largest family history conference with over 23,000 attendees in Salt Lake City, Utah. Attendees include seasoned genealogists and individuals just getting started in family history. RootsTech also hosts the largest gathering of family history technology builders through a business and developer track called RootsTech Innovator Summita critical component of the RootsTech conference. The Innovator Showdown is designed to allow the technology builders to compete for awards as well as showcase their innovations for the general attendees of RootsTech.
For questions about the 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown, contact the RootsTech staff

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