Minneapolis is the host city for an event in November called MobCon, a mobile technology and strategy conference that features a mobile app development competition and Google’s vice president of North and South America as its keynote speaker.
This two-day annual event, which takes place at the Hilton Minneapolis on November 7 and 8, hopes to draw between 600 and 800 attendees from across the country to discuss and learn about mobile technologies and new industry practices.
In addition to Google Vice President Carl Schachter, MobCon speakers include: Jay Coughlan, CEO of Eden Prairie-based software firm XRS Corporation; Matthew Calkins, president and CEO of Virginia-based software provider Appian Corporation; and Soujanya Bhumkar, CEO of California-based mobile technology developer Cooliris, Inc.
The conference also hosts a relatively new competition called MobDemo, which allows a limited number of Minnesota-based mobile-tech developers to demonstrate their apps for conference attendees and compete for prizes.
Last year, MobDemo had 25 applicants, eight of whom were chosen to present their mobile apps at the conference. Developers who are interested in applying can learn more here.
The deadline for entries is October 10 and apps must be at least functioning prototypes—rather than merely concepts—to be considered.
The winner is chosen by MobCon attendees—who vote using MobCon’s own mobile app. The contestants are scored based on their technical merits, innovation, and potential profitability.
This is only the second year the conference has hosted the MobDemo competition. Last year, the prizes included $5,000 in cash and $20,000 in credit toward mobile development services to a single winner. This year, however, the second place developer will also receive $15,000 in credit toward additional development and the third place developer will receive $10,000 in credit.
MentorMate, a Minneapolis-based custom software developer, will provide the $45,000 in mobile development services that will be dolled out to the three MobDemo winners. Services could include developing the winner’s app for use on a different platform or adding new features, among other things.
Last year, BreAnna Fisher received the top prize for her mobile app “DoDrinks.” Fisher’s app allowed users to send and receive drinks digitally. Users connect to a social network, choose a friend, select a bar or restaurant, and virtually send them $5, $10, or $25 worth of drinks.
Fisher was able to officially bring her app to market in April, testing the concept at Seven Sushi in Minneapolis, Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis, and Fabulous Fern’s Bar and Grill in St. Paul. She also landed a deal to partner with Heineken USA, Inc.’s central office for a pilot test launch. Fisher will also be a presenter at this year’s event.