How RootsTech Innovator Showdown is Different

It is really important that contestants understand how this hack-a-thon is different from many others you might see on Devpost or throughout the world.

  • Judging is Live, in-person
  • Finalists are required to travel to Salt Lake City, Utah (we can help with travel costs as-needed, see official rules)
  • You will present in front of a large, Live consumer audience!

Please see last year’s Showdown to get an idea of what to expect. Pay special attention to the professional polish of the presentations, the business cases they make, and the types of questions judges are asking.

Must See:

2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown

Please review this material and consider whether your project will have what it takes. We welcome everyone who has great innovations in this space and want to encourage you to participate. Just please be aware of the level of polish and business focus expected, in addition to your super cool tech.

What should my app do?

Your app must solve a problem you’ve identified in the family history industry, or in another industry vertical with a solution indirectly related to family history. For some examples, have a look at last year’s winners (video link above) as well as the types of submissions from last year:

APIs, Data, and Tools

You’ve got your idea, now you just need to fuel it with family history data and APIs! FamilySearch offers developers a great resource:

  • FamilySearch Developer Center – A place for developers to get started with access to a billion family history records through FamilySearch APIs.
Not sure what problem to solve? Here’s a few suggestions to get your motor running…
  • Engage the youth:Despite a growing number of mobile and ‘millennial generation’ users, generally family history doesn’t generally appeal to the younger population. Your app could find a better way to use mobile and social media to get younger generations involved.
  • Make it easy to start:There are many resources available for genealogy experts, but what about beginners? Your app could help people just getting started find the guidance and tools they need. Think of it as the ‘ABC’s of Family History.’
  • Data Validation: There is a lot of family tree data out there, some even claim to have hundreds of generations mapped out. But how does one validate the accuracy of that data, or that good sources and citations exist? There is a lot of potential and opportunity for technology to help in this area.
More Questions?

For questions about the RootsTech Innovator Challenge, email, or post them to the Discussion Board.