UC Merced's 5th Annual Mobile App Challenge

Develop innovative mobile applications for today’s most pressing societal needs.
Win cash prizes, network, and build your skillset, all while changing the world for the better.


This is our 4th annual Mobile app challenge. Learn about how this awesome tradition was founded.

Get Started

We've compiled a lot of great resources to help you get started.

App Showcase

Compete with your fellow students for a shot at the grand prize and earn bragging rights.

Important Dates

Mobile App Challenge Announcement

We will be hosting an info session to show potential participants what's in store for this year's App Challenge.

Read more February 1

Team Formation

Team applications are due on the 21st of February. Once you have a team in mind, click here to apply. Only one team member needs to apply.

Read more February 21

Information Sessions

The dates for this year's App Challenge are not yet finalized. Typically, info sessions cover topics such as UX design, public speaking and entrepreneurship.

Read more

Poster Review Session

Teams will be showing their poster at the semi-finals, and it is important that posters are clear and informative. Here we will be able to provide feedback and suggestions on how to improve your team's poster.

Read more April 20


All teams will present their project before an audience of judges and peers, followed by a one-on-one poster session in which teams will be able to discuss their project with the judges.

Read more April 29

Grand Finals

Teams that move on from the semifinals will be awarded their prizes. This event coincides with UC Merced's Innovate 2 Grow finals.

May 13



Energy fuels our daily lives; energy runs our lights, cars, computers, phones, televisions, and so on. Everyone uses it, but do they understand their impact? Find a way to raise awareness about usage and promote energy conservation.

2015 Finalist: Switch


Your environment consists of the world around you. You explore it, breathe it, and see it but how can you affect it? Think of ways to encourage reduced pollution, increased greenery, and expanded environmental awareness.

2015 Finalist: Agora


We are learning every day, whether it is through school, work, daily activities, or an app on a mobile phone. Create something that inspires others to learn something new and encourages continued mental development.

2015 Finalist: Outpost


“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver” – Mahatama Ghandi. Encourage someone to live a healthier lifestyle with an app that could encourage healthy eating, promote daily exercise, or help track weight. 

2015 Finalist: Spinewatch

Civic Engagement

How can we get involved in our community? Develop an idea that promotes individuals to participate in their community through volunteering time, providing feedback in polls, or ensuring that their voice is heard at a greater scope.

2015 Finalist: Fun-D

2015 Grand Prize Winners

MAC Winners

Team Switch took home the grand prize with concept of a "home operating system" -- a system to save energy by controlling applicances and electrical devices from a phone.

Additional Prizes

Best Pitch: Pill-ID

Best Poster Presentation: onCourse

Global Food Initiaitve prize: StockUp