Sunlight Foundation

Apps for America: Sunlight Labs Mashup Contest

Apps for America 1 is over

This contest is closed. We had our winners! If you want to join in the next contest, see Apps for America 2!

What it Is

Apps for America is Sunlight's annual development contest! Prizes go to developers who can use data from Sunlight and our partners that makes Congress more accountable, interactive and transparent.

How to Compete

  1. Contestants must join the Sunlight Labs Google Group

  2. Entries must be applications that use one of the following APIs or Datasets in their mashup:

Entries can be client applications, web based applications, applications that use the Adobe AIR platform, Java applications or whatever other kind of platform you'd like to write it in. We use Django for most of ours.

  1. While not required, bonus points go to using one of Sunlight's open source libraries

  2. All software you write has to be licensed under the MIT, New BSD or the GPL family of licenses.


Awards will be judged based on the following criteria:

  1. Usefulness to constituents for watching over and communicating with their members of Congress

  2. Potential impact of ethical standards on Congress

  3. Originality of the application

  4. Potential usability of the application

  5. Code quality of application


  • First Place (1): $15,000

  • Second Place (1): $5,000

  • Third Place (4): $1,000

  • Honorable Mention (10): $100

An individual can have as many entries as they'd like, and an individual can win one prize per entry they provide, however one entry cannot win more than one prize.


  • Adrian Holovaty - Founder,, Django Project
  • Aaron Swartz - Director,
  • Peter Corbett - iStrategyLabs
  • Xeni Jardin -
  • Clay Johnson - Director, Sunlight Labs


Submit your application using our app submission form. After approval your app will be added to our contest entry gallery.

Remember to sign up for the Sunlight Labs Google Group too, so you can keep up to date with recent announcements and participate with the community.

  • All submissions will be posted online as soon as they are sent in. Please only send in complete entries. *


Submissions are due on March 31st. Winners will be announced on April 7th.

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