SideKick Wins 2016 CITRIS Mobile App Challenge at UC Berkeley

SideKick Wins 2016 CITRIS Mobile App Challenge at UC Berkeley

To promote innovation, community service, and career development among UC Berkeley students, CITRIS sponsored a semester-long competition for undergraduate and graduate students to develop mobile apps for social impact. At the start of the Spring 2016 semester, 17 teams and more than 90 students applied for the Challenge to develop apps in following categories:

  • Civic Tech & Smart Communities
  • Education
  • Energy, Climate & The Environment
  • Health

On Tuesday, May 3rd, seven finalist teams presented during a public Demo Day event to a panel of judges that included socially-minded technology and education leaders. The event culminated in a showcase of the students’ apps and presentation of awards to the following teams:

  • 1st place award of $2500: SideKick
  • 2nd place award of $1000: Community Chest
  • 3rd place award of $500: Samaritan
  • People’s Choice award of $250: Samaritan
  • IBM Bluemix Challenge award ($1000 in prizes): Eventure

Congratulations to the all of the winners and participants! We’d also like to thank each of our judges for their time and feedback for the students: Vedad Cajic (Volvo), Hayley Kirk (Vodafone Americas), Todd Siegel (, Camille Crittenden (CITRIS), and James Barry (IBM).

Meet the Winners

First Place:
SideKick  (Health category)

SideKick won the $2500 First Prize for their photo food diary app that promotes an intuitive eating approach. 

SideKick team: Susan Lee, Hansen Lui, Inez Raharjo, Sandra Sun, Jason Yee

Second Place:
Community Chest (Connected Communities category)

Team Community Chest won the $1000 second place prize with a platform that provides people in urban areas with reliable information about local recreational spaces. 

Community Chest team:  AnnaMarie Garlin, Lynn Dezhen Kong, Sydney McMuldroch, Roshni Patel

Third Place & People’s Choice Award: Samaritan (Connected Communities category)

Team Samaritan won the $500 third place prize with a location-based app that allows users to ask for complete small favors using karma currency.

Samaritan team: Angela Kuo, AJ Yu, Antonios Yu, Aaron Zhang

IBM Bluemix Challenge Award: Eventure (Connected Communities category)

Team Eventure won the $1000 in prizes with their real-time community engagement app that enables users to easily find out what’s going on in their community through crowd-sourced information.

Eventure team: Gary Ge, George Lee, Taiki Maeda, Michael Qu

Meet the Finalists


Eventure is designed to show you what’s going on, when and where. It crowdsources captions and photos from users, and then provides both on a graphical Google Maps interface and a feed-like social media interface to enable users to easily find out what’s going on. We use image analyze to categorize images into “events” to enhance browsing, sorting by distance from your location and time. Uses include avoiding local hazards (traffic accidents, protests, etc.), discovering cultural events (e.g. local music performances), and much more.


Samaritan application is a location-based board where people can ask for and complete small favors using karma, the currency in our app that individuals can earn by completing other users’ small tasks (e.g. letting another user borrow their iPhone charger), or spend by asking for favors. Samaritan has leaderboards that allow you to see the most hardworking Samaritans in your area and allows you to compete with your friends. You can also earn badges for various achievements and volunteer at local food banks for karma and cash out your karma to donate to charities you’re following.


Altruist is an app that provides flexible and accessible volunteering opportunities to users, with convenient options of signing up for short “Microtasks” and completing tasks virtually. Thus, we hope to eliminate the two main challenges that discourage those interested in community service – Lack of Time and Transportation. Our application caters to diverse needs and preferences among community members, and allows them to seamlessly filter available tasks. Users can also find and view profiles of others with relevant skills, and request assistance. By optimizing the use of human capital, skill-matching and people’s free time, we seek to enrich and integrate communities.

Community Chest

Community Chest looks to provide a service that allows people in urban areas to easily find recreational spaces, such as parks, which fit their specific needs. We found that locating parks that are clean, interesting, and low-crime is a difficulty in many underprivileged city zones. Based on APIs, we will triangulate the areas with the most crime, and show our users the parks furthest away from those areas using a simple algorithm. We will also keep track of how child and disability friendly the parks are for users who are interested in those metrics, as well as quite a few other data points.

Did You?

MedUpdate connects caregivers to their patients. Reminders like “Did you take your medicine today?” keep patients’ treatment on track. MedUpdate automates the process of sending reminders, receiving confirmations, and storing/ visualizing medical adherence data. MedUpdate utilizes SMS (for older feature phones) and smartphone notifications, bringing healthcare across the digital divide.


Health+Me seeks to connect individuals, especially those from underserved communities, to health and social resources and services in the Bay Area. Users can either search for specific services or they can fill out a questionnaire that can assist in determining eligibility for the various social and health services in their area. It will serve as a personal health navigator that directs individuals to resources for better access to food, healthcare, and housing services. As a location-based app, Health+Me will help users identify and reach the nearest organizations that provide the services in the area that can meet their needs.


Obesity is associated with debilitating chronic diseases that can negatively impact an individual’s health and the sustainability of the U.S. health care system. Current digital health solutions for diet and weight management focus primarily on calorie counting and weight loss, an approach that has been shown to be ineffective and counterproductive for long-term weight loss and psychological well-being. The Sidekick team is creating a photo food diary app that promotes an intuitive eating approach. Our app will help users keep track of their food and drink consumption, while emphasizing holistic self-reflection of one’s health over calorie counting and weight loss.

For more information about the CITRIS Mobile App Challenge challenge, visit

Meet the winners of the 2016 UC Davis CITRIS Mobile App Challenge.

Photo credit: Adriel Olmos