CDCA Mobile App Competition- Application Deadline 15 Nov.


What is it? | Application Process | Terms & Conditions | Previous Winners | FAQ | LOI

The Charleston Defense Contractors Association (CDCA) is pleased to announce the 7th Annual Mobile Application Development Competition in conjunction with its annual CDCA Defense Summit in Charleston, SC December 5 – 8, 2017. The focus of the Mobile App Competition is to stimulate creative thinking and promote the entrepreneurial spirit while offering development support, marketing expertise, mentorship, and guidance for the participating students. The CDCA Mobile App Competition is open for participation to all Middle School, High School and full-time undergraduate and graduate college students.

The CDCA Mobile App Competition will accept creative ideas for unique applications that is able to run on either iOS phone or Android platforms. Entries will be evaluated on the scope of problem addressed by the application, ease-of-use, and positive user experience.

Please find below the information on CDCA Mobile App Competition Terms and Conditions and the submission process. To be considered for award, the Letter of Intent must be received by November 3, 2017. The Application must be received by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on November 15, 2017.

$10,000.00 in Awards and Scholarships

WHAT: CDCA’s 7th Annual Student Mobile App Competition

HOW: Judging criteria include the scope of problem addressed by the application, ease-of-use, and positive user experience. Applicants are encouraged to make applications intuitive. Additional materials may be submitted to explain the application’s use. Judges’ decisions are final.

WHEN: Letter of Intent (LOI) Forms accepted now through Nov 3, 2017.
  • Materials submission deadline: The app and any supporting materials accepted until Nov. 15, 2017, 11:59 pm EST.
  • Winners announced at the CDCA Defense Summit: Dec. 7, 2017.

WHO: The competition is open to individuals or teams of middle, high school, and full-time, undergraduate and graduate college students.

Application Process

All students should read and understand the Terms and Conditions below.
Complete Letter of Intent Form and email to by October 27, 2017.
Submit application via the email above or mail to:
Charleston Defense Contractors Association
PO Box 61089
North Charleston, SC 29419-1089
** Deadline for receipt of Application is 11:59 pm EST November 15, 2017**

Terms and Conditions

  • The competition is open to individuals or teams of middle, high school and full-time, undergraduate and graduate college students.
  • Entries must be based on unique applications that will function on either iOS phone or Android platform. Prizes will be based on the scores returned by a panel of judges. The scores will be based scope of problem addressed by the application, ease-of-use, and positive user experience. All judges’ decisions will be final and binding.
  • The “Attendee Favorite” prize will be determined by vote of the attendees at the CDCA Defense Summit.
  • Submitted entries are not to be published to the general public prior to December 9, 2017.
  • Any entry containing sexual, violent, abusive, harassing, offensive, or insulting content will be disqualified.
  • Submissions received until November 15, 2017.
  • All Data Rights of the application and video remain the property of the student(s) and/or school.
  • By submitting an entry, students and/or school authorize CDCA to display the application.
  • All participants warrant that their entries are original and that they are the sole and exclusive owner. By submitting your entry, participant acknowledges that:
    • They are the rights holder of the entry and all included content.
    • No third parties will make any challenges or claims as to ownership or fraud.
    • They have the right to submit the entries in the competition and grant all required licenses.
  • To the maximum extent permitted by law, each participant indemnifies and agrees to keep indemnified the CDCA, its board members and members herein referred to as organizer’s at all times from and against any liability, claims, demands, losses, damages, costs, and expenses resulting from any act, default or omission of the participant and/or a breach of any warranty set forth herein.
  • Any false information provided by any participant may result in the immediate elimination of the participant from the competition. The CDCA further reserves the right to disqualify any entry that it believes in its sole and unfettered discretion infringes upon or violates the rights of any third party, or otherwise does not comply with these terms, or violates the laws of South Carolina.

Quotes from Previous Winners

“I really enjoyed the Mobile App Competition because I had to think of my own concept for the app,” shared Caleb Henry. “Having to figure everything out based on an original idea really helped me make my own decisions.

Caleb Henry of Lady’s Island Middle School won first place for his “Bus Checker” app.

“I used the money I won to buy a new computer,” stated Caleb. “Everything about the content was awesome. I learned problem-solving skills and got recognition from my school. The entire experience was good.”

“As an inventor and visionary, I’m always looking for opportunities to stretch and grow myself,” said John Jones, Jr. “This contest allowed me to find out how my idea would play out. “

John Jones, Jr. of Chattanooga State Community College won second place for his “Insure Me” app.

“I encourage anyone to participate for the experience, exposure, team building, challenges and sheer adrenaline of meeting deadlines,” shared John. “ Even if you don’t wine, you will see your improvements and grow. Participating in this contest really prepares you for a future in a STEM career.

“This contest gave me a chance to create something using actual software development skills,” said Gerard Vanloo. “Participating in the contest gave us an actual taste of what we’d do in the workplace.

Gerard Vanloo of Morehouse College won third place for his “Protect My House” app.

“The contest categories help you think outside the box,” shared Gerard. “The contest helps stretch you to make something using the skills you are acquiring in school and in your spare time.”

“The mobile app contest provided an opportunity to meet people in high positions that you don’t normally get to see— from small to large companies, military branches of service and even Microsoft,” said DeJean Dunbar. “It was great to see the apps others created, too.”

DeJean Dunbar of Charleston Southern University won first place for his “Tag It” app.

“Those who enter the contest should start early so you can develop something that helps the general public and gets noticed by others,” shared DeJean. “Take what you know to a deeper level or learn something new. Either way it will help your career and expose you to mobile development.”



What is the CDCA Mobile App Competition?
The Charleston Defense Contractors Association Mobile App Competition is an annual competition to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and careers to young people in the United States. Our competition solicits student-created applications on a platform of their choice.

Can I submit an app I’ve already developed?
Development must have begun this year for this competition.

I have submitted a Letter of Intent, but I’d like to make some changes prior to submitting the application. Can I make changes to the app? Will I need to resubmit the LOI?
Yes, you can make changes to the app until you submit. The submission is due November 15th. You do not need to resubmit the LOI.

I have tried to submit a letter of intent but when I click on submit it tells me that I need an email of someone sponsoring my efforts. I don't know who to add for that section.
That mandatory field was designed to accommodate minors, recognize school-sponsored efforts, and affirm school affiliation. An active adult student pursuing this competition could use any contact at the school. The response to an LOI submission will cc that contact person and help us confirm school affiliation as well as recognize the application.

Can the award money be applied to things like rent/expenses or does it have to go towards tuition only? How does that work?
The award check would be made out to you. No strings – you can spend it as you like.

What if I cannot make the award announcement December 7th – does that cause a problem??
No; we will ensure the check gets to you.


When can students sign up to participate in the Mobile App Competition?
Now through Oct. 27. Simply submit a letter of intent by clicking here.

What are the main dates of the challenge?
Letter of Intent (LOI) Forms—now through Oct. 27, 2017
Materials Submissions—accepted until Nov. 15, 2017, 11:59 p.m. EST
Winners Announced at the CDCA Defense Summit—Dec. 7, 2017


What is the student submission process?

  1. Submit a Letter of Intent here
  2. Create your app
  3. Create a short description of what your app is trying to accomplish and why. (no more than 600 characters)
  4. Write about any difficulty you faced in programming your app and how you overcame it. (no more than 1500 characters)
  5. Share improvements you would make if you were to create a version 2.0 of your app. (no more than 750 characters)
  6. Submit app to

What do I need to use to build my solution?
The CDCA Mobile App Competition is open to Android and iOS.

What categories must my app cover?
You can choose any category. Categories in previous years covered Safety, Quality of Life, and Financial. We are opening it up more to allow more flexibility. Keep it legal and clean; judges will disqualify inappropriate entries. Ask if you have a question about appropriateness.


Who is eligible to enter the contest?
Students in middle school, high school, undergraduate or postgraduate institutions of higher learning. Proof of student status is required (i.e., student ID). For the purposes of judging: middle = 5-8; high = 9-12; undergraduate = 12-16; postgraduate = >16 years of schooling.

Can more than one person work on an app together?
Yes. All team members must be listed on the Letter of Intent. Only one prize per application.

What will you do with my submission?
We will make it available to judges and the CDCA Defense Summit attendees. Following the contest it will be taken down from public access. You will retain all rights to the application.

Can I enter more than one app?
No. Please focus your attention on submitting your best work in a single application.

Do I need to have experience to participate?
No – this competition is intended to stimulate interest. All students are welcome to participate.

May I hard-code a demo for the application? My application works by the users sending text-messages to each other so 2 phones will be required for the application. May I hard-code a demo version to simulate the user already having received messages that they may interact with?
Yes, the demo is a good idea. We intend to have phones available to interact during the judging. Please make it clear that users can run the demo or run it live.

Will the phone have access to location based services? If not, may I hard-code the GPS coordinates of the competition to simulate this feature as well?
Location services should be on. A demo is a good idea as long as it is clearly differentiated from the live execution.


What criteria will be used for judging?
The judges review the scope of the problem addressed by the application, the ease-of-use and the positive user experience. All decisions by the judges are final.

What do judges look for in a winning concept?
Judges will look for creativity in your approach to the problem you are trying to solve, the technical acumen you apply to your application, and the ability for a user to quickly derive benefit with minimal confusion.

May additional materials be submitted?
Additional materials may be submitted to explain the applications use.

Who will judge the apps?
The panel of judges is comprised of CDCA leadership and previous app competition winners.


What are the prizes for the competition?
There are $10,000 in prize money and scholarships that will be given to winners and their schools. This section will be updated as we draw closer to the competition. Check back later for more details about the specific breakdown.