The Greater Portland Tech Challenge brings smart cities problem solving to the smartest region in the country.
— Skip Newberry, CEO Technology Association of Oregon

Greater Portland Inc and the Technology Association of Oregon are pleased to once again invite public and private partners to collaborate at the Greater Portland Tech ChallengeLast year, we paired 18 agencies, governments, and problem-solving tech firms to explore technology solutions to regional and local challenges. 

Join us as we explore the intersection of equity and smart cities problem-solving. We're looking for challenges in disciplines like resiliency, energy, security, data, IoT, and mobility. This year, we’re interested in problems that explore the intersection of technology and equity. Submit your equity focused challenge here.

Agencies explore challenges like last mile connections, the digital divide, data collection, visualization and coordination, energy management, and public infrastructure. Bring your most confounding problem to the tech challenge.

Tech firms - test drive new solutions, find a local agency to copilot a demo that solves a problem and build relationships with future clients. Bring your best problem-solving team to the challenge.

 Bring your community's problem to the tech challenge where public and private sector problem solvers converge.

Bring your community's problem to the tech challenge where public and private sector problem solvers converge.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge is an opportunity for problem solvers from the private and public sector o explore interesting, confounding and challenging problems that need different perspectives. A morning of challenge pitches from agencies leads to capacity counter pitches from tech firms. An afternoon of one-on-one consults between agencies and tech firms leads to demo/pilot project partnerships.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge brings together public and private sector problem solvers to work on the most intractable problems.
— Lloyd Purdy, VP of Regional Competitiveness GPI

Challenge Accepted!

As agencies, municipalities, community groups and tech firms register for the next Greater Portland Tech Challenge, we'll post challenges below with full details on the Challenge Accepted! page. This year we have room for up to 14 smart cities challenges. Here are some examples we’ll explore at the next tech challenge.

City of Independence: How can we create a simple, low cost method for determining which sewer pipes are leaking, where, and the severity of the leak?

 Portland Streetcar: How can we use existing tools such as signal pre-emption or priority scheduling to improve the frequency of streetcars from 15-minutes to 12-minutes.

OSU Extension/City of Independence: Develop an open data system to link existing and new weather stations, aggregating the data and developing new predictive analytics to identify microclimates in agricultural lands.

Metro: How do we use existing available data on commuter travel patterns to understand congestion and identify ways to manage it?

Click here to register and we’ll add your challenge to the line-up. Click here to see full details on each challenge.

Highlights below from the inaugural tech challenge pairing public and private-sector problem solvers.

 The Greater Portland Tech Challenge includes three easy steps.  Apply here.

The Greater Portland Tech Challenge includes three easy steps. Apply here.

Rules of the road


The Pitch

On February 27 2019, each agency/city/organization will present at least one challenge to an audience of problem solving technology firms. Each tech firm will pitch their problem solving capacity back to the audience of agencies. Then, teams casts votes to indicate who they would like to follow up with in the afternoon breakout session of one-on-one consults. 

The Problem

In the afternoon, it’s not a hack-a-thon. It’s a hack-the-challenge statement. Based upon paired voting from the morning pitch sessions, we’ll pair each agency with a limited number of tech firms for an afternoon of in-depth problem solving through one-on-one consults.  


The Match

The day culminates with an opportunity for agencies and established firms to pick a tech firm (or firms) for a demo/pilot project. They will restate their challenge (because maybe their understanding of their problem evolved) and pick their team. Then teams spend 3-4 months working together on a demo or pilot project.



Viable collaborations will be invited to present at the next national Global City Teams Challenge Tech Jam in September 2019.

Greater Portland TEch Challenge FAQ

Who can pitch a Challenge?

Any agency, firm, community group or entity or company that wants to work with a technology firm from the Greater Portland region. Any tech firm that wants to solve a  problem and develop a relationship with decision makers. Participating agencies and challenge summaries will be posted online in advance of the Challenge Day - February 27, 2019. 


How do I prepare for the Greater Portland Tech Challenge?

1. Build your organization's team. (We recommend 3-5 team members.)

2. Explore a range of challenges with your team.

3. Recruit a community group or outside organization to round out your team, refine and verify your challenge. (We can help pair you with another partner organization.)

4. Submit your Challenge for consideration here.


What does it cost to participate in the Challenge?

An entry fee of $200 (for registration before October 24th) for each organization helps cover the costs of producing the Greater Portland Tech Challenge. Applications may be accepted after October 24th if there is still capacity.


What is the timeline for the NEXT Greater Portland TEch Challenge?

July 25, 2018 - Pre-registration open for agencies. Agency registration fee will increase after Sept. 14, 2018.

October 24, 2018 -  Deadline for agencies, cities and community groups to register.

February 13, 2019 - Slide decks due to GPI.

February 27, 2019 - Challenge Day!  (pitch, counter pitch & consults)

March – May 2019 - Work with your team on a demo or pilot project.

May 15, 2019 - Review of projects and selection of finalists.

September, 2019 - Presentations of viable collaborations at national Global City Teams Challenge Tech Jam.


What Happens "Challenge DAy" - FEbruary 27, 2019? 

The Pitch

8:30 a.m. Check in

9 to 10 a.m. Challenge pitches by agencies.

10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Break

10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tech firm capacity pitches.

Noon a.m. Break for lunch on site.


The Problem (a.k.a. hack the challenge statement)

Based upon paired voting from the morning session, each organization may have up to three separate one-on-one consults to further explore their challenge and solution.

1 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #1

1:45 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #2 

2:15 p.m. One-on-one Agency and Firm Consult #3


The Match

3 to 3:30 p.m. Organization deliberation and decision making.

3:30 p.m. Organizations announce which firms they’d like to continue working with and networking.