And The Winners Are…

Discord Devs… you rocked it. We received hundreds of entries across all five of our categories, which gave our set of judges plenty to think about as they reviewed every one of them. Our judges evaluated these pitches based on value, uniqueness, professionalism, innovation, and representation (read more about the evaluation criteria here).

Every Discord Developer, whether they submitted a pitch or not, is part of something huge. Pat yourselves on the back — you deserve it!

You pitched, you showed us what sorts of creations you wanted to bring to the world, and you did it in pure style. Now, let’s take a look at the standout submissions and finalists for our 2023 App Pitches program:

“Apps for Artists” Winner: Art Arena

The ultimate artist battleground, Art Arena is pitched as a way for artists to come together and show off what they’re made of! The devs behind Art Arena, Gregory and Costas, plan to build out a thriving platform where users can create portfolios to showcase their work, enter themed competitions, and even let prospective employers know they’re open for work.

Once users submit their artwork, the server’s community members can vote on which one’s the best — or, if someone discovers an artist they like, look through their Art Arena portfolio for more of their creations.

Prototype assets for Art Arena. Support for competitions, portfolios, and profiles are shown.

Our judges were super excited for this one — Judge Brooke, Sr. Product Designer - Platform Ecosystem at Discord, thinks this will help artists connect and engage in exciting new ways, while Judge Josiah, founder and owner of Ticket Tool, believes people have been looking for something like Art Arena for ages. And thanks to their incoming funding, it’s closer than ever to becoming a reality!

See the picture they’ve painted? That’s why they’re the ideal choice for the Apps for Artists category.

“IRL Impact” Winner: Coral Reef Cam

“Blub.. bulb blubulb” — a direct quote from the weird-looking fish you’re about to have in your voice channel because soon, you’ll be able to bring the vast world of the ocean into your community with the Coral Reef Cam.

The Coral Reef Cam is a family-built, mother/daughter project with big ambition: their team will work to set up a camera off the coast of Belize, offering both underwater and island views. Information pulled from the cameras will monitor ocean characteristics, such as the sea surface temperature, and deliver it to their app. The app will then share this information with instructors and students at Colorado Academy for analysis.

A diver standing at the end of a wooden pier, overlooking a cove.

This sort of deep connectivity, much like the darkest depths of the ocean floor, is unexplored territory in the world of Discord Apps. Judge Shay, Sr. Developer Advocate at Discord, is excited to see how it’s implemented in the final release. The Coral Reef Cam will receive funding for being a standout submission in the IRL Impact category, so keep an eye out for a future release!

“Learning” Winner: Teranga

Some people have incredible ideas brewing in their minds for a Discord app that hasn’t been made yet. But those same people might not know where to start — if you have something in mind that you need to see come to life but you’ve never written a line of code in your life, where would you even begin?

The team behind Teranga wants to be there to support you on your road to Discord Development. Their app pitch is a no-code, drag-and-drop editor that gives you the pieces to put together an app for Discord that does what you want, made by you.

Promotional material for Teranga. The example shows a drag-and-drop interface for creating a Discord app.

Teranga sets out to make app development as easy as making your favorite sandwich with all the fixings — pick out the features you want, put them together in the order that makes the most sense, and package it up for serving (or, deployment since this is an app?).

Both Judge Prachi, Discord’s VP of Engineering, and Judge Jenn, Software Developer at PXL Agency, adored Teranga’s submission. Both of them said they wished something like Teranga was around when they were first getting into software development! If you’ve got people with fancy titles saying they wished your app was around earlier, that’s some high praise.

This empowerment to let anyone explore Discord app development is why Teranga will receive funding for their app that excels in the Learning category.

“Mini-Games” Winner: Towntopia

Building communities on Discord is basically like a little town anyway, so why not bring a city-building experience to your Discord server?

Towntopia is pitched to be the go-to city-building app to add to your server. Visually represent your own Discord server as a town map, build a home within it, or start a company within it! Anyone in your server can join as a citizen, while the community owner naturally becomes Mayor.

A promotional image for Towntopia. It shows a user starting out their town in Towntopia, and another user working on their digital home.

Imperial Studios, the team behind Towntopia, has huge plans for the future. Their detailed pitch went as far as detailing their monetization plans for the future — this sort of forward-thinking and insightful planning won over Judge Colin, Netflix’s Brand Creative & Strategy Manager. Plus, there are minigames. Within Towntopia. A minigame, within a minigame, within a Discord server… very meta.

Imperial Studios’ pitch in the Mini-Games category gets them an initial funding round to help them build their creation, and in turn, let users around the world develop their cute lil’ digital cities!

“Wildcard” Winner: PaperAI

You’ve given a task to yourself for the weekend: “Devise a story about you, Wumpus, and Phibi going out for a hike in a mysterious forest.” Sounds simple enough, but what would you all do? How would everyone behave? Do all three of you enjoy hiking, or would you be a bit disgruntled as they trek through the woods?

PaperAI wants to be your companion when creating your next fanfic: connect your favorite fictional characters, or self-insert yourself or multiple OCs into the story. Devise what’ll happen when universes collide, whether it be an extravagant journey or you just want to have your story participants go on a coffee outing together.

The words “Paper, Paper AI, AI,” and the phrase “Create your story” on a gradient background.

One trait that doesn’t need to be added to this story: professionalism, because developer Georgiana’s already got that in spades. Judge Ann-Marie, Discord’s Director of Game Development, was extremely impressed by Georgiana's professional pitch (she included a whole pitch deck for the judges to review!) and believes that she’ll go far, no matter what she does in life, which is part of why her entry is worthy of the Wildcard award.

“Wildcard” Honorable Mention: Cohezion.ai

For indie developers, creating a Discord server with your biggest fans can end up being one of the most impactful things in your game’s development cycle. (Don’t believe us? We have not just one, but TWO stories from game devs on our blog.)

One benefit of running a Discord server for your upcoming release is that your most dedicated fans may be willing to try out early builds before release and provide feedback, but that might be a lot of people trying to give feedback for a small team, all at the same time. That’s where Cohezion.ai wants to help.

A promotional image showing the differences between using and not using Cohezion.ai. One is a mess of text channels while the other is utilizing Apps and Forum Channels.

Cohezion.ai is pitched as a way for game devs to easily manage bug reports directly within your server. Server members will DM the Cohezion.ai app directly, and it’ll ask for all the important details on replicating the issue, including what the issue is and how you can reproduce it yourself. Once the user’s given all the necessary details, it gets added to a task board so you and your community are aware of what’s being worked on.

While not an App Pitches Winner, all of the judges thought Cohezion.ai was worth shouting them out as an honorable mention since there’s a ton of both pro and aspiring game devs out there — keep an eye out for when Cohezion.ai eventually becomes available in the future.

Thanks to everyone who helped make Discord App Pitches 2023 a success, including our amazing developer community who took the time to tell us what they want to build. Your creativity knows no limits, and we know that every single dev out there is capable of greatness.

Even if your pitch didn’t win, know that you’re all winners in our hearts — we hope that you go out and build your ideas! If you’re unsure where to get started or want some guidance while building, consider joining us and over 250,000 of our closest friends in the Discord Developers community!

For the details on what App Pitches were about, keep reading for the original blog post:

Below is the original App Pitches 2023 blog post, first released on September 21, 2023.

Developers, Pitch Your App to Discord!

It’s always a great time to jump into the world of App Development on Discord. Anyone can create an app for Discord, whether you’re a solo hobby dev, a small developer group, or have a huge team behind your app, Discord is the best place to bring your idea to life and bring it in front of potential millions of users.

But some ideas can grow BIG and may need a bit of financial help to get ‘em rolling — and we want to help.

Today, we’re announcing the App Pitches Program! It’s simple: tell us something incredible you want to build on Discord. Have an idea for an app that supports your local organizations? What about a fun game that everyone will love? Or an app that fills a very specific niche within your hobbies and interests. Tell us all about it and you might receive funding to hit the ground running at full speed. 

We’re looking for one of the coolest, most supportive Discord app ideas within these categories: 

  • Apps for Artists: Creative artists are one of the biggest communities on Discord. They’re home to digital painters, sketch artists, and physical crafters who knit or share macrame patterns. Add a little color and creativity to Discord servers around the globe by creating an app that brings artists together to share skills, participate in challenges, or just enjoy a bit of doodling together.

  • IRL Impact: Discord is great for connecting like-minded friends and digital communities across the globe; it also helps real schools, club meetups, and neighborhoods stay organized and connected. We’re looking for a new app experience designed to help these types of Discord servers make a real impact in their IRL communities.

  • Mini-Games: Insane news scoop here — gamers use Discord. Millions of people talk on Discord while playing games on console, PC, and mobile, but many more play games right within Discord itself, whether solo or with others. They spelunk through text-based dungeons, run virtual food stands, tend to their game’s farms, or answer trivia. App-based games on Discord keep the fun online any time of the day.

  • Learning: Have you always wanted to learn a new language, practice a skill, or collect obscure fun facts to drop at a family gathering or win that trivia game? We have too… and who doesn’t love feeling like their chill time was also a bit productive. Studies show that learning is much faster, easier, and more fun when you do it alongside friends. Support your educational endeavors by creating an app for Discord that’ll support your accountabilibuddies and share goals to strive for, and throw a leaderboard in there for a bit of friendly competition (one that you’ll win).

  • Wildcard: If you’ve been inspired by an idea that doesn’t fit perfectly with the other categories, then this is the place for you. There are no rules, guidelines, or restrictions for a wildcard pitch! If you have an interesting area that’s a little niche, give it a go and submit your idea anyway — you might discover there are others who’ll be super grateful for your new app! After all, finding friends with like-minded interests is what Discord is all about! 

The top ideas and pitches will receive funding directly from our Ecosystem Fund: Each category winner will receive $5,000 in funding. Winners are eligible for an additional $10,000 if their project is completed within 60 days of receiving their initial funding, bringing the total prize pool across all five categories to $75,000. Judges include Discord's VP of Engineering Prachi Gupta, Netflix's Brand Manager Colin Parajon, and many more rad individuals. 

Once all the submissions are reviewed, our panel of expert judges will reach out to those with the most unique, exciting, and downright cool pitches and offer up to $15,000 to help fund their app’s development. Ready to pitch? Submissions open on September 26, 2023 and will be accepting submissions until October 10 2023, so be sure to submit your pitch in time! 

Our lawyers say we have to mention the following lines, so sit up straight when you read the following section: the App Pitches Program is open to users 18 and older, or users between the ages of 13-18 who provide proof of permission from their guardian in accordance with Discord's requirements, and who have accounts in good standing on the platform. Users residing in Brazil, the Canadian province of Quebec, or Italy are not eligible. You’ll find all the rules, eligibility, terms, and the formal details below:

We’ll be sharing the top submissions that will be receiving funding in this very blog — bookmark this page and keep an eye out for the next batch of incredible Discord apps from our thriving Developer community. Maybe you’ll find a new app you’ll want to use on your server, too! 

Build Apps, Create App-better World

There’s so much more you can do with apps on Discord. Apps are an open canvas for endless possibilities on the platform, powered by long-time and aspiring developers just like you.

Explore /build now to learn what’s possible and get started, and don’t forget to utilize the Dev Portal if you’re already deep in development on your next project.

One last time for good measure: learn everything you need to know, including the full terms and conditions, about submitting an App Pitch for an opportunity to receive up to $15,000 in funding using the big button below: