CfA Kicks Off Accelerator for Civic Startups

The Code for America Accelerator kicked off its inaugural program this week and welcomed seven civic startups from across the country for a whirlwind week filled with mentor advising, speaker sessions, networking events, and work.

Joining us at our San Francisco office and via Skype were some of the biggest thinkers in government and technology. We wanted to recap some of the great advice heard throughout the week.


// Accelerator Program Director Ron Bouganim welcoming the startups:

  • “I’ve been fortunate enough to be at the pivot point during the transformation of a number of industries, and at every one of these points there has been a group of people who are beginning something very special. Here we have a tremendous opportunity to transform government and it’s going to blow people’s minds.”


// Cyd Harrell, VP of UX Research at Bolt Peters & Kate Rutter, co-founder and principal at LUXr Incorporated, on user experience and lean approaches for product development:

  • Think, make, check. Think, make, check. Think, make, check.


// Tim O’Reilly, CEO of O’Reilly Media & Lane Becker, author, on marketing best practices:

  • “You have a lot of power in marketing others and a movement rather than yourself.” – Tim O’Reilly
  • “The real value lies in aligning the grains and creating structures around you that help you create value.” – Lane Becker


Javier Muniz, CTO of Granicus, on what startups need to sell to government:

  • “Feet on the ground. Feet on the ground. Feet on the ground. A lot of patience.”


// Lukas Biewald, founder & CEO of Crowdflower, on sales:

  • “Customers are always buying a feeling.”

To see more about week one at the Accelerator, check us out on Twitter at #cfaaccelerator.

If you have comments, hit us up @codeforamerica.

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