It’s Summit Week!
We at Code for America are pumped to showcase the amazing projects and apps created by the Code for America fellows, their respective partner cities, and, most recently, the Accelerator teams.
As the newest additions of the Code for America family, the civic startups in the Accelerator program will be demoing for the first time as a cohort to an audience of leading government technologists and innovation officers. This is not just an opportunity to pitch product – it will also be an opportunity for shared learning and time for the audience to provide live, en masse input to the teams about their possible efficacy in their city.
Beyond the Summit, this presentation marks the imminent arrival of our startups’ public debut. We want governments and citizens everywhere to benefit from services like those our startups are crafting. To that end, I want to revisit what a civic startup means to us at Code for America and why civic startups align so well with our mission.
Defining Civic Startups
We describe civic startups as having one of three models: 1) they provide services on top of open government data; 2) they bring modern web technologies directly to governments; 3) they change the way citizens ask, get, or need services from government.
By adopting these models, established civic startups like SeeClickFix and our own growing network of civic startups in the Accelerator promote the mission of Code for America in a new way. Whereas our fellows help catalyze innovation and development around open data from within government, our startups promote these values from the outside, across all their clients in every city, county, and/or state they work in, spreading the values of Code for America to new territory.
When outstanding civic startups’ services are adopted by a city, its not just the city that benefits. They also help agents of change within government legitimize the need for modern web services that create powerful participation from citizens, and/or more effective delivery of services. The Accelerator helps surface and develop these outstanding startups through our rigorous application process and mentorship program, legitimizing civic startups and this space. Providing a platform like the Summit, where we bring government technologists to startups, closes the loop on this process of building partnerships between changemaking startups and government champions.
These qualities and more make civic startups powerful instigators of our mission.
I’m excited and proud of our startups and very much look forward for the startups to wow everyone at the Summit and,forward-looking, governments everywhere.
Questions? Comments? Hit us up @codeforamerica.