We’re on to something big.
Engaged citizens around the country are waking up to the fact that they don’t have to wait around for a web-enabled government. They’re making apps to better understand the landscape of crime in their neighborhoods. They’re organizing their communities to bring apps to their cities by joining a Code for America Brigade.
We’ve now begun an exciting next step in citizen engagement. Some of those same citizens have taken their civic participation to the next level by forming a new type of company, a civic startup, to address issues of responsiveness, efficiency, and citizen participation in government through modern web services.
We at Code for America define a civic startup as a company that provides services on top of open government data, brings modern web technologies directly to governments, or changes the way citizens ask, get, or need services from government. The civic startups we’ve encountered in our work, like Govloop, SeeClickFix, and Brightscope, already provide these services. They are also engaged in government workings, technically skilled, and already working to disrupt a $140 billion dollar industry. However, for a long time they and companies like them largely stood alone in an this industry. And, frankly, America cannot afford to wait any longer for innovation.
That is why we are excited to invite seven of the most promising civic startups from around the country to join us next week in launching the world’s first civic startup accelerator.
Through the generosity of Google.org and the Kauffman Foundation, we will be working to provide our inaugural class of startups the best in mentorship, training, and networking in the Bay Area’s startup ecosystem. We will embark with this cohort to a new frontier of entrepreneurship and civic engagement, and we want to ensure their success so that everyone may benefit from their work.
As we provide updates in the coming week of our inaugural class’s arrival in San Francisco and development through the program, we invite you to follow our story as we pave new ground on this initiative. Question our model and provide input. We appreciate your thoughts and participation in our community. Even more, we invite you to dream big, ship product, and hack government.