7 characteristics of government technology startups

Photo: <a href="http://codeforamerica.org">Code for America</a>
Photo: Code for America

Code for America recently held a “Bay Area Government Technology Showcase” featuring ventures and investors pitching their ideas, and CfA’s Ashley Meyers and Dharmishta Rood opened the event with an overview of seven traits of the next generation of government technology startups.

Here are the seven principles outlined:

  1. Use modern best practices to develop technology
  2. Design for and with people
  3. Charge less
  4. Help governments work together
  5. Deliver feedback to governments to help them improve their services
  6. Support open data
  7. Play well with others

While the principles don’t explicitly say “open source software,” we can all agree any company that incorporates this into its business model successfully meets these with flying colors. Unfortunately, to date, most civic-focused startups fail this litmus test and still follow a “zero to n” approach when it comes to innovating the government IT landscape.

I’m confident, though, that once we start seeing successful ventures on this front, there will be more truly innovative companies embracing this as a holistic strategy. Of course, this will be expedited by innovative entrepreneurs and investors willing to double down on a fundamentally new approach to technology.

Watch the video and full playlist of presentations here:

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at luke@govfresh.com.


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