CivStart is a new government-focused start-up accelerator that wants to ensure civic technology products “don’t get made in a vacuum — that they serve the needs of our most vulnerable and underserved communities.”
In “Peace Through Entrepreneurship: Investing in a Startup Culture for Security and Development,” former State Department staffer Steven Koltai makes the case that world peace can best be achieved through nonmilitary means, especially entrepreneurship that leads to global job creation.
I’ve spent the last eight years building and selling products to governments. At the risk of oversimplifying what works in govtech, I think success comes from three factors.
Adding to the increased interest in investment opportunities around civic and government technology, a new venture fund, Ekistic Ventures, launched with the intent of “building a portfolio of companies that will solve critical urban problems.”
Bay Area cities San Francisco, Oakland, West Sacramento and San Leandro teamed with startups this year as part of the Startup in Residence program to “explore ways to use technology to make government more accountable, efficient and responsive.”
Y Combinator is looking for a team of people to lead research on how to make cities better, and will use the findings to help determine how to invest in future ventures.
icitizen re-launched in January 2016 with a broader goal, to change how we communicate on civic issues, connect with our communities and “promote meaningful change.” icitizen’s Jacel Egan shares the vision for its future.
Former Chicago and District of Columbia transportation head Gabe Klein highlights eight lessons leaders should follow when building innovative approaches to better cities in his book “Start-Up City.”
The idea of regulatory hacking — “combining public policy and alternatives to traditional marketing for startups to successfully scale in the next wave of the digital economy” — is important for new companies interested in changing energy, healthcare and especially government itself to understand.
We just held our seventh week of the Hacking for Defense class. Now with over 750 interviews of beneficiaries (users, program managers, stakeholders, etc.) almost all the teams are beginning to pivot from their original understanding of their sponsor’s problem and their hypotheses about how to solve them.
The Department of Better Technology was one of 42 companies accepted into the latest round of the highly-regarded 500 Startups accelerator program, a “4-month curriculum of customer acquisition coaching, fundraising training, and access to 500’s massive ecosystem.”
Earlier, I wrote about the book “Open Organization” and, via a post originally published on ProudCity, wanted to share my extended thoughts on how this applies to government vendors in the context of the work I’m doing there.
Today, I’m excited to announce a new civic startup, ProudCity, founded by me and three others, committed to making it easier for cities to stand up and manage municipal digital services.
I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.
Seneca Systems CEO Chris Maddox shares the inspiration behind the new constituent relationship management system, Romulus.
I recently discovered Silicon Valley venture capital firm a16z’s podcast series, and it’s a sign of the times that a VC is leveraging media in a way that not just promotes their portfolio companies, but also addresses the government and regulatory affairs issues Silicon Valley, startups and technology companies increasingly face.
Government communications platform GovDelivery announced today it has acquired the civic engagement text messaging service Textizen to “promote citizen action, engagement, and behavior change.”
Fred Wilson’s talk with The New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin during the recent Cities for Tomorrow 2015 conference about how cities can create startup hubs is a must-watch for mayors.
Silicon Valley venture capital firm a16z hosts an excellent discussion with current Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and former mayor Adrian Fenty on its a16z Podcast series.
Voter co-founder Hunter Scarborough shares the vision and mission behind his new venture.
In an effort to help entrepreneurs get businesses legally established without the red tape hassle, the White House, Small Business Administration and National League of Cities are rallying cities to provide simpler online tools and processes for those applying for licenses and permits.
Former Code for America Chief Program Officer Bob Sofman has joined procurement startup SmartProcure as government sector executive vice president.
The service allows citizens to report non-emergency requests, such as potholes and graffiti, via their mobile devices, which are then serviced through a back-end, enterprise customer relationship management system.
The fast-growing, neighborhood-based community platform Nextdoor has launched a new feature, Nextdoor Polls, that now allows neighbors to easily ask one another questions and quantify the results.
In an industry that constantly talks about transforming government procurement, one startup is been quietly making a go of it, and it just keeps getting better.
For the past 15 years, I’ve spent much of my professional life working with and in startups. It’s an environment I love. You have complete control over your destiny, and you win by blending the perfect amalgam of people, design, technology, strategy and execution all into one mission.
BlueLight founder and CEO Preet Anand shares his vision for re-inventing 911.
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.
We’ve recently seen an uptick in venture capital interest around government and civic technology startups, but before we enthusiastically celebrate these investments, we must ask ourselves whether this potential bubble will truly reshape government IT or simply leave us five years from now in the same place we are today.
Y Combinator posted a list of sectors it’s interested in hearing pitches from in a “request for startups” that includes government-focused ventures.
Government media and events company e.Republic is expanding its business operations to include funding civic-focused startups, in hopes of leveraging its Rolodex of government officials to help serve as a channel for sales and marketing to those ventures it supports.
After Adam Becker and Clay Johnson completed their stints as White House Presidential Innovation Fellows working together on Project RFP-EZ, they were inspired to scale IT simplicity so that governments everywhere would no longer have to deal with traditional mediocre software solutions most legacy vendors provide.
StreetCred helps law enforcement agencies locate fugitives, get them out of the community, and bring the officers home safely each day.
SmartProcure is a government purchasing database that helps agencies improve purchasing decisions and vendors win more government business.
ArchiveSocial enables public sector organizations to embrace social media by minimizing risk and eliminating compliance barriers.
Lately, what’s happening between both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue is starting to catch the ire of some venture capitalists who, like many Americans already, are starting to publicly vent their frustrations.
PublicStuff helps local governments turn service requests and inquiries into tangible community improvements by connecting people directly to their city representatives from their laptop, mobile phone or tablet.
After a few years in the civic startup trenches, Revelstone has learned a thing or two about building a new business targeting government’s analytical needs.
Park.it creates happy drivers driving in cities like San Francisco, by helping them avoid parking tickets or tow away charges along with parking choices at their fingertips.
Vice President of Community Adriel Hampton pitches NationBuilder Government, a unified web, communications and CRM database solution.
Captricity solves the “paper problem,” unlocking digital, machine-readable data from paper.
Great “Connected Empowerment” video featuring San Francisco Chief Innovation Officer Jay Nath and civic action platform, Neighborland.
Revelstone provides a web-based performance analytics and benchmarking platform to help local governments manage better.
Neighbor.ly is a civic crowdfunding platform for U.S. cities and civic-minded organizations.
Citizinvestor is the latest startup to tackle public budget woes by offsetting lack of public funding with crowdsourced citizen donations targeted to specific projects.
Measured Voice President Jed Sundwall writes “Why We’re a Civic Startup” on the company’s blog to highlight why it applied to the Code for America Accelerator program.
MindMixer is working with the San Francisco, Los Angeles and other local communities to help crowdsource ideas for civic improvement. CEO and Co-Founder Nick Bowden discusses his venture and the value of government-citizen collaboration.
Raise Your Voice founder Dan Busse shares how his new civic venture wants to change the way citizens and legislators engage with one another.
Give us the 140-character elevator pitch.
We are a tool, placed in online news and blogs, that promotes open dialogue between citizens and legislators in response to current issues.
What problem does Raise Your Voice solve for government?
By enabling average people to quickly and easily voice their opinions to their elected officials – from the news, when they’re most inspired – officials get a larger sampling and a better, unfiltered understanding of how their constituents feel.
What’s the story behind starting Raise Your Voice?
I conceived Raise Your Voice during the debates on health care reform. As an Emergency Physician, I grew increasingly frustrated watching the town hall meetings, well meaning attempts at open dialogue, were hijacked by special interests and degenerated into shouting matches. It became clear to me that there were too many layers – pundits, interest groups, and media, between people and their elected officials, so I designed Raise Your Voice to give the average citizen direct and easy access. I placed it in online news, because that’s where people are most inspired to act. We got some small funding and launched in November 2011.
What are its key features?
Our main attribute is that, in being placed in online news and blogs, we make ourselves available when people are the most inspired about current issues (who hasn’t yelled at the news?).
Other key features include:
- an address book that includes federal, state, local, and county officials (since all politics is local)
- the ability to share their communications throughout their social networks
- we are working on integrating an advocacy platform, so people writing about an issue can see other groups working in their area (i.e. I write about logging and the spotted owl then see links to the Sierra Club and Wilderness Society sites)
- we have a multitude of features we are working on to make interaction easier; all aimed at opening up government.
What are the costs, pricing plans?
We are free.
How can those interested connect with you?
Code for America officially launched its Code for America Accelerator to “‘turbo-charge’ select civic startups by providing them an opportunity to amplify market awareness of their product, to access a wealth of business training and advice, and to be introduced to a broad network of potential investors and civic leaders.”
CivicSponsor wants to disrupt the traditional way we fund our public spaces. Here, its three co-founders outline how their new venture aims to help citizens and public servants think outside the taxpayer box.