Dharmishta Rood

7 characteristics of government technology startups

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:

Calling .gov startups: apply for the 2014 Code for America accelerator

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

Photo: Ryan Resella / Code for America

Code for America is now accepting applications for its 2014 Civic Startup Accelerator program.

The program lasts four months and includes, according to CfA, training, mentorship, network, publicity, in-kind services, support and $25,000 in funding. Participating startups are expected to convene at CfA’s San Francisco headquarters one week a month from July to October.

“Think about joining us as we work to catalyze the civic technology ecosystem — and to create a government by the people, for the people that works in the 21st century,” said Accelerator Manager Dharmishta Rood announcing the new round.

Application deadline is May 15. For questions, see the FAQs and apply here.