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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


First-ever Startup Weekend focuses on improving government services

Summary

The City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington are sponsoring the first Startup Weekend focused on government--and you don't have to be a developer to participate and share ideas.

Story

City of Seattle to host Startup Weekend

State of Washington, King County and City of Seattle partner with Startup Weekend for the first government vertical

The City of Seattle, King County, and the State of Washington are sponsoring the first Startup Weekend focused on government--and you don't have to be a developer to participate and share ideas.

Community members, non-profits, and other people interested in government services and data are encouraged to share ideas now at https://opennw.ideascale.com/. Developers and entrepreneurs can use these ideas to build out projects during a marathon 54-hour work weekend in city hall, focused on helping communities in the Pacific Northwest.

"We are thrilled to host the first Startup Weekend with a government focus," said Seattle Chief Technology Officer Bill Schrier. "The startup community in our region provides jobs and drives innovation. This new effort will match that innovation, that talent and those great ideas and with government partnerships and will result in better government services."

Startup Weekend Gov will bring together residents from all over Washington state including regional technology companies, developers, entrepreneurs, and local and state agency representatives to build applications and business plans using multijurisdictional government data.

The event takes place in Seattle City Hall on April 27, 28 and 29. Tickets are available starting April 2 at http://seattlegov.startupweekend.org . A pre-event orientation will be held at City Hall on April 19, from 6-9 p.m.

"Startup Weekend is a way for us to connect with a growing community of innovative thinkers who are interested in open government," said King County Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe. "We are looking forward to collaborating with the City and the State to provide data to talented developers, and let them think outside the box about how we connect services to people."

The organizing team is expecting 150 to 175 people to take part in the weekend. Open data efforts are transforming partnerships and economic development opportunities between residents and governments.

Popular applications have already been built by local developers using government data including One Bus Away and Rain Watch. These both utilize real time government data to inform residents about important issues - when will my bus arrive, and how much rain is the region receiving?

Most recently, several neighborhood watch groups approached the City of Seattle to discuss using open data to aid efforts to keep their communities safer.

"Washington is a state of digital innovators - it's one of our economy's key strengths," said Rogers Weed, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. "Startup Weekend supports that kind of innovation and the use of open data through broad-based development."

Startup Weekend is a non-profit, community-building event that brings together entrepreneurs of all backgrounds including software developers, marketers, designers, and other enthusiasts to pitch ideas, form teams and start companies in just 54 hours. The participants that attend have 60 seconds to make a pitch (optional), the pitches are whittled down to the top ideas, and then teams form around the ideas to come out with several developed companies or projects. Finally, the weekend culminates with demonstrations in front of an audience of judges and potential investors.

Learn more and get involved:

* Share your ideas at https://opennw.ideascale.com/

* Register for Startup Weekend Gov at http://seattlegov.startupweekend.org/



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
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