This is a public-private partnership you’ll want to pay attention to. We introduced you to Code for America back in April. They’re a non-profit that selects several entrepreneurs to work on civic projects in their partner cities. 2011 was their first year, during which they partnered with Boston, Seattle, and Philadelphia. The results were numerous and intriguing (check out their annual report here).
For 2012, they’ve announced a few new ventures. They’re partnering with several more cities this year in addition to launching Code for America Accelerator, a start-up incubator focused on creating the next generation of government vendors. This spring, they’ll be holding several hackathons to identify the best entrepreneurs for the job. Once the team is identified, they’ll work with city partners to choose which departments are most in need of new tools, for improving things like permitting applications or records requests. See the San Francisco Chronicle article for more details.
Code for America has the potential to do for city governments what Silicon Valley has done for the tech industry. Imagine what our world would be like if the fastest, most pleasurable service experiences we had were those interactions with city governments!
– Terra Curtis