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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor

SUBJECT: Startup Weekend Gov seeks participant to build apps using government data

4/25/2012  12:00:00 PM
Sabra Schneider (206)684-8328
Megan Erb  (206) 233-8736

Startup Weekend Gov seeks participant to build apps using government data
Developers, designers, entrepreneurs, community members and government
to mash up data and ideas this weekend in City Hall

SEATTLE - The first Startup Weekend aimed at connecting local application developers, entrepreneurs and community members with online government data will take place this weekend, April 27, 28 and 29, in Seattle City Hall.

"We're asking the technology and start-up communities to help us find new ways to use government data. Startup Weekend Gov is a great opportunity to come build an application and make a difference in your community," said Mayor Mike McGinn. "More than 125 people came to city hall last week to learn more about building government apps and I'm excited to see them back in City Hall on April 27 for the weekend."

Startup Weekend Gov offers a 54-hour work session that begins at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 27. Developers will use data posted by the City of Seattle, King County and the State of Washington to create new mobile apps and business ideas that make government services more accessible and relevant to residents and businesses. It's not too late to register and participate at Data sets can be found at

"Startup Weekend is a great illustration of community members, local software developers, and government staff working together to build effective apps for the community to use. I hope to see some exciting and practical public safety apps. When the Council set forth the Open Data Initiative and Apps contest a few years ago, the City embraced crowdsourcing and transparency to engage citizens directly in the decision-making process," said Councilmember Bruce Harrell, chair of the Public Safety, Civil Rights and Technology committee. "Thank you to everyone for participating at Startup Weekend this week."

"I am excited to participate in this experiment. Participants have the opportunity to creatively change the way services based on Government data can reach citizens," said Washington State's Chief Information Officer Bharat Shyam. "I will try hard to support any reasonable requests for data sources in order to bring your ideas into existence."

Projects like OneBusAway and Seattle Rain Watch have come from using government data in new ways. The Green Lake Park Tree Walk Map is an example of using data to enhance our lives. An app may involve anything government does, from recycling to parks to public safety, neighborhoods, energy, or helping people in need. 

"With Startup Weekend Gov only days away we are looking forward to this unique opportunity to collaborate with our community, data owners, and developers to create sustainable applications that will help make government services more accessible in our region," said King County Chief Information Officer Bill Kehoe.  "Providing our open datasets in conjunction with city and state data is a powerful starting point for those interested in putting government data to work".

Learn more and get involved:

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.

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