Startup Weekend e-Government DC Produces 13 Innovative, Public Sector-Focused Startups

This past weekend, Microsoft‘s DC office hosted Startup Weekend e-Government DC, its second pilot event focused on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the public sector. In partnership with Code for America, the goal was to bring together entrepreneurs interested in solving real-life problems faced by federal and local government agencies, citizens, and businesses – or to breathe new life into existing, outdated solutions.  The winning team earned a spot in the finalist round of Code For America’s Civic Accelerator.

The panel of Startup Weekend e-Government DC judges included:

  • Aneesh Chopra @aneeshchopra – Senior Advisor at The Advisory Board and former United States Chief Technology Officer
  • Mark Headd @mheadd – Director of Government Relations at Code for America
  • Tom Lee @tjl – Director of Sunlight Labs (Note: he has named a panda)
  • Dan Kasun @dankasun – Senior Director of Microsoft’s US Public Sector Developer and Platform Evangelism (Note: also a closet cartoonist)

Startups who presented were:

  • LitheLaw – legal decision support software
  • FoodSpotter – an app that presented graphical nutrition labels from public (USDA) data sets in order to solve problems such as obesity and “food dead zones” (areas where there are no grocery stores)
  • Dolphin – gamification of classroom learning; to be integrated into outside games
  • Business One-Stop – step-by-step solution to incorporating a business in DC; think TurboTax for starting a business (similar to LegalZoom)
  • Deedsly – creating and nurturing communities through meaningful volunteering
  • GS Agility (@GSAgility) – fixing the government procurement process by enabling vendors and contractors to provide services using government purchasing cards
  • PubGov.Us – bringing communities together to solve problems; like Digg plus Kickstarter for community projects
  • Oasis Energy – solving energy creation and distribution in developing nations and villages
  • Show “Me” the Development Money – visualization of public (World Bank) data related to funding and investment in infrastructure
  • PiNEAPPLE – delivering weekly nutritional fresh food to corner stores in poor neighborhoods as determined by USDA data
  • Civit – connecting citizens with govt and corporations to get local civic work done
  • N-1-1 – an iPhone app that will notify a network of nearby off-duty first responders, in addition to notifying important phone contacts and calling 911 in times of an emergency
  • Phot-O-Bama – a hilarious meme app that photoshops Obama into your photos (joke, but maybe it’ll become a real app soon?)

Phot-o-bama #swegov #dctech @sw_dc CHOOSE YO'BAMA! on Twitpic

Huge congratulations to:

1st place – GS Agility (@GSAgility)
2nd place – PiNEAPPLE (@PineappleFood)
3rd place – Business One-Stop

We hope to see these startups, as well as the other Startup Weekend participants, grow into government-focused successes!

PS: I was only able to make it to the last day of Startup Weekend e-Government DC, but here is a great video of author and Deloitte consultant Bill Eggers talking about innovative startups and the public sector.

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Written by:
Jeff Tong is a social media strategist in Washington DC and has been a long-time contributor at Tech Cocktail. You'll find Jeff at tech events, foodie hangouts, and possibly snorkeling somewhere tropical. Contact Jeff online at @gundamwing4132 or
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