White House Kicks Off Presidential Innovation Fellows Program

August 23, 2012

2:03 pm

Today, the White House kicked off the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program, a 6-month initiative that brings 18 innovators to Washington to improve government technology and help US citizens. The fellows, selected from almost 700 applicants, come from startups, non-profits, and education.

“These private sector innovators bring their entrepreneurial expertise to the table that has helped jump-start high-tech companies, increase efficiency and public engagement, and redefine how technology is used in business,” says US CTO Todd Park.

The Presidential Innovation Fellows Program includes five specific projects:


Twitter: @ProjectMyGov

Goal: Build a prototype for an online system that gives citizens access to information and services from the federal government, and accepts feedback.

Fellows: Kara DeFrias, Phil Ashlock, Danny Chapman, Greg Gershman, Ben Balter

Open Data Initiatives

Twitter: @ProjectOpenData

Goal: Open up government data so that entrepreneurs can use it to create new tools that help citizens in fields like health, energy, education, public safety, and nonprofits.

Fellows: Ian Kalin, Marina Martin, Raphael Majma, Nick Bramble. Dmitry Kachaev, Nathaniel Manning

Blue Button for America

Twitter: @ProjectBlueBtn

Goal: Create tools that give Americans access to their health records. It stems from a program called Blue Button, which allows veterans, service members, and Medicare beneficiaries to download their health records as a text file.

Fellows: Henry Wei, MDRyan Panchadsaram, Matt McCall


Twitter: @ProjectRFPEZ

Goal: Make it easier for companies to sell their innovations to government agencies. It will grow from BusinessUSA, which has been trying to help small businesses navigate the government.

Fellows: Clay Johnson, Jed Wood, Adam Becker

The 20% Initiative 

Twitter: @ProjectTwenty

Goal: Rather than using cash to pay for billion-dollar monthly expenses in foreign policy, development, and government operations, the goal is to transition to electronic payments.

Fellow: Karl Mehta

If you have questions, jump on Twitter at 5 pm ET. Use the hashtag #WHChat and follow the chat on @WHLive and @WhiteHouseOSTP

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Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact [email protected]

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