The Open Data Institute Comes to NC

Cary, NC – The Open Data Institute of London, UK has a node in North Carolina – the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC). Local Open Data guru Jason Hare chartered the Node in October 2013 and finally convinced local entrepreneur Ian Henshaw to come on board as CEO.

What is the Open Data Institute?

The Open Data Institute is catalysing the evolution of open data culture to create economic, environmental, and social value. It helps unlock supply, generates demand, creates and disseminates knowledge to address local and global issues.

We convene world-class experts to collaborate, incubate, nurture and mentor new ideas, and promote innovation. We enable anyone to learn and engage with open data, and empower our teams to help others through professional coaching and mentoring.

What is a Node of the Open Data Institute?

Each ODI Node has agreed to adopt the ODI Charter, which is a open source codification of the ODI itself, and embodies principles of open data business, publishing, communication, and collaboration.

City or Regional Nodes deliver projects, and can provide training, research, and development. …ODI North Carolina… falls into this category.

ODI NC Activities

  • ODI NC has brought the ODI Training to the US. Register today for Open Data in a Day course on May 30
  • Follow the ODI NC on Twitter – @TheODINC
  • Follow the activities of the ODI NC on their blog.
NC Datapalooza Logo

NC Datapalooza Starts April 24

Raleigh, NC – The 2014 NC Datapalooza program this year kicks off with a boot camp next Thursday night from 5:30 – 8 PM at the new HQ Raleigh location. Make sure you attend this session to get a jump on the whole datapalooza process.

What is NC Datapalooza?

NC Datapalooza is a competition where teams build commercial products or services based on Open Data. The Datapalooza process is extended to allow you the time to build really good and well thought through ideas. There are lots of resources available to the NC Datapalooza teams to help challenge and refine your ideas. This year, the NC Datapalooza process focuses on the Health Care vertical.

Why go to Boot Camp?

The Datapalooza program this year will have some new elements to help you to better develop your ideas and offerings. Starting with Boot Camp next week, there will be a Startup Weekend May 9-11 followed by a period of mentoring and product development and ending with final presentations and awards in September. While you might be able to start NC Datapalooza some time else during the process, your best bet is to start at the beginning and take in all of the goodness that NC Datapalooza has to offer!

Boot Camp Details

  • What: NC Datapalooza Boot Camp
  • When: Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 5:30 PM to 8:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: HQ Raleigh, 310 S Harrington St, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • NC Datapalooza Boot Camp Registration Site

What to Expect From NC Datapalooza

I was part of a NC Datapalooza team last year and wrote about my experience in the process. There are new elements that are being added this year, but the article will give you a flavor of what to expect through the process.

Past Articles on NC Datapalooza

Disclosure: Ian Henshaw and Technology Tank are part of the organizing team for the 2014 NC Datapalooza.

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NEXT for Serious Entrepreneurs

Raleigh, NC – Here is a great program for all those Triangle entrepreneurs who are standing up a new company or thinking of launching a new venture. NEXT is scheduled in Raleigh for April 2 – May 7, 2014. The registration deadline is March 28, 2014, so don’t delay!

What is NEXT?

NEXT is a product of UP Global which helps startup founders become better prepared to build successful startups. It is a five-week “pre-accelerator” program rooted in Steve Blank’s Customer Development methodology, driven by mentors and unique video content. The NEXT program helps founders gain a crucial base of entrepreneurial skills and knowledge.

My NEXT Experience

I attended the first NEXT program that was held in the Triangle in September 2013. The instructors and mentors were great. We were constantly challenged to “get out of the office” and go and talk to people to validate and hone our ideas and offerings. Over the 5 weeks we did quite a lot of work and were able to make good progress on our venture. We were also able to make great contacts in the Triangle through the organizers John Austin and Mital Patel.

2 of our 7 member team (yes, 7 – quite a large team for a startup) attended the NEXT class and we learned a lot but we started moving faster than the team was comfortable. Ultimately, our team fell apart. I would recommend that all of your team members should attend together so you can make the leap as a group.

Why Register for NEXT?

NEXT is a great program and participating will really help you to develop your idea and validate your concepts and markets so you don’t waste too much time working on a venture that has no market. 20,000 hours is a benchmark of the time you will spend developing your idea. Investing a couple of months of your time now will save you lots of time later!

F6S.com is handling the registration this time for NEXT. Be prepared that they use either your Facebook or Linked-In credentials to register you so you can fill in the application.

NEXT Details

Emerging Tech Hub - Raleigh, NC - Picture by James Willamore

Raleigh – Emerging Tech Hub

Raleigh, NC – Raleigh was just included in a list of the 8 emerging tech hubs. The list originally appeared on the TransferWise blog: Why you should pay attention to these 8 emerging tech hubs (TransferWise is the new way to transfer money between countries and is “from the people who built Skype and PayPal“)

The TransferWise folks “found 8 cities where technology’s influence is growing by the minute, and the world should start paying close attention.”

The List

  1. Eindhoven, Netherlands
  2. Pune, India
  3. Nicosia, Cyprus
  4. Dublin, Ireland
  5. Raleigh, North Carolina
  6. Hong Kong
  7. Malmö, Sweden
  8. Tel Aviv, Israel

The Word About Raleigh

Affordable housing, short commutes and the title of No.1 U.S. city for young families are all triggers for the flock of technology companies and university graduates to Raleigh. Over the past two decades, Raleigh has experienced the third-highest job growth and second-highest population increase in the country. It’s also part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, one of the most prominent U.S. research parks pioneering in IT and biotechnology. The region (known as Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill) is anchored by cutting-edge research institutions from surrounding universities, growing high-tech companies like Bandwith and Yealink as well as Fortune 100 companies IBM, Cisco, Sony Ericsson and many more.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation as an Economic Development Tool

The efforts of everyone in Raleigh pulling together for entrepreneurship and innovation is a powerful economic development tool. The momentum is continuing to build and recognition of Raleigh and the Triangle as a premier Tech Hub will only continue.

What are all the pieces that are building our strong and vibrant Tech community?


I hear people wondering if we have too many things going on in the Tech space and if the market is now getting crowded. I think there is room for many more, companies, programs and meetups. Competition, friendly competition, in the Triangle area will develop even better programs and offerings than we have right now and will ensure our place as a premier Tech Hub.

Featured picture by James Willamor under Creative Commons


Google & Multiple Personalities

Cary, NC — All the hoopla and stories recently in the Triangle have been about Google Fiber. But here’s an observation you may not have heard elsewhere: Google now fully embraces the Theory of Multiple Personalities. Thank heavens. Read more

TODD Event Information

Cary, NC – Here is a treasure trove of information for Triangle Open Data Day. Please know that the good things on Saturday are starting promptly at 9am. We have breakfast and vats of coffee planned, so please arrive early. Doors open at 8am and seats for the Keynote may be at a premium…


Here is the schedule for Triangle Open Data Day:TODD Schedule (PDF)

General Schedule – Saturday, February 22, 2014
08:00 AM Doors Open / Registration
09:00 AM Announcements (Room 1025)
Keynote: Gail Roper, CIO, City of Raleigh
10:30 AM Sessions Start
12:30 PM Lunch
01:30 PM Sessions Continue
05:00 PM Winding Down
06:00 PM Doors Close


Education Track Sessions (Room 1025):
10:30 AM Session 1: What is Open Data? – Panel Discussion
Moderator: Hal Goodtree, Editor, Cary Citizen
Panel: Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager, City of Raleigh
Andrew Krzmarzick, Director of Community Engagement, GovLoop
Todd Lewis, Executive Director, IT-oLogy (Creator and Chair of All Things Open)
Additional Panel Members – TBA
11.30 AM Session 2: Open Source / Open Data
Jason Baker, Marketing Specialist (Opensource.com), Red Hat
01.30 PM Session 3: Every Solider is a Sensor
Amy Gaskins, AVP, Data Analysis SWAT, MetLife
02.30 PM Session 4: Open Government / Open Data
Lori Bush, Town Councilor, Town of Cary
03.30 PM Session 5: What is Next in Open Data?
Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager, City of Raleigh


Hacker Track Sessions (Room 1021):
10:30 AM Session 1: Socrata Open Data Platform and API (SODA)
Reid Serozi, Data Solutions Architect, Socrata
11.30 AM Session 2: GIS Tools for Developers
Jim Alberque, GIS Manager, City of Raleigh
01.30 PM Session 3: Getting Started with Node.js
Brian Marks, COO, trinket.io
02.30 PM Session 4: MongoDB
David Green, Software Architect, Parata Systems
03.30 PM Session 5: Hybrid Mobile Apps with PhoneGap/Apache Cordova
Carlos Santana, IBM/Cordova core team


Hackathon / CodeAcross Sessions (Room 1231):
10:30 AM – 5:00 PM


General Schedule – Sunday, February 23, 2014
08:00 AM Doors Open
12:30 PM Lunch
03:00 PM Presentations Start
05:00 PM Winding Down
06:00 PM Doors Close


Lots of parking nearby is available. Look over the map and I think you will agree. Most parking is a short walk to the venue, but do not arrive just in time (see above about breakfast and coffee!!!)

Map of NCSU Centennial Campus for Triangle Open Data Day

CodeAcross at TODD

Cary, NC – The three Code for America Brigades (Code for Raleigh, Code for Cary and Code for Durham) will be participating in CodeAcross 2014 in conjunction with Triangle Open Data Day (TODD) with an Open Data Catalog project. The brigades will catalog the sixteen datasets that every city should be making easily available online in machine-readable formats. The project will attempt to catalog the datasets across all the municipalities in the Triangle region.

16 Datasets

  • 311: data about requests to city services non-emergency department
  • Budget: the city’s budget
  • Business Listings: a directory of all businesses operating in the city
  • Business Permits and Licenses: new businesses who have been issued permits
  • Code Enforcement: building code inspection data surfacing reports on particular properties from code enforcement officials
  • Construction Permits: permits related to new construction on buildings
  • Contracts: information about vendor contracts that the city has entered into
  • Crime: data about crime reports
  • Locations of Public Facilities: locations of publicly-owned buildings and other property
  • Performance Metrics: Performance indicators are usually a set of KPIs reported as a set–not an individual file–as in Chicago or Louisville.
  • Property Assessment: data about assessed property values
  • Restaurant Inspection: reports filed by restaurant inspectors
  • Spending: data on city expenditures
  • Street Closure Permits: permits issued for street closures related to construction or maintenance
  • Transit Data: Public transit stops and schedules
  • Zoning: Zoning district or parcel shapefiles

If you don’t have a specific project you want to work on, please join the Triangle Code for America Brigades to complete this important project.

Keynote – Gail Roper

Raleigh, NC – We are honored and excited to announce that we have confirmed Gail Roper as the Keynote speaker for Triangle Open Data Day. The Keynote is scheduled for 9:00 AM (EST) on Saturday, February 22, 2014.

Gail Roper Photo from City of Raleigh Website

Gail Roper. Photo from the City of Raleigh Website

Gail Roper is the Chief Information and Community Relations Officer at the City of Raleigh. Ms. Roper has experience as an IT executive, a CIO, and a C-level administrator. Previous to her service in Raleigh, Ms. Roper has held positions in the cities of Kansas City, MO and Austin, TX. Ms. Roper is a proponent of the Open Source and Open Data movements and regularly speaks to a national audience – recently at the Code for America Summit 2013 (see video below).

Ms. Roper is the Founder of the Raleigh Digital Connectors, a youth program that identifies talented young people ages 14-21 to become Digital Connectors and receive intensive training in technology and the benefits of volunteerism.

Ms. Roper has a long and distinguished CV and we are honored to have her present the Triangle Open Data Day Keynote.

Gail Roper’s Blog: The Connected CIO

Open Data Case Study

Cary, NC – What can you do with Open Data? Here is an interesting look into Health Inspection Data by Tech Tank Fellow, Jamie Dixon. Jamie asked questions like:

  • Do average restaurant ratings vary by month?
  • … by day of the month?
  • … by day of the week?

Jamie also analysed the data to see if ratings varied by inspector, and by restaurant type. There are some interesting findings which need further follow up (as Jamie admits the results may not be statistically significant).

Here are the tools used in the analysis:

  • F# for analytics
  • C# for unit testing
  • D3 for graphics

You can read all the details of how Jamie received the data and performed his analyses in Jamie’s Blog:

What Project will you work on at Triangle Open Data Day?

Bronze Sponsor – Socrata

Cary, NC – We are proud to announce that Socrata is sponsoring Triangle Open Data Day at the Bronze sponsorship level.

Socrata is known for their civic involvement in the community. The Socrata platform powers the City of Raleigh Open Data portal. Socrata also supports the efforts of Code for Cary with a Community Open Data portal.

During the ‘hacker track’, Reid Serozi from Socrata will be giving a presentation of the Socrata Open Data portal and how it can be useful for Developers during our event as well as how it can be useful to access Open Data for product and service commercialization.