Code for Raleigh

Code for Raleigh – Jan 2015

Raleigh, NC – Tuesday, January 6, 2015 saw the Raleigh Code for America Brigade (Code for Raleigh) hold one of their biggest hack nights ever – 40 “civic hackers” had signed up on the meetup group. Civic hackers started filtering in to the NC Innovation Center early in anticipation of the nights events.

Code for Raleigh Hack Night

Code for Raleigh PresentationsBrigade Captains, Jason Hibbets and Reid Serozi introduced the program. After the attendees had all introduced themselves there was a round of short presentations of the ongoing projects and pitches for projects that different people wanted to work on. The projects ranged from reuse of existing Code for America (CfA) projects to some really interesting new ideas:

  • Where’s My School Bus (Existing CfA project)
  • NC Connect
  • Flu Shot Finder (Existing CfA project)
  • Real Time Transit Finder
  • Optimized School Bus Routes [Using data from Where’s My School Bus?]
  • Where’s My Treatment
  • Prospect Citizen

Code for Raleigh PresentatonsAfter the presentations, the assembled crowd broke up into groups to discuss and work on the above projects. Much civic goodness will come from this and the subsequent Code for Raleigh Meetings. All these projects and their activity can be found on the Code for Raleigh Website.

Want to Know More?

There are 5 Code for America Brigades in North Carolina. Each of them are undertaking exciting projects that can dramatically change the way that citizens interact with their governments and government services. Look over the Brigade websites. If you like what they are doing, join their meetups, introduce yourself and get involved. You do not have to be a coder as many, many skills are required to make disruptive change through technology adoption.

Details about all 5 NC brigades can be found in the Tech Tank article Code for America in NC 2015.

Triangle Open Data Day - Picture by Reid Serozi

Triangle Open Data Day 2015

Raleigh, NC – Registration for Triangle Open Data Day 2015 (TODD) is open and tickets are going fast. We sold out last year and are expecting another sell-out crowd this year. We will be in the same location as last year at the Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus which proved to be a great place to hold the event.

Triangle Open Data Day LogoThis year we will be putting more focus on the hackathon and will be identifying mentors that can help you start and rapidly progress on an open data project of your own interest. We are looking for mentors with programming, start-ups, data analysis and open data skills to help us out at the event.

For some of you this is a warm up for the NC Datapalooza competition to be held later in the year, so come out and figure out what sort of winning project you can start working on for that competition.

Our keynote speakers are the Durham CIO team of Kerry Goode and Greg Marrow who will be informing us of the different direction that Durham is taking over many other US cities in their upcoming open data program.

This year you will also be able to interact with the Open Data Institute of North Carolina (ODI NC), the local affiliate of the Open Data Institute co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, founder of the Web and the overall director of the W3C. Sir Tim states that “Open data and a change of mindset is the next step in the internet revolution”.

The Triangle Code for America Brigades will also be participating in CodeAcross during TODD 2015.

TODD 2015 Details

  • What: Triangle Open Data Day 2015
  • Where: NCSU Engineering Building II on Centennial Campus, 890 Oval Drive, Raleigh, NC 27606
  • When: Saturday, February 21, 2015 at 9:00 AM – Sunday, February 22, 2015 at 6:00 PM (EST)
  • Why: A gathering of citizens in the Triangle to write applications, liberate data, create visualizations and publish analyses using open public data to show support for and encourage the adoption open data policies by the world’s local, regional and national governments.
  • Registration Site

Previous Tech Tank Articles on TODD

NC Datapalooza Logo

Top 3 Teams Selected for NC Datapalooza

Raleigh, NC –  NC Datapalooza has announced the Top 3 teams making it into their 30-day accelerator. This year, NC Datapalooza is focusing on innovation through open data in the health vertical.

Top 3 Teams

Here are the teams along with a short description of their business idea.

  • LocalMedAdvisor: Our goal is to change the way patients select physicians and healthcare facilities, using Medicare billing data, insurance plan trends, customer reviews, and other data sources.
  • FreeWheeling NC: Crowdsourced bike routes based on real-time GPS/rider feedback in order to influence public policy, aid users with optimal results, and promote biking as transportation.
  • Stone Soup: A platform to help those who need food, or those with food to donate, find food pantries in their area. Individuals in need can also register to get alerts when food is available. Food pantries can also register so they can keep their information up to date.

The teams now have 30 days in an accelerator with mentors provided by the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network.

NC Datapalooza Final Event

The final NC Datapalooza event will be on Friday, September 12th, from 9-11 A.M.  (EDT) at the Red Hat Tower in Raleigh, NC. The teams will present to a panel of judges to see which team will win the NC Datapalooza competition. Register soon for the final event as the Early bird rates end on August 31st.

NC Datapalooza Process

NC Datapalooza runs for about 6 months. Here is the schedule for 2014:

  • Open Data Bootcamp – April 24, 2014
  • DataJam Open Data Startup Weekend – May 16-18, 2014
  • Team Pitches – August 11, 2014
  • Accelerator for Top 3 teams – August/September
  • Final Event – September 12, 2014

Previous Articles on NC Datapalooza


Disclosure: As CEO for the Open Data Institute of North Carolina, I am a judge for the final presentations on September 12. While I have been active as an organizer of NC Datapalooza and lead the efforts of our Data Tiger Team, I have not seen any progress of the teams since the DataJam Startup Weekend in May.

2014 NC DataPalooza Last Chance to Register is June 16

Last Chance to Enter NC DataPalooza

Raleigh, NC – You have until June 16th to enter a team in the NC DataPalooza competition. You may have heard about the Startup Weekend associated with DataPalooza? That was not the last chance to participate this year! NC DataPalooza is still looking for additional team participation. If you have a great business idea related to health and open data, please submit it!

How do I Register?

  • All entries are due by JUNE 16th.
  • Submit your idea using this Google Entry Form
  • Remember – “Health”, “Open Data” and the deadline of June 16!

More NC Datapalooza Details

  • HQ Raleigh, (310 S. Harrington St., Raleigh, NC) will host an open work session on JUNE 26th from 6-8pm
  • Additional mentoring sessions with the Blackstone Entrepreneurs Network and data experts will take place during the summer.
  • Each team will be paired with coaches following the June 16th submission deadline.
  • Win up to $3,000 at the final pitch event!
  • The final NC DataPalooza pitch event is tentatively set for the morning of Friday, September 12th. Location and registration details coming soon.

NC Datapalooza History

CityCamp NC Collage Picture

Civic Ideas Could Win $3,000 at CityCamp NC

Raleigh, NC – CityCamp NC, an unconference to help spur civic innovation for North Carolina, is set for May 29 – May 31. CityCamp is an international unconference series focused on innovation for municipal governments and community organizations. Organizers have opened registration and have prepared everything except for the agenda during the unconference–that will be determined by the participants who make pitches at the beginning of the day and the best ideas that get voted on. Let’s take a look at what CityCamp NC has in store.

Thursday, May 29, 2014 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

CityCamp NC will kick things off at the The Architect Bar and Social House
(108 1/2 Eeast Hargett Street Raleigh, NC 27601) with inspiration and presentations. There will be lightning talks and a keynote speech by Wake County CIO Bill Greeves followed by networking.

Friday, May 30th, 2014 | 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

The CityCamp NC unconference will be held at William Peace University. Friday will start out with participant pitches, sharing ideas to improve our government or challenges that need to be solved. Attendees will then vote on the top ideas and organizers will create the agenda for the rest of the day. Teams can form at the end of the day to compete for the a $3,000 cash pirze, 2-months of co-working membership at HQ Raleigh, and a consulting session with Jason Caplain of Bull City Venture Partners, for the best prototyped idea to be worked on over the next 24 hours.

Saturday, May 31, 2014 | 9:00 am – 5:30 pm

CityCamp NC will transition from unconference mode to build day. Teams that are competing for the prize package will have an opportunity to work on their projects and presentation. Team Presentations will start at 4:00 pm.

Those not participating on a team can join the civic hackathon brought to you by the Triangle Code for America Division. There will be a number of projects that can be worked on by the community.

CityCamp NC Information


Article contributed by Jason Hibbets


Previous Articles on CityCamp NC:

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.

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition Logo

Maker Weekend Recap

Raleigh, NC – This weekend was the Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition. I attended on Sunday to spread the word through social media and to see what the teams have been up to over the 54 hour weekend. HQ Raleigh was a perfect location to hold the event as 16 teams were able to find various nooks and crannies all over the facility to meet and innovate.

The Maker weekend was run by Sean Newman Maroni of BetaVersity and Lance Cassidy of DX Lab Design.

The Teams

  1. Beer Buoy / Poolzie – The problem is that your beer (or beverage) does not float straight up in water. Demo showed MVP with someone in a pool (in early April, Brrr…)
  2. Where’s My Coupon? – Changing how people find coupons, providing coupons when you need them.
  3. Can Impact – Socially conscious company to provide a product with the proceeds supporting working wells in disadvantaged countries. “1 ‘Can’ in every backpack and boardroom.”
  4. Paparazzi Feeder – A tech packed bird feeder that takes your bird pix at the perfect time and better yet, sends them via a Twitter stream! (Squirrel repellent was not addressed…)
  5. Tangicode – Teaching kids to learn code in a fun and interactive way.
  6. Lyfe Loop – A biometric trigger to start recording on Glass to capture life’s moments.
  7. Buildz-a-Bot – Empowering children to modify their robots to match their own imaginations.
  8. Gather – Monthly packages of local products for local people delivered by bike.
  9. Right Wrap – Gift wrapping stretchable and reusable fabric to combat the enemy of wrapping paper.
  10. PedSights – Wearable sensors to aid in the proper diagnosis of children suffering form Epilepsy, Traumatic Brain Injury and Tremors.
  11. Vice Grips – Wrap to protect hands from calluses caused by Cross Fit and Kettle Bell training regimens.
  12. Keyleaf – A combination of key ring and wallet to eliminate the problems of classical key rings.
  13. Roam – A wireless child bracelet that alarms if your child strays too far.
  14. Smoke Signal – Drones used for emergency rescue that can drop emergency supplies or hover to pinpoint location of needed service. Who let a drone loose in HQ Raleigh?
  15. See-U – A “healfie” to track health over time by taking images of body parts as well as creating personal data.

(One team pivoted too late and had to pull out…)

Winning Teams

  • 1st Place – Roam – Best demo and use of advertising in-house during the event.
  • 2nd Place – Can Impact
  • 3rd Place – Smoke Signal – Pivoted at ~7pm on Saturday! Great recovery.
  • Crowd Choice – Roam
  • DX Lab Design, Design Sprint Award – Paparazzi Feeder

Pictures from Maker Weekend

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition Team Location Diagram at HQ Raleigh

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition  Teams meeting

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition Beta Box by BetaVersity

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition TSW Cookie press by Archana Gowda

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition  Prepping for presentations

Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition Standing Room Only


Previous Tech Tank Articles on Startup Weekends

Picture: Code for America Helps Raleigh

Code for America Helps Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – Last night the Triangle Code for America Brigades came together to help the City of Raleigh with their Open Data Portal. The task was to clean up the tagging and metadata for all the data files that have been added since the version 1.0 portal was launched in March 2013. At the beginning of 2014, Raleigh will be migrating the portal to version 2.0 and wants to have the data as clean as possible and so most useful to citizens and entrepreneurs.

Representatives from the Raleigh, Durham, Cary and (brand new) Morrisville Brigades met at the North Carolina Innovation Center for a mini-hackathon to clean up the Raleigh data sets.

Data Identification Problem

Jason Hare, Open Data Manager for Raleigh gives direction

Jason Hare, Open Data Manager for Raleigh, gives the assembled group direction.

Hason Hare, the Open Data Manager for Raleigh gave us direction on what Raleigh needs. Each data set was to be reviewed for such things as data set naming, identifying the proper data category, cleaning up tagging, and verifying proper attribution for source of the data and licence of the data (Public Domain).

Having a common nomenclature for data descriptions and metadata is important. Currently, there is no standard for data set naming, field naming or metadata. This becomes a problem when open data sets from multiple municipalities are combined; what data in City A corresponds to the data from City B? Until there are uniform definitions and structure, Open Data will have problems with data integration across regions.

Issues of correctly naming data sets also has some importance.  An example given by Jason is that police “crime” data sets are more accurately described as police “incident” data sets.  As Jason sees it, an incident can be reported immediately, but there might be a lengthy process to properly identify a crime.

Data Definition Solution

There is light at the end of this open data tunnel as Jason has been invited to attend a meeting of the top US cities with Open Data programs to review data categorization and nomenclature.  The meeting has been called by the Technology Office of the White House to start developing a data nomenclature.  There is a high priority in solving this issue before it becomes overly burdensome for all of the Open Data programs.

It is good to see Raleigh included with the top US cities at the forefront of Open Data.

Related Articles:

Pictures from Reid Serozi and Jason Hibbets

Preview of the revised Raleigh Open Data Portal

Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh

Raleigh, NC – All hands on deck! The Open Data equivalent of a barn raising is about to happen in Raleigh this Thursday, December 5, 2013. The Raleigh Open Data Portal is pending a major revision and things like structure and metadata need to be cleaned up to make this site as useful as possible to citizens and entrepreneurs.

You do not want to miss out on the opportunity of participating in this event of major importance to the Triangle (and NC) where municipalities, civic groups and vendors will be collaborating for social good.  No coding skills required. Just mad civic-minded organization skills needed.

Jason Hare, the Open Data Manager for Raleigh, and Reid Serozi, Data Solutions Architect for Socrata, are organizing this event to be held at the new North Carolina Innovation Center. All of the local Code for America Brigades are expected to be participating in this event. (Note: Jason is a Brigade Captain with Code for Morrisville and Reid is a Brigade Captain with Code for Raleigh.  Disclosure: I am a Brigade Captain with Code for Cary)

Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh Details

  • What: Crowdsourcing Open Raleigh
  • Where: North Carolina Innovation Center, 217 West Jones St. Raleigh, NC 27603
  • When: Thursday, December 5th starting at 6pm
  • Why: Make an impact in the Triangle
  • What to bring: Laptop, small extension cord, notebook, markers
  • RSVP: Triangle Code for America Meetup Group

Related Blog Posts

Global Entrepreneurship Week activities in the Triangle area

Global Entrepreneurship Week Recap

Research Triangle, NC – Global Entrepreneurship Week was full of entrepreneurial activity in the Triangle area. On November 15-17, there was a Startup Weekend in Chapel Hill. On Wednesday, November 20, Technology Tank held the Global Entrepreneurship Week – Triangle Luncheon and then on November 22-24 another Startup Weekend was held at Elon University!

Triangle Startup Weekend

On November 15-17, there was a Startup Weekend in Chapel Hill. 86 participants formed 11 teams in this 54 hour event. The winning teams were:

  1. Let’s Chip In
    – A crowd funding platform for life’s big events. A favorite of the judges since they actually had revenue during the weekend.
  2. Get Back
    – “Lines suck. Crowd-source your atmosphere, interactions and rewards at the places you frequent.”
  3. Moneyball++
    – A predictive analysis program for Cricket.

More information about this event can be found in the Exit Event article “Chapel Hill’s Triangle Startup Weekend Has More Than Good Looks” by Ann Johnson.

Global Entrepreneurship Week – Triangle Luncheon

On Wednesday, November 20 Technology Tank held the Global Entrepreneurship Week – Triangle Luncheon. Over 75 people attended to hear about the 4 Things every Triangle entrepreneur needs to know.

To start the conversation over lunch we had short talks by Jeff Henriod, the Founder of Lets Chip In (the winning team from the preceding weekend’s Triangle Startup Weekend) and Linda Whipker, the President of Wake Robotics.

The program was a Q&A with Mital Patel, a key cog in the Triangle entrepreneurial ecosystem. A lawyer and technologist, Mital has been part of the some of the Triangle’s most interesting projects. The Q&A was conducted by Hal Goodtree, a Tech Tank fellow and the publisher of CaryCitizen.

The luncheon was a success based on our observation of the networking going on, let alone the quality of the speakers – the attendees reluctantly were seated for lunch and then stayed well after the program, deep in conversation and building new connections!

Triad Startup Weekend

On November 22-24, there was a Startup Weekend a 54 hour event held at Elon University. The winning teams were:

  1. iTellaShare
    – An online client based teaching service.
  2. Hope
    – “Helping Other People Eat”. A new social company focusing on fighting hunger sustainably.
  3. Well Dressed
    – A digital closet idea.

More information about this event can be found in the News & Record article “Startup competition provides prizes, feedback

Global Startup Battle

Global Startup Battle is a featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week.

200 Cities. Thousands of entrepreneurs. One battle.

The winning teams from the 200 Startup Weekends held over the last 2 weekends are able to compete for fame and fortune. Each team has to submit a 60 second video to be considered for the competition. We will have to wait and see if any of our winning teams makes the cut.

Recent Articles

So these were not the only entrepreneurial events going on this past week.  What did I miss?