All Things Open 2014

All Things Open 2014

Raleigh, NC – The world’s top developers, technologists and decision makers will gather on October 22-23 in Raleigh, NC for the second annual All Things Open conference, presented by IT-oLogy and Two days of keynotes, talks, tutorials and networking opportunities will be presented on the most important topics in open source, open tech, and the open web in the enterprise. More than 90% of all companies use open source and open technology.

The 2013 event was attended by more than 750 people from 25 states and 3 countries. More than
1,000 are expected in 2014, including nearly every leading technology company in the U.S.

New for 2014

All Things Open has added several new things for this year’s event including:

  • Hosting a Women in IT/Open Source panel on Thursday, October 23 during lunch
  • Meet-the-Speaker sessions: Some real superstars in the Open Source space will make themselves available to meet attendees and sign books.

Why Attend All Things Open:

  1. The focus is on education
  2. World-class experts and thought-leaders featured
  3. Great networking opportunity (See also Social Events)
  4. A fair price – tremendous value

All Things Open Details:

  • What: All Things Open Conference
  • When: October 22-23, 2014
  • Where: Raleigh Convention Center, 500 South Salisbury Street, Raleigh, NC 27601
  • All Things Open Registration Site
  • Note Act Today! Online ticket sales end this Wednesday, October 15 at 11:59 pm EST. After Wednesday, anyone interested will need to purchase tickets at the door on October 22 or 23.

Previous Articles on All Things Open:

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.

BaleFire Global Joins the Open Data 500

BaleFire Global Joins the Open Data 500

Raleigh, NC – Local start-up Balefire Global has joined the GovLab Open Data 500.

What is the Open Data 500

The Open Data 500 is the first comprehensive study of U.S. companies that use open government data to generate new business and develop new products and services. Open Data is free, public data that can be used to launch commercial and nonprofit ventures, do research, make data-driven decisions, and solve complex problems.

BaleFire Global joins 4 other NC based companies in the Open Data 500

Who is BaleFire Global?

BaleFire Global provides training, civic engagement and client success to NGOs and governments around the world. As an Open Data Institute Node we provide open data thought leadership and strategy as well as implementation and custom design. Our goal is to build a citizen experience the leads to transparency and positive economic impact using your open government data.

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

ODI NC Friday Lunchtime Lectures

ODI NC Friday Lunchtime Lecture Series

Raleigh, NC – Friday lunchtime in Raleigh is about to get more interesting.

The Open Data Institute of North Carolina will be running a series of free lunch and learns so that you can find out more about open data.

You bring your lunch, we provide an interesting talk, and enough time to get back to your desk.

Course Schedule

About The ODI NC

The Open Data Institute is catalyzing 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.


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.
Wake County adopts LIVES Open Data Standard

Wake County Adopts LIVES

Raleigh, NC – Wake County is one of four early adopters of the LIVES data standard – an open data standard which allows municipalities to publish restaurant inspection information that can be consumed by apps like Yelp.

This is the second part of this story, the first part can be found at LIVES – Open Data Standard.

Providing easier access to information is really what it’s all about.

LIVES Brings Government Transparency

The Wake County CIO, Bill Greeves, learned of the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification (LIVES) pilot program at a leadership conference and recognized this as an example of transparency in government. Wake County already had the restaurant inspection data available. Being able to share this data with an audience that might be interested in it in the best way possible seemed like a natural fit. “Providing easier access to that information is really what it’s all about.”, said Greeves.

Greeves gathered a small team including Andre Pierce, Angela Strickland and Chris Mathews to investigate and implement this exciting new approach to sharing restaurant inspection data. The team worked directly with the technical and marketing personnel at Yelp to develop the necessary data extracts. Some data was in dissimilar formats or had to be scaled to match the levels of the LIVES standard. Chris Mathews explained the value of this data standard: “LIVES affords the ability of scores across separate jurisdictions to mean the same thing – a score of 93 in Raleigh means the same thing as a 93 in San Francisco”.

Wake County Inspires the Region

Within six weeks, Wake County was ready to publish the restaurant inspections on Yelp. A launch strategy was planned including local news and social media to announce the availability of Wake’s health scores on Yelp. The interest generated from making restaurant inspections available led to Durham County and New Hanover County (Wilmington) to begin working to adopt the LIVES standard in their counties. With these 2 counties coming on board, the Triangle (and Eastern North Carolina) will be the first region in the country to adopt the LIVES Open Data standard. Code for Durham, the Durham Code for America Brigade, was also sparked to incorporate the LIVES reporting standard in their development of a local restaurant application celebrating Durham as the South’s Tastiest Town!

Wake County hopes to use the LIVES project and others like it to inform both the public and government sectors of the value of Open Data and Open Government as they launch a more comprehensive Open Data Program. Wake County is looking to release more data and to work with local startups and recognized industry leaders to develop applications to improve the lives of Wake County citizens.

Award Winning Department

The Wake County IS Department is well recognized for their innovative efforts, recently receiving a Pinnacle Award for best local government website by the National Association of Government Web Professionals. See all their awards on the Wake County IS Department Website.

Chris Mathews contributed to this article.

Code for America and Yelp collaborate on LIVES Open Data Standard

LIVES – Open Data Standard

Raleigh, NC – Wake County is one of four early adopters of the LIVES data standard – an open data standard which allows municipalities to publish restaurant inspection information that can be consumed by apps like Yelp.

Why Do We Need Data Standards?

We are surrounded by data. Our municipalities collect and store huge amounts of data. So the question is not if we have data, but how is it cataloged and stored. Take a street address for instance. If one municipality lists a street name as “StreetName” and another lists it as “RoadName” in a data file header, we have the beginnings of an interoperability problem. (This is a simple example of differences in the naming, or the ‘metadata’, of a data file. Metadata is a big subject area which will be a future topic for the Journal).

As a person looking at the data titles, we are smart enough to equate both of these titles as being the same thing, but to a machine reading the data, we have a readability problem as the program most likely will not know the similarity of “StreetName” or “RoadName”. So an app that was built to consume data in one municipality might not work in another municipality if the titles, or metadata, are not consistent in some way.

Just think of electric vehicles. If each municipality has a different physical connection to charge a vehicle, no one would think of making an electric vehicle. Standards in data are as important as standards for our consumer items. We want our municipalities to store data in a uniform way for people to access so that they will be able to provide services that are useful to us.

The LIVES Data Standard

In 2013 Code for America made restaurant inspection data readily available to diners — by putting it on Yelp. Working with both government staff and the Yelp team, Code for America created a standardized format for this data, called LIVES.

Developed in collaboration with the City of San Francisco and Yelp, the Local Inspector Value-entry Specification (LIVES) is an open data standard which allows municipalities to publish restaurant inspection information to Yelp or any other website.

Wake County as an Early Adopter

To be continued…

Quotes about LIVES from the Code for America Website

Sunshine Center of the NC Open Government Coalition image

Sunshine Day 2014

Burlington, NC – Monday, March 17, 2014 is Sunshine Day in North Carolina (in addition to St. Patrick’s Day). The Sunshine Center of the North Carolina Open Government Coalition will host the Sunshine Day event at Elon College from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT).

This year, Open Data is highlighted at Sunshine Day with the keynote address by Waldo Jaquith, Director of the U.S. Open Data Institute and a panel discussion: ‘Open Data in North Carolina’ with Ryan Thornburg, Founder, Open N.C. & Professor at UNC School of Journalism and Jason Hare, Founder, North Carolina Open Data Institute.

What is Sunshine Day?

“Open government is good government”. Join us in a nationwide discussion about the importance of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

Sunshine Day celebrates Sunshine Week, March 16-22, 2014

Sunshine Day Details

  • What: Sunshine Day 2014
  • When: Monday, March 17, 2014 from Noon to 4:00 PM (EDT)
  • Where: Lakeside Hall at the Moseley Center on the Elon University campus.
  • Registration Site
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