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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.

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

Startup Weekend Banner

Startup Weekends – April 2014

Raleigh, NC – We like to keep you up to date with the Startup Weekend events going on in and around North Carolina because there are always several going on. This is an indication of the strong entrepreneurial activity in the area. The first weekend in April will have 2 events, one in the Triangle and one in the Triad.

What is a Startup Weekend?

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

Startup Weekends – April 4-6, 2014

Triangle Startup Weekend - Maker Edition April 4-6, 2014
The Triangle Startup Weekend Maker Edition is one of the first Maker Startup Weekends on the East Coast. The event will be held at the new HQ Raleigh space in Raleigh.

Join makers across the Triangle for a weekend focused on building cool, crazy, innovative physical products and launching companies around them. Tinker with state of the art tools provided by BetaVersity and meet design experts brought in by DXLab Design. We’ll have micro-controllers, laser cutters, 3D printers, and an awesome makerspace for you to geek out on.

Triad Startup Weekend, April 4-6, 2014
The Triad Startup Weekend does not have a specific focus. The event will be held at the Nussbaum Center for Entrepreneurship in Greensboro.

Additional Startup Weekends Planned

There are currently 2 additional Startup Weekends planned for the Triangle and both are focusing on the Health vertical. The event scheduled for May 9-11, 2014 will focus on Open Data powering innovation in the Health vertical and is part of the 2014 NC Datapalooza program and will be held in Raleigh. The second event is scheduled for August 8-10, 2014 and will be held in Durham.

Check back later to see more information about these Startup Weekends.


Previous Tech Tank Articles on Startup Weekends

TechBreakfast logo

TechBreakfast Comes to the Triangle

Raleigh, NC – There is a new monthly morning meetup for Tech in the Triangle: Raleigh TechBreakfast. TechBreakfast is a monthly breakfast get-together where techies, developers, designers, and entrepreneurs share and learn from their peers. TechBreakfast is a “show and tell” format event where up to five different technologists demo their technologies from a wide range of industries ranging from software to hardware, IT to Biotech, robotics to space tech.

Triple Agnostic

The event is “triple agnostic”. We don’t care if the technology is from a start up, a large company, a university, a government agency, or someone’s hobby. We are also agnostic as to the industry of the tech – it could be IT, biotech, robotics, aerospace, materials sciences, anything tech and innovative is cool. And we’re also region agnostic – even if you’re not from where we’re hosting, we want to see you and your technology!

TechBreakfast History

TechBreakfast was founded a few years ago in Baltimore by Ron Schmelzer, a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits under his belt. Ron was tired of seeing many flavors of the same type of startup and wanted to see more diversity of technology. So Ron started inviting people and companies from Energy, Robotics and Bio and not necessarily only startups. The diversity of content really made TechBreakfast take off.

Today there are TechBreakfast meetups in such places as Austin, Baltimore, Boston, Columbia, DC, Northern VA, NYC, Philadelphia and Silicon Valley. Raleigh is the newest city to join the TechBreakfast fold.

Raleigh TechBreakfast Meeting Specifics

  • When – Thursday, January 23, 2014, 8:00 – 10:00 A.M.
  • Where – HQ Raleigh, 711 Hillsborough St., Raleigh, NC 27603
  • Registration Site
Civic Tech Image from Knight Foundation Report

Trends in Civic Tech

The Knight Foundation has just published an analysis of Civic Tech; The Emergence of Civic Tech: Investments in a Growing Field. The full report can be found on Slideshare.

Over the past few years, the Knight Foundation has seen a ‘groundswell of interest at the nexus of technology, civic innovation, open government and resident engagement’. The analysis identifies clusters of innovation and investment in the Civic Tech area. The Knight Foundation partnered with Quid, a company that specializes in data analytics and network analysis. This analysis is the first of its kind and the Knight Foundation admits that the report is not exhaustive.
The above figure is from page 6 of the report.  Titled Civic Tech: A Convergence of Fields, it illustrates the several Tech fields that are covered in the analysis.  Only those companies and projects that promote civic outcomes were used as the basis for the analysis.

The report is a summary of quite a lot of information. The detailed information used to develop the visualizations and analysis  is available on the Knight Foundation Website for those who wish to do their own analysis.

What follows is the Innovation Clusters that were developed in the course of the analysis and several of the findings that I found interesting from the report.   If you get a chance to study the report, let us and/or the Knight Foundation know what you think.

Innovation Clusters

Open Government

  1. Data Access & Transparency
  2. Data Utility
  3. Public Decision Making
  4. Resident Feedback
  5. Visualization & Mapping
  6. Voting

Community Action

  1. Civic Crowdfunding
  2. Community Organizing
  3. Information Crowdsourcing
  4. Neighborhood Forums
  5. Peer-to-Peer Sharing

Report Findings

  • From 2008 to 2012, the field of civic tech grew at an annual rate of 23%.
  • Community Action clusters are growing at a faster rate than those in Open Government.
  • Compared to the tech industry as a whole, civic tech organizations are relatively young.
  • While the number of grant investments and private investments was relatively even, the vast majority of total capital supporting civic tech came from private investments (84%).
  • Open Government innovation clusters are mostly supported through grant funding while Community Action clusters mostly attracted private capital.
  • Financial investors and individuals support a large share of Community Action investments and Foundations account for more than half of the number of investments in Open Government.
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?

Global Entrepreneurship Week Triangle Entrepreneurs Luncheon

Discount for Tech Tank Readers

Cary, NC – Technology Tank is offering a discount promotional code to our followers for our luncheon on this Wednesday, November 20, 2013. Use the promotion code “TechTank” for a nice discount off the normal price of this luncheon.

What is the Luncheon?

The luncheon is to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week. We’ve lined up Mital Patel for some Q&A during lunchtime. Mital is 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 and we will find out the 4 Things every Triangle entrepreneur needs to know. You don’t want to miss this important entrepreneurship event in the Triangle. Tickets are limited so register now.

Luncheon Details

Global Entrepreneurship Week – Triangle Luncheon
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM (EST)
Cary, NC | Embassy Suites, Cary:
Discount Code “TechTank”

There are more details on the registration site.

Thank you to our Sponsors:

Triangle Startup weekend Logo

Triangle Startup Weekend – Nov 15-17

Chapel Hill, NC – Are you ready for a third Triangle Startup Weekend (TSW) this year? The 2 previous TSW’s were not enough for you? Well, if you listen to Mital Patel, a local lawyer and technologist, the Triangle is primed and ready for many more startup weekends than 3 per year.

What is a Startup weekend?

Startup Weekends are 54-hour events designed to provide superior experiential education for technical and non-technical entrepreneurs. Beginning with Friday night pitches and continuing through brainstorming, business plan development, and basic prototype creation, Startup Weekends culminate in Sunday night demos and presentations. Participants create working startups during the event and are able to collaborate with like-minded individuals outside of their daily networks. All teams hear talks by industry leaders and receive valuable feedback from local entrepreneurials. The weekend is centered around action, innovation, and education. Whether you are looking for feedback on a idea, a co-founder, specific skill sets, or a team to help you execute, Startup Weekends are the perfect environment in which to test your idea and take the first steps towards launching your own startup.

The November TSW

The November TSW does not have a specific industry focus and will be held at the Frank Porter Graham Student Union of the UNC – Chapel Hill campus. This location is a ‘new idea’ in that this TSW will be held on the campus of one of our premier Triangle University Centers (tapped into raw talent).

There is currently an early bird registration with a discount for students. There is also a Demo Day registration for those that want to see the results of the weekend (highly recommended for those interested in the ideas coming out of the Triangle Technology Ecosystem).

Don’t hesitate, register today as tickets are limited.

Global Startup Battle

This event is part of the 2013 Global Startup Battle and precedes the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

(Note: Tech Tank is sponsoring a Triangle Entrepreneurs Luncheon at Embassy Suites during the Global Entrepreneurship Week. We’ve lined up Mital Patel for some Q&A during lunchtime. Mital is 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. Event Registration)

Previous 2013 TSW Events