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Triangle Adds Brigades to Code for America

Research Triangle, NC – Code for America has released a list of 15 cities that will be added to the Brigade Program in 2013 which is great news for the Triangle. Both Cary and Durham have been added and will join Raleigh with Code for America Brigades in the coming year. Cities like Austin, Boston, Chicago, San Diego, Seattle and Washington DC have Code for America Brigades.

With this announcement, the Triangle will have 3 of the 31 Brigades in Code for America (NC has 4 Brigades including Asheville). This is a strong indicator of the developing Technology ecosystem here in the Triangle.

What is Code for America?

Code for America aims to improve the relationships between citizens and government. We help governments restructure to create low-risk settings for innovation, engage citizens to create better services, and support ongoing competition in the govtech marketplace.

CfA_Brigade_logo

What is a Code for America Brigade?

The Code for America Brigade Program started with 15 cities in 2012 including Raleigh.

The purpose of Brigade is to create and sustain local instances of shared goals and strategic outcomes.

  • Governments leveraging technology more effectively
  • Citizens and community groups solving civic issues
  • Cities collaborating to work better
  • Civic apps built on linked, open data

The targeted outcome is to establish or reinforce a local citizen group for civic tech that interacts with municipal government on a regular basis.

Code for America Raleigh Brigade

Code for Raleigh formed in 2012, and has Captains Chad Foley, Jason Hibbets, Jason Horne and Reid Serozi. The Raleigh Brigade runs the very successful CityCamp program for several years with the latest CityCamp NC held in May.  The Raleigh Brigade also supports the adoption of the Triangle Wiki project.  In the Brigade meetings, the group is working on an Adopt-a-Shelter app for bus shelters in Raleigh.

Our Brigade is participating in the Code for America Race for Reuse campaign, however the City of Raleigh didn’t ask us to do this. As citizens, we saw an opportunity to improve our city and implement a technology front-end to an existing program offered by the city. It wasn’t just about deploying a project, it was about making our city and the citizen experience a little bit better. By forming and organizing our Brigade, we’re helping to advance the open government movement. – Jason Hibbets, Brigade Captain.

Code for America Cary Brigade

Code for Cary formed in early 2013, and has Captains Robert Campbell and Ian Henshaw. The Cary Brigade ran the successful Cary Open Data Day in February and is planning Triangle Open Data Day for February, 2014.  In the Brigade meetings, the group is working on a visualization of development data in the Town of Cary.

Code for America is a great way to engage our citizens who have a technical background. By using their techie skills, they can get involved in some interesting web projects or apps and in doing so will learn more about the Town and may find other ways to also get involved with other civic projects. I am very happy that Code for Cary has been accepted as an official Brigade since this will bring added visibility and credibility to our efforts to help the Town of Cary – Ian Henshaw, Brigade Captain.

Code for America Durham Brigade

Code for Durham is newly formed in 2013, and has Captains Colin Copeland and Andrew Krzmarzick.

For several months, we have been meeting with key stakeholders from Durham City and County, the nonprofit sector as well as entrepreneurs and software developers interested in leveraging open data for the benefit of our community. This acknowledgement by Code for America as part of the regional Triangle Brigade is another important milestone that is sure to vault Durham and the Triangle to the forefront of the global open government movement – Andrew Krzmarzick, Brigade Captain.

Code for America Triangle Brigade

Due to the nature of the Technology ecosystem in the Triangle Area, the Raleigh, Cary and Durham Brigades are working together to develop a Triangle-wide Brigade (or Division?). Each City will have their own Brigade working closely with their municipal governments on projects important to the Town or City, but there is also a need to assist with Regional issues that are important to all of the Towns, Cities and Counties in the Triangle Area.

The Brigades in the Triangle want to support additional brigades in Triangle municipalities, so if you are from Apex, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Wake Forest, etc. and you want to form your own brigade, please contact any of the Brigade Captains listed above.  Anyone outside the Triangle that wants to start a Brigade, feel free to contact us as well (Hey you in the Triad, Charlotte, Wilmington, Greenville, Fayetteville, Jacksonville, etc. – contact us).

There is a Triangle Code for America Meetup Group that lists all of the meetings of the Raleigh, Cary and Durham Brigades as well as the newly forming Triangle Division.  Please come to a meeting and find out how you can become involved.

 

CORRECTION: We originally reported the introduction of  the numbers of Brigades (should be 16 in 2012) using the numbers for the introduction of Fellowship cities (3 cities in 2011 and an additional 8 cities in 2012).

 

PulsePoint App shown on Phones - Image

Open Data: Give us PulsePoint

Triangle, NC – A GovTech.com post by Yo Yoshida on August 29, 2013 is “A Call for Local, Open Data

In order for all citizens to truly benefit from open data, every city, county, and state needs to make their data more accessible.

One of the promising Apps coming from Open Data is the PulsePoint App. There is more good information in the article, and you should read the full article, but I will stop with PulsePoint.

PulsePoint

Earlier this year, Contra Costa County in California launched the PulsePoint mobile application. The app notifies smartphone users who are trained in CPR when someone nearby may be in need of the lifesaving procedure.

PulsePoint is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our mission is to make it much easier for citizens who are trained in CPR to use their life saving skills to do just that…save lives!


PulsePoint App – PSA from Fire Department on Vimeo.

To date, 26 municipalities have adopted PulsePoint.

Bring PulsePoint to the Triangle

In May at CityCamp NC, the Keynote speaker – Adriel Hampton, VP of Community at NationBuilder introduced us to PulsePoint. I am part of a team that wants to bring PulsePoint to the Triangle (See Article).

This seemed to be so easy! The App is available, the foundation exists to support the app long term so all we need to do is to hook into it and turn it on, right?  The members of the team have been making contacts and finding out lots of information.  3 months have passed and we don’t seem to be closer to the goal.

The Triangle is Complex

Rolling out the App in one city requires one Emergency Dispatch service and one municipality to get behind the effort. The Triangle is composed of multiple Counties, Municipalities and Emergency Dispatch Centers.

The municipal boundaries in the Triangle are not so clear to its residents. We may live in Raleigh, work in Morrisville, eat in Durham and attend a sporting event in Cary, all in one day (well maybe, but you get the idea). So everyone needs to be on board to bring PulsePoint to the Triangle.

Our ecosystem is ripe for PulsePoint. The Triangle is full of people who are civically minded. Lots of us are CPR trained and want to help. Many municipalities and counties have an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) inventory as part of their strategic plans. How cool would it be to leverage the Technology we carry constantly and help to save lives!

How Can I Help?

Contact your elected officials and let them know that you think that bringing PulsePoint to the Triangle is important.

Let Ian Henshaw know that you want to join in the team effort.

Global Startup Battle Logo

Global Startup Battle

This one caught me: “Global Startup Battle”. Watch the cool YouTube Video.

What is Global Startup Battle

Global Startup Battle (GSB) is a global initiative where Organizers from hundreds of cities around the world simultaneously host Startup Weekend events during Global Entrepreneurship Week – the weekends of November 15th and 22nd, 2013. Post weekend, all teams will go on to compete against each other in a massive online video contest for amazing prizes designed to help their startup succeed.

We plan to have over 200 events with more than 20,000 entrepreneurs, mentors, coaches, special guests, celebrities, and more. Our GSB partners are making it possible for EVERY team to participate. That’s right, for the first time ever, every team will be eligible to compete in one of the themed brackets hosted by Coca Cola, AWS, .CO, and Google for Entrepreneurs. The top 2 teams from every city will battle in Google’s Championship Bracket, while all teams will be invited to compete in any or all of the other themed brackets they qualify for!

GSB is great way to plug into the vibrant worldwide UP network and we want to officially invite you and your community to join us!

Global Startup Battle in the Triangle?

We don’t know yet and are asking questions. The Triangle should have a chance (or chances) to participate. Stay tuned!

Triangle Expressway Picture

Triangle Road Wins Innovation Award

Triangle, NC – As many of you will be travelling for the Labor Day weekend, you may be interested to know that one of our new roads has won an award for Innovation. I can tell you don’t believe me, but even the roads in the Triangle are Innovative! The Triangle Expressway Project recently won an award for Innovation.

The Award

Now in its sixth year, the America’s Transportation Awards competition – sponsored by AASHTO, AAA, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – recognizes the very best of America’s transportation projects in three main categories: Ahead of Schedule, Under Budget, and Best Use of Innovation.

In the Southeastern Regional Competition Best Use of Innovation category, The North Carolina Department of Transportation won in the large category ($200 Million and over) for its Triangle Expressway project (See the AASHTO Press Release)

The Triangle Expressway Project

North Carolina Department of Transportation’s $1 billion Triangle Expressway is the first in the state (and one of the first in the nation) to utilize all-electronic tolling technology on an expressway, allowing motorists to breeze through without delay due to toll plazas.

The accelerated design-build process and right-of-way acquisition process allowed the team to open to traffic ahead of schedule. The early open date allowed a toll-free period for travel and testing, officially opening for revenue service on Jan. 3 to minimal delays or technical issues.

Thanks to Joe Millazo II (@RTATriangle), for his tweet anouncing the award, and for all he does for the Triangle.
Picture from the America’s Transportation Awards Website

Kauffman Foundation today are releasing a report on Tech startups: “Tech Starts: High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States“

Triangle Ranks High in Tech Start-up Density

Research Triangle, NC – Engine in collaboration with the Kauffman Foundation today are releasing a report on Tech startups: “Tech Starts: High-Technology Business Formation and Job Creation in the United States“. The report specifically examines the impact of new, high-tech startups on job creation, finding that high-tech startup formations are way up, and that these firms create jobs at twice the rate of other young private sector firms.

The report looks at both the high-tech sector and the information and communications technology (ICT) segment of high-tech and their important contributions to entrepreneurship in the U.S. economy.

During the last three decades, the high-tech sector was 23 percent more likely and ICT 48 percent more likely than the private sector as a whole to witness a new business formation.

NC has 2 Metros Ranked in the Top 25

NC Metros for High-Tech Startup Density* (2010):

  • Raleigh-Cary, 13th at 1.9
  • Durham-Chapel Hill, 22nd at 1.6

NC Metros for ICT High-Tech Startup Density* (2010):

  • Raleigh-Cary, 10th at 2.1
  • Durham-Chapel Hill, 19th at 1.6

* Density values of one (1) indicate that a region has the same density of startups as does the United States as a whole. Density measures greater than one indicate above average densities. Metro startup density peaks around 3 (with Boulder, CO as an outlier at 6+). Startup density determined by comparing 384 metropolitan areas in the United States in 2010.

Changes Over the Last Decades – High-Tech Startup Density

Raleigh-Cary, NC

  • 1990 – 1.8
  • 2010 – 1.9

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

  • 1990 – 0.9
  • 2010 – 1.6

Changes Over the Last Decades – ICT High-Tech Startup Density

Raleigh-Cary, NC

  • 1990 – 1.4
  • 2010 – 2.1

Durham-Chapel Hill, NC

  • 1990 – 0.7
  • 2010 – 1.6

The Triangle has a Bright Future

The Triangle has a developing entrepreneurial community anchored by the Research Triangle Park, fueled by our 3 major university centers (NCSU, Duke, UNC-CH), housed in our exploding incubators and accelerators (American Underground, HQ Raleigh, First Flight Venture, etc.) and supported by our great quality of life. Our Tech startup density is increasing rapidly; where it stops, no one knows!

Read the report for all the details.

Research Triangle Region Logo

Tech Meetup Groups in the Triangle

Cary, NC – Here is a listing of Tech Meetup groups in the Triangle Area. It seems that if you are interested in a language or Tech topic, there is a Meetup group for that. Hover over the links to see a brief blurb about what the group does.

I have attempted to categorize the groups. Please feel free to comment if you think that I have made an error or have missed a group.  Thank you in advance!

Agile

Analytics

Android

API

Apps

Cryptography

Hackers

Hardware

iOS/Mac

Languages / Platforms

Open Data

Miscellaneous

Security

Startups

SEO / Web Design

Tech

Tech for Women

Video

WordPress

User Experience (UX)

Pulse Point logo

Pulse Point for the Triangle

Raleigh, NC – CityCamp NC and the National Day of Civic Hacking took up most of the end of my week, but it was time well spent.

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The Keynote speaker, Adriel Hampton, VP of Community at NationBuilder, presented Pulse Point as a valuable community app to save lives.

One session of the CityCamp NC unconference I attended on Thursday focused on Pulse Point. The group was diverse, well connected and we felt that we could bring Pulse Point to the Triangle.

What is Pulse Point?

Pulse Point is an app that notifies citizens trained in CPR of a nearby emergency that requires their expertise. Those within a half-mile radius, who have downloaded the app will receive a text message informing them of the incident. A notice appears with the location or address if in a public place. If the event occurs at a private residence, only the street name is displayed.

The app works in conjunction with 911 technologies. This is done in a continued effort to minimize the time between the sudden cardiac arrest events and the start of CPR. The hope is to increase survival rates. Locations of AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators) are shown on the app.

The Statistics

The chance of surviving an heart attack decreases by 10% for every minute that passes without defibrillation. Brain damage starts at ~6 minutes. The average national response time for emergency services is ~7 minutes.

Only about one quarter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest victims receive bystander CPR, and public access Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are used less than 3% of the time when needed and available.

The Team Forms

On Friday, a few of the people from the unconference session gathered to see what we could do with Pulse Point. Chris Mathews from Wake County IS brought a view from inside the 911 Emergency Center from a technology perspective. Brett Husbands, the CEO of Firmstep had been involved with the adoption of Pulse Point in California, and brought the resources of his company to the team.

Chris contacted Dr. Brent Myers, EMS Director for Wake County and found that Brent had seen the Pulse Point implementation in Columbus, OH and in his words “EMS readily endorses implementation of this application [Pulse Point]”, but resource issues prevent Wake County from implementing Pulse Point at present. Chris spent quite a lot of time looking into what it would take to integrate the Pulse Point API into the Wake County/Raleigh CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system .

Brett took on the task of developing a nationwide AED map that could be used by any agency that would implement the Pulse Point app.

We were joined by Dana Magliola from BaerPoint Communications to help us put together a presentation, Ben Berkowitz from SeeClickFix who modified the SeeClickFix interface to allow geolocation of AED’s and Ian Cillay who took the information from SeeClickFix to input the locations into the Triangle Wiki.

The Presentation

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We competed against 6 teams and took 3rd place in the CityCamp NC competition.

The members of the team – Brett, Chris and myself feel that Pulse Point is needed in the Triangle and we are committed to bringing Pulse Point to the Triangle. The winnings from the event have been put into a seed fund to assist the adoption of this life-saving technology.

What is Next?

We need partners!

  • Counties – Wake, Durham, Orange, etc.
  • 911 Dispatch agencies in the Triangle
  • Hospitals – UNC, Wake, Duke
  • Chambers of Commerce – Raleigh, Cary, Durham, etc.
  • Non-Profits – American Heart Association, etc.

Look for Pulse Point to come to the Triangle area soon!

National Day of Civic Hacking logo

Triangle Joins National Civic Hacking Day

Press Release Published on 5/21/2013 at: CityCamp NC

HUB Raleigh, Rally Dev, Technology Tank, Code for Raleigh, and Triangle Wiki have joined forces to host a regional civic hackathon. Following two days of collaboration at CityCamp North Carolina and a successful start to NC Datapalooza in April, citizens and developers are invited to join in the local event on Saturday, June 1 celebrating a nationwide movement for more open government and finding new ways to use open data.

“This is an opportunity for the Triangle to participate in a nationwide civic event and practice regional collaboration,” said organizer Jason Hibbets, co-chair of CityCamp NC, an organizer for NC Datapalooza and co-captain for Raleigh’s Code for America Brigade. “Our ideas will only be limited by those who attend the civic day of hacking.”

NC Datajam teams are working on projects focused on health, education, and green energy. Teams that form at the CityCamp NC unconference are invited to continue their work at the civic hacking day.

Code for Raleigh, a Code for America brigade hosted in Raleigh, is providing an opportunity for Ruby on Rails developers to improve the Raleigh Adopt-a-Shelter application. Triangle Wiki is hosting a content sprint to update wiki pages and create new information about local knowledge.

The doors at HUB Raleigh will be open for any citizen to join the efforts of existing teams of attend to learn more about open data, open government, and how they can get involved.

Details
When: June 1, 2013 9:00am – 4:00pm
Where: HUB Raleigh, 711 Hillsborough St, Suite 230, Raleigh, NC 27603
Who: NC Datajam teams, CityCamp NC teams, Triangle Wiki contributors, Cary Open Data team, and anyone interesting in civic hacking or learning about civic hacking
Register now:
http://forms.rallydev.com/Q213-NDoCH-Raleigh-060113-RegPage

More information
http://hackforchange.org/citycamp-nc-2013