Open Gov, Open Data, Open Doors to New Business

Great article in TechPresident today about San Francisco’s efforts to start a civic accelerator with Code for America, and what other cities are doing to implement the same idea in their own way.

Government 2.0 geeks will no doubt find the news exciting and look to San Francisco as a beacon illuminating the way forward in a year when more local governments contemplate leveraging their work with the tech sector — not just being a booster for their local tech industries, but actually doing business with the companies within it — an economic development tool.

“I think a lot of people were afraid of looking a little crazy, but now San Francisco has gone ahead and done it and made the idea legit,” says Mark Headd, a civic hacking advocate who is former chief policy adviser to Delaware’s tech and information department.

Headd has been urging local governments to think of open data as an economic development tool for some time. In particular, he has argued in the past that financially strapped states could leverage the data in lieu of loans and grants to stimulate the creation and growth of small businesses.

Expect to see some cool stuff on this front from Baltimore (mentioned in the article) and Philadelphia in the near future.

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