Philly Urban Apps & Maps Studio Launches

Yesterday, at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter helped launch the Urban Apps & Maps Studio – a civic business incubator that will support the development of software applications to address urban issues in Philadelphia.

The video below – by former Code for America fellow Anna Bloom – provides a nice overview of the focus of the new Apps & Maps Studio.

Introducing Urban Apps & Maps Studio from Anna Bloom on Vimeo.

The Studio, which will be led by Fox School of Business Professor Youngjin Yoo, is supported by $700,000 in grants from the federal government, and has the support and partnership of the City of Philadelphia and Code for America.

Leading up to the announcement by Mayor Nutter, the Fox School of Business held it’s second annual Design Challenge which brings graduate, college and high school students together to identify problems facing the north Broad Street neighborhood (where Temple University is located).

Ideas generated at the Design Challenge will be used as the focus of activities in upcoming hackathon events around the city, and the hope is that these ideas will one day soon return to Temple University in the form of new business ventures to be incubated in the Urban Apps & Maps studio.

It’s an ambitious vision, but with the support and partners lined up behind the Studio this looks like it might be the right combination of elements to generate sustainable business ventures around civic solutions.

Ideas from the Design Challenge will be introduced to hackers at an upcoming Code for America hackathon taking place in Philadelphia on February 25th.

It will be exciting to see the outcomes from this important effort. Stay tuned!

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