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Looking for the Next Great Civic Startup: The Accela Civic App Challenge

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At Accela, we’re committed to finding ways to leverage the talents and ideas of civic entrepreneurs and open data hackers to benefit the governments we serve. We believe that fostering the creation of new civic startups has enormous potential to benefit public sector agencies, and we’re committed to finding ways to do this. That’s why we were thrilled several weeks ago to launch the Accela Civic App Challenge . The Problem The biggest challenge facing governments in adopting new civic technologies is the absence of an easy way to incorporate new solutions into their existing IT infrastructure. Creating a framework in which civic hackers and entrepreneurs can build smart new apps that can easily be adopted by governments has proved daunting and has caused some in the civic technology community to worry about the movement’s future viability. At Accela, we’re working to address this challenge through the Civic Platform and...
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Finding Our True North: Bringing Customers, Partners and Developers Together at PDC 2014

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We just wrapped our ninth annual Partner and Developer Conference , and across the organization folks are pretty jazzed. We headed north to Tahoe, and while the weather was overcast and rainy for the bulk of the event, we all gained a lot of perspective from speakers and attendees alike on our collective purpose and potential to bridge the very disparate and disconnected worlds in which our government customers and their customers & citizens live and work We spent time with partners new and old, and the consistent feedback was positive. As we opened the General Session, I asked how many audience members (both partners and Accela employees) were attending for the first time. I’d guess the number to be between 30-40% of the audience, and that’s a fantastic leading indicator for our ecosystem expansion and success in partnering efforts across the organization Our President and CEO, Maury Blackman ,...
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If These Walls Could Talk: The Case for Open Housing Data

If These Walls Could Talk: The Case for Open Housing Data
Accela is partnering with San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and Code For America to launch the House Facts Data Standard. Today, Jack Madans, Community Manager for Code for America, shared his thoughts on the partnership, the standard and the case for open housing data: With an average of 36 million Americans changing homes every year, we’re a country constantly on the move. But too often there’s more than meets the eye at an open house. Broken plumbing, faulty heat, pests, or absentee landlords are just some of the unpleasant surprises that arise after the lease or deed is signed. More seriously, poor ventilation, asbestos, mold, and lead constitute hidden hazards that can lead to poisoning and chronic disease. The victims are most often children. Cities and counties are on the front lines of this fight, helping their residents avoid these costly nuisances and tragedies through the enforcement of health and...
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Bring Code for America to Your City

We've been doing a lot of great work with Code for America (CfA). Whether participating in civic hackathons or partnering for their  2013 Fellowship Program , we're working together to demonstrate our commitment to civic innovation. Our friends at CfA are actively seeking local governments who want to participate in their 2014 Fellowship. As many of you know, the Code for America Fellowship is a year-long program focused on civic collaboration and innovation. The Fellowship partners talented teams of developers, designers and entrepreneurs with change agents from local governments to address a range of civic challenges. Benefits to cities include: Catalyst for innovation New perspectives on issues your city is facing Products & interfaces that are simple, beautiful and easy to use Collaboration with a network of civic innovators and thought leaders Visibility on a national stage Applications are due March 31, 2013, so click the link below to apply or...
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