Research Triangle Data Jam Coming Soon
By Jason Hare, Open Data Program Manager, Raleigh, North Carolina
Who’s invited? Anyone who wants to leverage education, health, and “green” data to create apps to spark a new company, and also benefit society.
The event starts with a reception, lunch, and an impressive line-up of speakers, including U.S. Chief Technology Officer Todd Park. Once the initial mixing and mingling ends, the real fun begins as participants form groups and plan their apps.
The top four ideas from that initial meeting on the 22nd will be matched to entrepreneurs and working groups. Actual, functioning applications based on those winning ideas will be due on August 1st and the best ones will be selected for a 30-day “accelerator,” providing resources like business coaching and technology.
Finally, we’ll have a Datapalooza Celebration on September 12th, during Triangle Entreprenuership Week. The celebration will feature three keynote speakers, as well as presentations by the competitors and announcement of the winning apps.
It All Started When…
How did this great event get started?
In December, the White House hosted a USAID Data Jam. Until that moment, I only thought of the White House in terms of data.gov. I was not aware of the amazing job The Office of Science and Technology does in promoting the use of open data.
I attended the White House event. Everyone else there was Federal and I was the only municipal person. When I returned to Raleigh, I gave a presentation about my experience to the Raleigh HUB. That’s where the idea for the NC Data Jam got its start.
A Team Effort
Some other folks in the Triangle and I decided that we needed to host a data jam of our own. Planning it was exciting. At times, not knowing exactly who was going to attend or speak, and what the venue would be, was frustrating. What data sets would we have and would our portal be ready on time?
When we started planning for this I had been with the city for nine weeks or so. I did not know many folks within the city but I did know several people at Socrata.
Socrata worked with me to develop a timeline that was realistic. We launched right on time. March 15th was the go-live date for the portal that will house the data jam data. After the launch and the press coverage getting data is much easier. State and county agencies, as well as the surrounding municipalities, are all participating.
This is about our region and not one city. Our municipalities and county have come together to collaborate on a regional data ecosystem. One person did not do this. Dozens of people from all over the Triangle gave their input and time to move the discussion toward cooperation and not competition.
In particular, I want to thank Jason Widen, Mital Patel, Chris Gergen, Erin Monday, and Zach Ambrose for their efforts and enthusiasm. The Regional Data Jam is a celebration of community as much as it is data.