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Code for Philly’s Civic Engagement Launchpad kicks off Saturday. It’s more than a hackathon

“We’re a city that values beginnings and middles as much as we do endings. That’s very much at the heart of Code for Philly’s Civic Engagement Launchpad.”

The OpenSeatFinder team at Code for Philly's 2017 Civic Engagement Launchpad. (Photo by Chris Kendig)
This is a guest post by Code for Philly's Toni McIntyre, published as part of a media partnership between Code for Philly and
Our memories are long in Philly. Whether that’s good or bad is something I’ll leave the stoop philosophers of Passyunk Ave. to work out.

The fact of the matter is: we remember every stumbling step along the road to victory. The agonizing, the second-guessing, the late nights that lead us to a product launch or a store opening or a parade down Broad Street.

We’re a city that values beginnings and middles as much as we do endings. That’s very much at the heart of Code for Philly’s Civic Engagement Launchpad.

#Launchpad2018 isn’t a hackathon. It’s a hackathon with a higher purpose that asks volunteers to go on a monthlong sprint to push their project past some of the thorny, early steps in its existence. Our volunteers are people who are enthusiastic about building something that can create change in their city. Launchpad is how we give them the best running start we can. You should join us Saturday, April 28 to kick this thing off.


What to expect at Launchpad

The kickoff events of Brainstorming Night and Work Day are designed to help you select project ideas, meet other volunteers — coders and non-coders alike — and dive into the nitty gritty of getting your project off the ground. We’re excited to be partnering again with the City of Philadelphia’s Innovation Management Corps to help facilitate workshops that will help you further develop your project.

Weekly events and additional programming throughout the month will help you and your teammates stay accountable while also giving you access to mentors in the field who can answer any questions you may have.

It all wraps up on Demo Night, where your team will present on your experiences and progress on your project. Food and celebratory drink will be provided — you’ll all have definitely earned it by then.

While you almost certainly won’t reach the ultimate finish line with your project by the time Launchpad wraps up, you will have:

  • Proposed civic-tech project ideas in City Hall
  • Workshopped project details with guidance from leaders in the tech community
  • Met other people interested in civic tech or the tech scene in Philly
  • Applied skills you maybe didn’t even know were applicable to a tech project to your project

Most importantly, you’ll have started something. Potentially, something pretty great.

And you’ll certainly remember that.


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