Where civic tech and entrepreneurship converge [Technical.ly Podcast] - Technical.ly DC

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Dec. 3, 2014 1:12 pm

Where civic tech and entrepreneurship converge [Technical.ly Podcast]

Listen in on our chat, where we re-hash some of the biggest stories in tech from our five Technical.ly markets. Plus: our most popular stories so far.

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on the economy at 1776, a tech startup hub in Washington, D.C., July 3, 2014.

(Official White House photo by Lawrence Jackson)

Here’s a holiday treat for you. In this month’s Technical.ly podcast, our five lead reporters in PhillyBaltimore, Brooklyn, Delaware and D.C. got together with Editorial Director Christopher Wink to discuss this year’s tech trends.

  • Listen below, download the episode or subscribe to the Technical.ly Podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

During our chat, we got to the conclusion that “if entrepreneurship has become the leading portion, the leading point of the technology spear, it’s still bringing these access conversations,” as Wink put it.

That’s probably nowhere as true as in D.C., where the civic and entrepreneurial drive seem to feed off each other.

For example, accelerator 1776 has a keen eye for startups with a sound business plan, but also a bigger purpose. Its D.C. Challenge Cup winners include a DNA tracer technology for environmental monitoring, a crowdfunding website for school administrators, an indoor farming network and a mobile app for pregnant mothers. Runner-up BitGrid is run very leanly by two seniors at George Washington University. Its goal? Helping public utilities better communicate during emergencies.

The D.C. civic tech community is self-aware, but it’s playful, too.

In her #CivicTech manifesto, local technologist Laurenellen McCann laid out some organizing principles to ensure activists build projects with (not for) local communities. And with a rallying cry of its own, a cardboard DCDino created by a local artist collective roamed the streets on election night. (There have been a few sightings since).

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It’s easy to get caught up in the growth spurt of #DCTech. As Angie Fox notes, the $50 million Crystal Tech Fund was a monumental endorsement of the local tech scene from venture capitalist giant Paul Singh. But meanwhile, local coders like Aliya RahmanJustin GrimesShannon Turner and many others are also hard at work trying to change things with their own two hands — and a keyboard.

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This blend of community awareness and entrepreneurship also characterizes you, our readers. Our five most-shared stories feature a mixed bag of homegrown apps and broader issues.

Thanks for tuning in to Technical.ly DC during our first few months. We’re excited about what we’ll be able to achieve here.

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