Look alive, DC: it's time for InnoMAYtion - Technical.ly DC

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May 4, 2016 12:36 pm

Look alive, DC: it’s time for InnoMAYtion

It's that most wonderful time of the year when D.C. celebrates its innovative spirit.

Mayor Bowser greets the District.

(Photo by Flickr user Elvert Barnes, used under a Creative Commons license)

D.C.’s InnoMAYtion, a monthlong tech and entrepreneurship-focused initiative from Mayor Muriel Bowser, officially kicks off on Wednesday morning.

This year, InnoMAYtion comes complete with a snazzy new website and this list of three distinct goals:

  1. To “foster a collaborative environment between the government, residents, and entrepreneurs to improve the lives of District residents;”
  2. To “strengthen, showcase, and support DC’s innovation ecosystem, especially efforts around inclusion for underserved communities and entrepreneurs;”
  3. And to “highlight pathways for DC residents to have a fair shot in the innovation economy.”

These three aims will be explored through a robust and growing list of events scheduled to happen throughout the month. Beyond the kickoff event, the calendar includes a hackathon, an AccelerateDC open house and a variety of roundtable discussions. Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development spokesman Joaquin McPeek told Technical.ly the calendar is a “living and breathing” document, so he’s expecting more events will be added.

But first comes the kickoff — at the Anacostia Arts Center on Wednesday morning Mayor Bowser will announce Project 500, one of the month’s main initiatives. According to the events page, Project 500 is “a partnership between American University’s new Center for Innovation in the Capital and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity that will help 500 disadvantaged small businesses in the District grow in revenue and size over the next 3 years.”

Beyond looking forward, a portion of InnoMAYtion will also look back.

In the coming month, McPeek told Technical.ly, the government hopes to showcase some of the stories of the people who took part in one last year’s big initiatives — the DC Innovation Opportunity Program. The Innovation Opportunity Program, you may recall, was founded with 1776 and General Assembly as “a pathway for high-potential, low-income individuals in the District of Columbia to access in demand jobs in the digital economy.” As of writing, one such story is posted to the InnoMAYtion 2016 website.

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