(Photo courtesy of David Ginzberg)
There’s extra incentive to participate in the 2017 Open Data Challenge: $17,500 in grants from the Delaware Department of State.
The free hackathon runs from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4 at 1313 Innovation.
Gov. John Carney believes it’s well worth the investment. “Embracing open data and new technology will help us operate more efficiently and better connect Delawareans with the work of their state government,” he said. “The Open Data Challenge is a great way to help further this effort by coming up with ideas to improve the way the state does business.”
As Open Data Delaware organizer David Ginzberg explains, the grant money is a gamechanger for the annual event. “Projects started at a hackathon tend to disappear shortly after the event is over,” he said. “These grants, inspired by a similar approach that has been used in Colorado, serve as an added incentive for participation and for further development of projects after the event.”
The total grant amounts are $12,500 for first place and $5,000 for second place. Employees or contractors of the Delaware Department of State or the State of Delaware are not eligible to earn grants.
Winning teams will receive the first half of their grants upon completion of the hackathon. The second half will be awarded after winning participants have met the final milestones for their projects, set by a review group after the event.
“The milestones for final approval will be based around delivering a working and/or finished product — more than just a prototype,” Ginzberg explained via email, stressing that the goal of the grants is to foster projects to completion.
Projects must be new work that uses at least one existing data source from the Delaware Open Data Portal and the entire project must be submitted publicly via GitHub. Read all of the rules and regulations on the hackathon details page.
The Open Data Challenge has been an ongoing collaboration over the past six months among civic hacking group Open Data Delaware, the Technology Forum of Delaware and the Delaware Department of State’s Government Information Center (with nonprofit Tech Impact acting as fiscal sponsor and handling the disbursement of earned grants).
“Part of the process leading up to this included the Technology Forum of Delaware’s Idea Challenge and a series of skill-building workshops,” said Ginzberg. “After the hackathon, we’re hoping to continue with what we have tentatively been calling ‘Level Up,’ a series of more workshops similar to the ones over the past six months meant to build on the existing skills and projects we see in the Open Data Delaware community. All hackathon participants and community members are invited to join us at those workshops and our weekly meetups.”
This is a big opportunity for Delaware’s tech community, and for the state as a whole.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how they put Delaware’s data to good use,” Gov. Carney said.