Textizen, Abayima: Philly projects win $500K in Knight News Challenge: Mobile - Technical.ly Philly

Access

Jan. 21, 2013 9:00 am

Textizen, Abayima: Philly projects win $500K in Knight News Challenge: Mobile

Two Philadelphia projects won a total of $500,000 in the Knight News Challenge: Mobile, which announced $2.4 million in funding to eight winners last week. The Philly projects include: Textizen ($350,000), the Code for America-built text-based civic engagement tool launched in Philly last June, and Abayima ($150,000), a tool that will allow cell phone SIM cards to […]

Two Philadelphia projects won a total of $500,000 in the Knight News Challenge: Mobile, which announced $2.4 million in funding to eight winners last week.

The Philly projects include: Textizen ($350,000), the Code for America-built text-based civic engagement tool launched in Philly last June, and Abayima ($150,000), a tool that will allow cell phone SIM cards to store news and information, from data startup Metalayer‘s founder Jon Gosier.

Find the full list of winners here. We wrote about the Philly-based applicants to the challenge last fall.

Textizen’s win is especially notable, as it represents an effort to scale a project built by Code for America fellows after the fellowship’s end. Textizen cofounder Michelle Lee, who recently finished her run as a Philly Code for America fellow, told Technically Philly that she had always planned on working to scale the tool.

That’s in contrast to the signature project of the first class of Philly’s Code for America fellows, Change By Us, a civic participation website. The fire behind the website has somewhat burned out — there are just over 60 community projects and roughly 400 users on the site, according to the the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics, which has has taken over Change By Us. The office said that it’s “incubating” the site right now and deciding how to move forward with it.

Advertisement

Gosier’s project, aimed at changing the way people use cell phones in developing countries, is equally exciting and has already received national coverage by Fast Company. Gosier told us he’s working with developers in other countries on the project and hopes to test it in the upcoming Kenyan elections.

He is also still focused on Metalayer, which he said is still profitable and has some big projects in the works. The startup has downsized recently and is now a two-person team, since two of its employees left to join visual analytics firm Curalate.

-30-
CONTRIBUTE TO THE
JOURNALISM FUND

Already a contributor? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action

Advertisement

These are the 13 winners of Philly’s new grant program for underrepresented founders

Digital Literacy Alliance snags $500K to support immigrant-serving orgs and previous grantees

Vote for these local tech nonprofits to win up to $200K

SPONSORED

Philly

Say ‘Ahoy’ to the technical opportunities at Vanguard

Chesterbrook

Deacom

Data Specialist

Apply Now

Philadelphia, PA

PromptWorks

Operations Manager

Apply Now

Chesterbrook, PA

Deacom

Software Developer

Apply Now

Kinetic sculptures and science carnivals and microgrants, oh my!

Reimagine your city with this grant program for young civic innovators

The City just launched a new grant program for underrepresented tech founders

SPONSORED

Philly

Packed with growth opportunities, WSFS Bank moves into Philly

1217 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Perpay

Director of Merchandising

Apply Now

1217 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA

Perpay

Data Engineer

Apply Now

1217 Sansom Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Perpay

Accounting Manager

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Philadelphia

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!