Secretary of State Wayne WIlliams addressed a burgeoning pool of potential competitors. And remember, there’s no mandate on wrangling public data into a usable format. When you participate—and use public data to create brilliant solutions—you help us make the business case for spending the time and energy to make public data open data.
So what kind of brilliant ideas are we looking for? Here’s this year’s challenge.
“Build an app that uses public data to solve a problem for a business decision-maker.”
If you were expecting something more specific, like, say, “build a barbecue-finding app for the Athmar neighborhood” or “create an auto-mechanic app for food trucks” (hey that’s a good idea), ponder this.
We didn’t give you a code-covered carrot because we believe in the creativity and innovation of the entrepreneurial community. See, government collects and maintains data for a wide variety of reasons. But those are all specific to our needs. The idea behind Go Code Colorado is that when we engage an outside perspective, we can get value from the data in ways that we in government never would have thought of. So we wanted to give you the widest possible creative canvas.
While we didn’t want to limit anyone’s creativity, we do want to facilitate a conversation with the broader business community. So if you don’t have an idea already, check out our ideation platform, where we’ve asked business decision-makers to help get the creative juices flowing with some suggestions. Now, back to the kickoff highlights…
We heard from leaders in each Challenge Weekend community about what makes their place great. It was a fun opportunity to show a little bit of local flavor about what makes corners of Colorado different, while we celebrate what brings us together and makes this state great: innovation, collaboration, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Here are kickoff highlights from each of the community leaders:
Josh Hudnall talked about building West Slope digital density and his now 500-member-strong, connection-building
community of Launch—a voice for entrepreneurs, developers, and designers. Grand Junction is a great place to compete and only getting greater as Challenge Weekend will be hosted this year in the newly-opened Factory co-working space.
Aari Lotfipour is the kind of guy who wears colored feathers in his white sport coat. And he’s the genius behind Fort Collins’ StartUp Week, (February 27 – March 3), a free, five-day community celebration of empowering education, including a Poudre Plunge and dozens of classes. They don’t call it Fort Fun for nothing.
Jim Mackay might be Durango’s biggest fan. He’s sharp, enthusiastic, and gave us lots of nifty little numbers (um, that’s called data) on the town’s coffee shops, breweries and diversifying economy. Jim’s startup accelerator, Scape, is 500-members-and-growing. He explained how Durango is home to a refocused Fort Lewis College and a retirement community of successful business people who aren’t quite ready to fully retire and looking to give something back with their success and expertise. Nice.
John Wilker explained how Denver is the epicenter of the world (okay, slight exaggeration)—the undisputed hub for technology and entrepreneurship between the coasts. As the founder of Ignite Denver and 360conferences, John dances at the intersection of ideas, intuition and events that drive people to think, click, buy and care. We don’t need to convince you to compete in Denver, but a conversation with this guy just might.
Michelle Parvinrouh convinced us that Colorado Springs–despite a more traditional mindset and a Defense-and-non-profit-based economy–has a lot of potential. She’s attracting like-minded people to her community hub with female power, hard work and the occasional beer for breakfast. Giddyup.
Everybody talked about Foodcaster. What can we say, it’s pop-u-lar.
Even the freezing drizzle that coated the streets while we celebrated didn’t dampen the enthusiasm as we kicked off this year’s challenge.
Every year, Go Code Colorado gets better. And it’s all because of you. Here’s to a fabulous year four with these promising kickoff highlights!