Governor McAuliffe launches inaugural #DatathonChallenge
Governor Terry McAuliffe today launched the first ever Commonwealth #DatathonChallenge, a competition pitting teams from Virginia agencies against one another as they create new applications that streamline government, better serve citizens, and jumpstart business opportunities.
From August 21 to 22, agency teams will assemble at the Patrick Henry Building in Richmond to build apps from scratch that make use of Commonwealth data that is publicly available through Data.Virginia.gov.
Speaking on the first of its kind event, Governor McAuliffe said: “Now, more than ever, it is critical that we work together to build a new Virginia economy. And we can’t have an innovative economy without an innovative government. That’s why I’m starting right here with my own administration. For the next 48 hours, I’m challenging our agencies to think outside the box and push both the technology we use and their own creativity to the limits. Getting all these folks in a room together and asking them to build something new will encourage better collaboration within our government, foster a culture of inventiveness, and prove that Virginia is the number one place for fresh ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.”
Secretary of Technology Karen Jackson took the opportunity to expand the challenge to the general public: “The data our agencies will be using to build their apps is open to the public through our site Data.Virginia.gov. So if you’re a developer or entrepreneur and think you can make something even better that uses our data, we want to hear about it!”
Virginia agencies participating in this week’s Datathon include Virginia Department of Transportation, Virginia Department of Alcohol and Beverage Control, Virginia Department of Corrections, Virginia Information Technologies Agency, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.
After completing the bulk of their work from August 21 to August 22, agency teams will deliver final project presentations during a special session held at the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium (COVITS) on September 3 in Richmond. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to vote for a Crowd Favorite Award while a panel of judges from both state government and the private sector will deliver a Judges’ Choice Award to the most outstanding agency team.
More information can be accessed at the Commonwealth’s data portal Data.Virginia.gov.