#IndyCivicHack data is in the open. Time to #HackForChange

The hackathon event of the summer — Indy Civic Hack — is coming up on June 6 at Eleven Fifty Academy, and data sets for five different challenges from the City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS), and Indiana Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) are in the open! Plus, 14 additional data sets from the state and city are available as an Innovators Challenge to hack away on and come up with solutions to a variety of issues that could help serve the public.

The prizes for each challenge include $1,500 cash and some seriously cool in-kind prizes like Indianapolis Colts suite tickets and Indianapolis Indians “behind home plate” tickets. There are also useful business-oriented, in-kind prizes like tickets to entrepreneurship boot camps and workshops; Chamber of Commerce memberships; business planning software; private coaching sessions; and meetings with tech, municipal and state leaders. All Indy Civic Hack hackathon participants will retain ownership rights to their own intellectual property — you don’t have to sign it over to anybody!

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Executives, directors and staffers released that data at a special preview event at The Hall (Old City Hall) at the corner of Alabama and Ohio Street in downtown Indianapolis. It was an interesting juxtaposition of the 105-year-old, neoclassical building complete with towering columns and heaping helpings of green and white marble, and the details of the June 6, hackathon where white-hat hackers will use open source data from the city and state to create software that improves services or solves problems for citizens.

Michael Huber, president and CEO, Indy Chamber, said he appreciates the transparency and willingness of the city and state public sector partners to work together with tech professionals to present lasting solutions to the hackathon challenges. “Facilitating partnerships like this will help us better serve our city, our schools, our workforce and our future and we are happy to be a partner in this process.”

 

MichaelHuberHackathon
Indy Chamber President and CEO Michael Huber addresses the crowd during the Indy Civic Hack Data Release event at The Hall in downtown Indianapolis.

 

TechPoint CEO Mike Langellier said “Indy Civic Hack is a unique opportunity for the community to come together, to get engaged civically, and to apply our talents to make an impact and drive government transparency with all of this open data, and perhaps see the start of some new software businesses.”

Michael and Mike both had nice things to say about special guest Paul Baltzell, the CIO for the State of Indiana, who was recognized for his work leading Indiana government into a more tech focused era. It was also very encouraging to see such dedication to and support for Indy Civic Hack from sponsors Bill Soards (AT&T) and Charlie Brandt (KSM Consulting). Their excitement for hackathons is as palpable as the hackers who will be vying for cash and prizes.

Representatives from the City of Indianapolis, IPS and FSSA were also on hand to shed some light on the data sets they released for the hackathon, even though the actual challenges won’t be revealed until the day of the event on June 6. It was great getting to hear briefly from Rose DeLarme, Department of Code Enforcement; Jeff Roeder, Department of Metropolitan Development; Joe Gramelspacher, Indianapolis Public Schools; and Andrew VanZee, Family and Social Services Administration. Their participation is vital to the success of the Indy Civic Hack.

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 See more photos from the Indy Civic Hack Data Release event on Facebook.

DataRelease

 See more photos from the Indy Civic Hack Data Release event on Facebook.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joshua Hall is editor of techpoint.org. He writes about Indiana tech companies, jobs, people & events. @joshua2349