Friday February 28, 2014 0 comments
By Steve Porter
DENVER - Five developer teams in five different regions across the state will compete March 21-23 to create new applications aimed at making public-owned data more useable and ultimately help grow the state's economy.
The "Go Code Colorado Challenge Weekend" will be held at locations in Boulder, Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Durango and Grand Junction. The event will feature teams of software developers and entrepreneurs coming up with their best ideas for the state-funded project.
Brian Gryth with the Secretary of State's Business Intelligence Center said the state has mountains of useful data but not that easily accessible.
"Really, the data by itself is not enough," he said. "Business needs tools to consume this information that's available. So we decided to go to the developers and entrepreneurs community to develop apps for us."
Last year, the Colorado Joint Budget Committee allocated $750,000 to fund the project, which is intended to stimulate economic growth by helping new and existing businesses get information they need, such as demographic, employment, education, IT, industry statistics, tax credits and incentives.
"You can go and find all that data on Colorado government websites, but we're putting it all in one place," Gryth said. "We're trying to get the most robust data sets we can."
Gryth said the project has three fundamental goals: Get more people involved in economic development; create a bridge between government and app developers; and make the data public to the business community.
"This is an asset all Colorado taxpayers have already paid for, so why not use it," he said.
Elaine Marino, event organizer, said the federal government and some large cities across America have created similar software applications but Colorado would be the first state to do so.
"So it's a very big deal," she said.
A kick-off event will be held at the History Colorado Center in Denver, 1200 Broadway, on March 19, and a final competition will be held May 9 at the Center.
The two apps judged best from each region will move on to the final competition, with incentives of $25,000 for first place, $15,000 for second and $10,000 for third.