Hi! We’re the 2013 Code For America Fellows. We are thrilled to be in Kansas City. Before we got here, our friends and colleagues were telling us tales of jazz clubs, fast internet, nice people, and even nicer BBQ. We’ve been invited into town by both Mayor James and Mayor Reardon, to explore how technology can help with economic development.
We’ve spent two weeks interviewing city staff, community leaders, non-profits, entrepreneurs and educators about the opportunities and challenges of economic development in Kansas City. 40 meetings so far! We’ll be spending the next two weeks exploring more thoroughly the ways technology can help solve some of these problems. In March, we’ll return to San Francisco to gather all of our notes and start to develop an app. We’ll be back a few times throughout the year to ruthlessly test our ideas and tech, until November when we officially release. We want our efforts to amplify all the impressive work already being done in Kansas City.
We have been amazed by the passion of the entrepreneurial community here. We’ve learned that Kansas City was built by entrepreneurs, and that ambition continues strong here. Groups like 1 Million Cups gather hundreds together weekly and there seems to be a new business incubator on every corner. The expertise and wisdom available for entrepreneurs at The Kauffman Foundation and UMKC’s Bloch School of Entrepreneurship is unmatched by any place in the world.
It is also an exciting time to be involved in civic technology in Kansas City. Major efforts are being made by champions inside of local government to open up essential data sets and upgrade the existing technology used by city staff. The new Socrata data catalog will allow for anyone to quickly view, and use, important city data. The city also just hired a Chief Innovation Officer, a brand new position tasked with making the government more creative and efficient in its decisions. Over at the Hacker Homes and in the working groups of KC Digital Drive, Kansas City is building next-generation technology on top of Google Fiber. The rest of the world is watching to see what will happen in Kansas City.
We feel like we hit the jackpot by being selected as the Kansas City Code for America Fellows. We’re super excited to see what we, you, and the city can build together.
Meet the Fellows
Get involved in Kansas City’s tech scene via monthly events that build the future of our city and the power of technology. Join us to launch the series on February 23rd, as part of a national Code Across America Event, a day of exploring and developing civic technology.
At our Kansas City Community Coffee, please join us for:
Code for America Brigade Overview & Sign Up
KC civic tech contributions: mapping, writing, open data, ideation, and more!
Discussion with the fellows
The Traffic Operations Center of Public Works Street and Traffic Division will share traffic count data collected at intersections with traffic lights in Kansas City.