Hillsborough Engages Citizinvestor To Fund Prizes For Hack-a-thon

Hillsborough County is opening up data from several of its departments to the Tampa Bay technology community to see who can build the best app on top of the data. The Hack-a-thon is first event of its kind for the county government.

Tampa-based Citizinvestor is being used to collect funds that will go toward prizes for the competition. Citizinvestor is an online service that allows municipalities to submit projects that have already been approved but are in need of funding in order to come to fruition. The crowd-funding idea is to encourage citizens to invest their own money in the projects they care most about, letting local governments know where they most want to see funds spent. Credit cards are not charged until 100 percent of the funds are received for each project. 

Past funded initiatives include a project in Boston that put iPads into the hands of blind students who were able to control them by voice.

The Hack-a-thon is the first project in Tampa Bay to be funded through Citizinvestor. The county is seeking $2,700 in total funding. 

"Anything the community can be doing to promote civic innovation is a good thing,'' says Jordan Raynor, co-founder of Citizinvestor. "This particular project is exciting for transparency sake, making government more open. It's also another way to showcase Tampa’s technology talent.'' Raynor is also happy to see the county using a homegrown business to help others in the technology community.

The Hack-a-thon will take place April 12 -- 14, 2013 at Hillsborough Community College’s Brandon campus.

"This is a really big moment for Hillsborough County," says Raynor. "A lot of places talk about innovation. Hillsborough County is actually doing something about it.''

Writer: Megan Hendricks
Source: Jordan Raynor, Citizinvestor

Read more articles by Megan Hendricks.

Megan Hendricks is a feature writer at 83 Degrees Media in the Tampa Bay region of Florida.
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