Crunch government datasets, improve public safety, and work alongside your local government officials at the first-ever Startup Weekend GOV at Seattle City Hall, April 27-29th, 2012.

Startup Weekend is an intense 54 hour event which focuses on building a web or mobile application which could form the basis of a credible business over the course of a weekend. The weekend brings together people with different skillsets - primarily software developers, graphics designers and business people - to build applications and develop a commercial case around them.

Tickets are still available, but Startup Weekends almost always sell out. Sign up today!

Everyone can participate! Even if you cannot make the weekend, browse available open datasets and submit your ideas (or vote/comment on existing ideas) at

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Presentation Order

Today’s demos at 5PM at Seattle City Hall will go in the following order:

Mobile Parking Pay
Art Rover
City Rewards
Civic Rally
Which Bus
Lunch on Four Wheels
Active Seattle
The Informant
Sugar Hill

Judging Criteria

On Sunday night, a team of five judges will score each team on a scale of 1-5 in each of these four categories:

Business Model

The heart of it all. If you haven’t got answers to these questions, you’ve spent too much time on frills & features and need to get back to the basics:

  • Who is your customer?
  • What is your core value proposition?
  • What are your key activities?
  • What are your revenue streams?
  • What is your cost structure?
  • Who/what are your key partners/resources?
  • What are your distribution channels?
  • What is your roll-out strategy?

Customer Validation

Have you taken the proper steps to ensure that the people who matter (your future customers) support and reinforce your assumptions? Think of Customer Validation as ‘evidence’ to back up the core structure of your ‘theory’ (your business model). The more feedback you gather (quantity), the more this feedback comes from your specific target market (quality), and the more you’re able to actually integrate this feedback into the business model and product development (execution), the better.


The nitty gritty: what has your team been able to actually build over the weekend? Even the strongest of business plans are useless in the hands of those who can’t properly execute on them. Getting as far as possible in the development of your product/prototype not only helps give judges a tangible vision of what the final product could be, but proves your strength and skills as a team.

Government Angle
Does your application improve the life of or public services to people who live, work, and/or play in Washington state? Bonus consideration for applications that creatively integrate at least one open government data set.

Pitched Ideas

Below is a list of all the ideas pitched at Startup Weekend GOV on Friday night. While teams are not actively working on all of these ideas over the weekend, we hope that by sharing them we can encourage others to pick them up as projects in the future, or that these can help you brainstorm even more ideas.

Thanks to Al Boss for typing these up!

City Rewards: A loyalty platform that encourages good civic behavior.
520 Commuters: Help 520 commuters with cost efficiency questions and determining which route is the best
911 Risk
Em Assistance: lost luggage, links existing contacts
Made in Seattle: raise the profile of Seattle, highlights the best brands and companies
Pay My Ticket Now: Car has a boot? No need to go online
Sudu-go/Games: American kids to think logically, neighborhood cup to exercise brain
Informant: criminal data
Cruelty Tracker: central tracker for animal cruelty prevention
Parking Assistant: Difficult parking in proximity? Uses real time parking data
Mobile Pairing Pay, Smart payment systems for parking, get a reminder on the phone if it’s close to expiration
Pandora’s Home: unpermitted work, house inspection data
Seattle PI: Report issues that need to be fixed in neighborhoods, potholes, etc
Lunch on 4 Wheels: Where is the nearest foodtruck? food + data
Sugarhill: snapshot of gov’t projects up for bid, better vendors, better cost
SAARAA: Foodcart thru bus issues, situational awareness app, public records of where people are, prepare before disasters, sleepy gov’t employees
Blue Pencil: improve quality of education, measure improvements in education,
Sober Friend: App logs you into Facebook and let them know you are sober, friends can give you a call for a ride home
Edit the City: App that notifies you of proximity to articles online, so you can edit and make awesome Wikipedia article
Poop Tracker: animated, children’s book style, app that shows a map of where your flushed toilet content travels
SafetyNet: children’s safety, show where ex-cons live and/or are on parole
MyNeighborhood, single and live alone, geolocation, what city event are happening in real-time
Fund IT!, generate ideas from community, donate volunteer time, needs gov’t employee
Pick-up Sports: pick up recreation, sports, build community, play sports
I-Activist: help combat apathy by getting people involved, help them care, easily
WhichBus: OnebusAway data + google maps, currently in process, wants to open it up and continue work
What Happened Here? class assignments, things that happen in specific areas, Kurt Cobain was born here
Should I Eat Here? food inspection and safety
Non Emergency Phone: phone directory tree based on 311
Civirian: leverage datasets,
AssTag: work with insurance companies to increase prices if you drive like an a-hole, park like and a-hole
Linneerr: waiting in line, waiting times, predict average wait before a trip is made
HeresMyComment: how to provide comments on things happening in your neighborhood
PublicArtNW: public art, walking tour by neighborhood and by region
YouthPolitics: create app to dumb down political issues teenagers would be able to care about, bite size pieces
WhatDoIDoWith?, mobile solution to help recycle stuff, keyword search, mapping, directions, unwanted items, re-use, ours of business
DigMyStreet, geolocated construction projects, when are construction projects going to be finished, gas, sewer, cable, etc, start and end dates
WhoopingCough, communicable diseases, website that collects information, who is reporting diseases, overlay with statistics

Pre-Event Bootcamp Slides

Slides and resources from the Socrata and Google talks at our pre-event on Thursday, April 19th.


Download the slides here.

Some of the resources Chris used for the API demo:

– Postman for Chrome, a must-have for playing with REST APIs:
– Getting started with the SODA API, covers getting an app token and a few other high-level concepts:
– The Socrata “official” Github repo:
– Chris Metcalf’s Github repo, with some less-official examples:
– Chris Metcalf’s example SODA 2 script:

Getting Help During Startup Weekend GOV:
– IRC: Chris will be hanging out in #socrata-soda on as chrismetcalf
– Twitter: Tweet @chrismetcalf
– Email: support (at) socrata (dot) com and mention “Startup Weekend” in the subject


Download the slides: (coming!)

Slides on the other cloud services Marc discussed (Storage, Prediction, BigQuery, Refine) can be accessed directly from Google Cloud Storage here:

Other cloud services, which Marc didn’t get to cover during the Boot Camp session, but which are very helpful when building web based data visualizations:
Google Maps API
Google Chart Tools
Google Fusion Tables

Finding City Hall

Seattle City Hall is located at 600 4th Ave (between Cherry and James). “Seattle City Hall” does not come up on Google Maps, so make note of this address if you haven’t been here before.

Use the 5th Avenue entrance for Startup Weekend. The 4th Avenue entrance will not be open reliably, although it is available at all times for people who need accessibility assistance.

City Hall is very easy to access by bus. However, it does not have a public parking garage. You will need to find parking on a nearby street or in a lot. We recommend bussing in if possible.

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