Civic & Gov Tech Showcase Event Recap -

Civic & Gov Tech Showcase Event Recap

Photo Credit: Innovate Your State

By Guest Blogger Tony Oliver, Penny Wise Consulting Group

One of KAI Partners’ own partners, Tony Oliver of Penny Wise Consulting Group, recently attended the second annual Civic & Gov Tech Showcase in Sacramento. According to event sponsors Innovate Your State and the City of Sacramento Mayor’s Office for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, “The Civic & Gov Tech Showcase is an opportunity to connect civic minded entrepreneurs, government leaders and potential investors to showcase innovation and encourage collaboration and support of new technologies to improve government.” We asked Tony to share with us his thoughts on the event, so take it away, Tony!

It was an interesting event, with the first 30 minutes focusing on discussing the benefits of Sacramento for companies either looking to move from the Bay Area or seeking to open local offices.

After a 30-minute break, there were two hours of quick 8-minute presentations by startups with a focus on government or civic issues. The main thread weaving them together: These are the types of projects that once upon a time, the bigger tech outfits would (or would not) address, often only if million-dollar contracts were present. Now, however, these smaller outfits are offering the counties and cities an opportunity to fix big problems with their nimbler, web-enabled software.

A few of these startups caught my eye, including:

  • A.R.G.O Labs: More diverse than the others, its focus is on leveraging civic data science tools to deliver public services more efficiently
  • Caravan Studios: More of a container to solve problems; their presentation actually had a case: disseminating information to disadvantaged students from the nation’s 100k public schools on where to find free activities and meals during the summer
  • CityGrows: Streamlines and provides a transparent view of how permits, processes, etc. are offered by the cities
  • Civic CrowdAnalytics: Crunches civic data with Natural Language Processing, i.e., sentiment analysis
  • MeWe: Inspection software used to carve a big dent in the backlog of public sector inspections
  • Organizer: A volunteer-focused startup
  • Pinpoint Predictive: More of people analytics, similar to Civic Crow Analytics above
  • ShiftSpark: Citizen lobbying
  • SpeakEasy Political: Templates and assistance on direct marketing campaigns for issues
  • Support Pay: Combination of communication platform and payment and verification system for child support expenses and collaboration
  • Voter: Tinder-like, used to connect with like-minded voters

It sounds like this year’s Civic & Gov Tech Showcase featured some great startups that can help positively influence our government and political processes! KAI Partners thanks Tony for his thoughts on this event and will be looking at these companies—and others making their way to the Sacramento area—in the future.

About the Author: Tony Oliver is a project manager by trade, a marketing guru by profession, and a lifelong learner from birth. His best trait is an inquisitive mind, which drives his desire to understand not just the “what” but also the “how” and more importantly, the “why” and “why not?” Tony is experienced in supply, pricing, demand, and consumption analysis and holds an MBA in marketing from a top 20 school (UNC Chapel Hill) and an undergraduate English Literature degree from Georgetown University. With 15+ years of experience with Intel and Cisco, Tony is fully bilingual (English, Spanish) with a working knowledge of French, as well as a seasoned public speaker and instructor of Project Management and Presentation Skills courses.

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