August 5, 2012

Civic Startups Introduce New Technology to Government

FORMER CONGRESSIONAL aide Marci Harris was frustrated with the way information and messages flooded into the office of Representative Pete Stark, D-Calif, and got lost. In 2010, she left to solve government's biggest problems.

She subsequently founded PopVox, a tech startup that works to improve the communication between Congress and its constituents.

Last month, more than 600 entrepreneurs and government and technology leaders came together at the Next Generation of Government Summit to hear speakers, attend presentations and participate in workshops about how to improve government. The workshops included "Tech Tips: 50 ways to be more effective," "Problem Solving: Improving Technology" and "How to Drive Big Changes in Government."

With technology advancing at a rapid pace and billions of people receiving information on Internet and their mobile phones, entrepreneurs and developers are trying to bridge the gap between new technology and old government habits. These civically focused startups are building products that they hope will change the way things are done. But their odds for success are tough, as many of them navigate uncharted waters and face competition from thousands of other startups for users and funds.

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