Kate Hartig (DMPED) – (202) 727-9921; [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, DC) – This week, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) kicked off its annual innoMAYtion, a month-long initiative that showcases DC’s tech and innovation ecosystem. Highlighting public and private sector programs, people and companies, innoMAYtion focuses on innovative and inclusive ways the city is meeting the needs of DC residents and how ideas from local entrepreneurs continue to reshape Washington, DC.
“Every day in the District, our profile as the capital of inclusive innovation only gets stronger as more people and companies chose DC to live, work and innovate,” said Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner. “InnoMAYtion is our annual opportunity to celebrate and showcase DC residents and businesses whose ideas, investments, and programs are improving our city and giving more Washingtonians an opportunity to participate in our growing tech and innovation economy.”
InnoMAYtion officially kicked off May 2 with “Digital TransforMAYtion,” where administration officials led a conversation with national and local technology experts on civic innovation and how women are shaping the future of tech. This Saturday, DMPED, the Office of the Chief Technology Officer and the Department of For-Hire Vehicles will host the InnoMAYtion Hackathon where participants will collaborate on projects that focus on the advancement of women in tech, transportation and how data can improve resident engagement. InnoMAYtion will host events all month and culminate in the finale celebration on May 31 at the Inclusive Innovation Incubator (In3).
InnoMAYtion will also spotlight the people and companies making the District the “Capital of Inclusive Innovation.” For the fourth consecutive year, the District was named the best city in the nation for women in tech, according to SmartAsset, a digital publication that analyzes data on factors such as gender pay gap, income after housing costs, women’s representation in the workforce and percent growth in employment.
As part of innoMAYtion, Mayor Muriel Bowser released a Request for Applications (RFA) for an investment partner to develop and manage a new program to improve access to capital for underrepresented entrepreneurs. The new DC Inclusive Innovation Fund aims to invest in early stage District businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs, including people of color, women, and LGBTQ people and individuals with disabilities. The District will make available seed funding of up to $1.5 million in Fiscal Year 2018 to help an investment professional partner build out a program.
During the Bowser Administration, Washington, DC has become a leading and desirable location for technology companies. Yelp announced plans to open an office in the city, Apple is reviving the Carnegie Library, DC-based FiscalNote confirmed plans to stay and expand in Washington, DC and Uber announced plans to open a new greenlight Hub, East of the Anacostia River in East River Shopping Center. Additionally, Amazon announced in January that Washington, DC is one of 20 finalist regions for Amazon HQ2.
Since launching innoMAYtion in 2015, the District has opened In3, the first inclusive incubator in the nation aimed at supporting underrepresented entrepreneurs; unveiled Pathways to Inclusion, a major report that will guide DC to become the most inclusive city for entrepreneurs in the country; and launched Project 500, a program of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity (DMGEO) that helps disadvantaged small businesses in the District grow in revenue and size. Since its inception, Project 500 has enrolled more than 500 businesses, predominantly from Wards 7 and 8 and partnered with JP Morgan Chase & Co. to launch the Ascend 2020 accelerator to support the growth of minority-, women- and veteran-owned small businesses by extending entrepreneurial support systems to underserved entrepreneurs and neighborhoods in the District. In addition, DMGEO launched the, Tech Unplugged: Revitalizing Communities Through Innovation series at In3 to provide tech enabled entrepreneurs of color a platform to solve neighborhood challenges through innovation.
“From disrupting entrenched industries to solving the nation’s most intractable problems, tech start-ups are changing the world. And in DC, we are focused on using our tech start-up community to help solve the challenges faced by our residents in overlooked and underserved communities. In the fourth year of innoMAYtion, we are proud to partner with our colleagues at DMPED to grow a diverse community of entrepreneurs—especially those from east of the river,” said Deputy Mayor Courtney R. Snowden.
During last year’s innoMAYtion, the Mayor announced the DC Government’s Data Policy, one of the most progressive and comprehensive data policies in the nation. The policy streamlined the process for DC Government agencies to continue to add to available datasets, and requires the District to classify all enterprise datasets, even the datasets that cannot be published, by level of sensitivity and regularly publish the inventory, including the classifications, as an open dataset. Since then, the District’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (OCTO) released the Enterprise Dataset Inventory (EDI), which represents the next step in realizing Mayor Bowser’s commitment to “making our local government one of the most accessible systems in the country.” The EDI now includes 1,640 enterprise datasets from 79 District government agencies.
OCTO also released the Chief Data Officer's Annual Report, which further expounds on the categories that the EDI includes, ranging from government operations and transportation to recreation and public safety. The report also highlights recommendations, upcoming goals as well as several additional OCTO Data Team accomplishments, including the establishment of the Interagency Data Team and the Crime Cards application.
To view the full calendar of innoMAYtion events, visit innoMAYtion.com.