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Live Long and Prosper Through Open-Data Innovations

State and local governments can help startups reel in venture capital investment.

Attracting business to your state can be difficult in this economic climate. Investors are wary of diverging too far from the pack. State and local governments have a unique opportunity to help startups become the next Facebook or Google.

Open data may be just what the doctor ordered for state governments looking to nurture startups while juggling budgetary restrictions. Inspired by the startup culture itself, state and local governments can take simple steps to support citizens and entice business. By making data available and hosting events like hackathons, governments can connect make connections with local technologists that could be valuable for both parties.

In a StateTech article this month, California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom expressed a similar view related to job growth and government culture:

You’ve got to have an entrepreneurial, bottom-up mindset of governing. And you can’t be captured by the standard operating procedure and the way things have been done.

Newsom believes open data is a game changer that would benefit state economies Agencies have mountains of data readily available. If open to the public, this data could seed businesses statewide.

In a series examining changes in the venture capital industry, The Atlantic Cities identified 20 of the top metro areas for venture capital investment in the United States. These “cradles of innovation” are a magnet for venture capitalists looking for the next big thing.

Recently, the federal government embraced the Big Data revolution with the National Day of Civic Hacking. This event allowed citizens to use government data to solve problems on behalf of their communities.

In an article for Code for America, civic designer Jake Levitas, celebrated this type of government-sponsored civic engagement through the use of big data:

What began as a niche theory about the potential to improve government using technology has quickly expanded to focus more on changing the culture of government to work more effectively and creatively with its citizens.

Now is the time for state and local governments to open their data coffers and foster innovation. While Silicon Valley has traditionally been considered the tech heartland, recent trends show the potential for competition among many leading metro areas.

Check out the list below, created by The Atlantic, for more information.

Top 20 Locations for Venture Capital Investment

 

Investments

Deals

Rank

Metropolitan Area

(listed by core city)

Dollars

(Millions)

Share of Total

Number

Share of Total

1

San Francisco-Oakland, CA

$6,896

25.6%

744

19.7%

2

San Jose-Sunnyvale, CA

$3,985

14.8%

415

11.0%

3

Boston, MA

$3,101

11.5%

408

10.8%

4

New York, NY

$2,269

8.4%

379

10.0%

5

Los Angeles, CA

$1,677

6.2%

232

6.1%

6

San Diego, CA

$1,134

4.2%

103

2.7%

7

Seattle, WA

$886

3.3%

112

3.0%

8

Austin, TX

$626

2.3%

87

2.3%

9

Chicago, IL

$547

2.0%

71

1.9%

10

Washington, DC

$484

1.8%

117

3.1%

11

Philadelphia, PA

$347

1.3%

105

2.8%

12

Denver, CO

$264

1.0%

53

1.4%

13

Atlanta, GA

$262

1.0%

53

1.4%

14

Boulder, CO

$256

1.0%

40

1.1%

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

$256

0.9%

29

0.8%

16

Santa Barbara, CA

$251

0.9%

14

0.4%

17

Phoenix, AZ

$214

0.8%

15

0.4%

18

Raleigh-Cary, NC

$184

0.7%

28

0.7%

19

Pittsburgh, PA

$167

0.6%

76

2.0%

20

Provo-Orem, UT

$162

0.6%

14

0.4%

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Jun 24 2013

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