Boston to Host HubHacks, a Civic-Minded Hackathon

Eric Carter, Founder & Corporate Counsel, Dartsand
Jul. 16 2014, 01:51PM EDT

Boston becomes the most recent city to turn to hackathons as a method to update and overhaul antiquated government systems. On Aug. 9 and 10, the Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics and the Department of Innovation and Technology will host HubHacks. The goal of the hackathon is to solve problems related to the city’s permitting process.

Mayor Marty Walsh expanded:

I have made a strong commitment to ensuring a smooth process for anyone in need of permits, from the biggest business seeking an entertainment license, to the individual residents hoping to add a porch to their property. … Boston is a unique city, and we want a citizen-friendly portal that is designed with our specific city in mind. That is why we are hosting HubHacks — to find a collaborative solution to an issue with broad implications.

HubHacks will serve as the city’s first ever civic-minded hackathon. Developer teams can choose from one of four challenges:

  • Which permits do I need?
  • What’s my address of record?
  • Can I apply for a permit online?
  • Where am I in the approval process?

These four challenges represent some of the most common pain points in the city’s permitting process. The mayor hopes the hackathon will offer an accelerated method to solve such problems with a technology-centric approach.

HubHacks will commence here at 10 a.m. on Aug. 9. The judging criteria and prizes awarded will be announced in the coming weeks. Registrants will be given official rules, submission requirements and necessary files/APIs for their selected challenge. Winners will be announced at the close of the event, 5 p.m. Aug. 10. Those interested can register at the ChallengePost site.

Eric Carter Eric is the founder of Dartsand and Corporate Counsel for a specialty technology distributor. He is a frequent contributor to technology media outlets and also serves as primary legal counsel for multiple startups in the Real Estate, Virtual Assistant, and Software Development Industries. Follow me on Google+

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