wfedstaff | April 17, 2015 3:46 pm
The White House is trying to bring a start-up mentality to the government by recruiting coders, programmers and other experts to work on five projects for six to 12 months as part of the new Presidential Innovation Fellows program.
Todd Park, federal chief technology officer, said the administration is looking for a specific type of person, the kind that is among the first five employees a start-up venture would hire.
“What we are looking for are bad-ass innovators,” Park said Wednesday during the rollout of the innovation program and Digital Management Strategy at the TechCrunch conference in New York City. “The baddest ass of the baddest asses out there to come to the government for focused six- to 12-month tours of duty to partner with our best innovators on game-changing projects. In the mash-up of citizen-government innovators, the idea is to work in a lean start-up mode to score a lot of points and deliver significant results within six months.”
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Chief Technology Officer Todd Park puts out the call for “bad-ass innovators” to serve in federal government. View full video of TechCrunch conference below. Video source: TechCrunch.com.
The program will bring on 15 experts by July to help on projects to open up government data to a wider audience and improve how agencies meet their missions. All of the positions are compensated. The White House didn’t say how much the government would pay the experts.
“We are looking for a few good women and men to serve their country, to code, to design, to create and kick-ass for America,” he said.
The five projects cover a range of topics.
In addition to finding fellows to serve in government, Park said the government would like to find others to provide expertise, mentoring or someone who just wants to participate in an ad hoc basis.
Interest in innovation has been building
Park is confident the innovation fellows program will get a lot of interest. He said private sector participation has been increasing over the last three years.
“We’ve been doing meet-ups, hackathons and datapaloozas to get the word out about the data. The datapaloozas are events where in partnership with the other organizations, like National Institute of Medicine, who have been issuing open calls for any innovator who’s built something awesome with our data to present that innovation via tent-style talk at a national datapalooza,” he said. “What’s been happening more and more folks have been throwing their hat in the ring. The first datapalooza had 20 companies exhibit, the second had 50 and the third datapalooza, which is happening June 5-6 in Washington, has 230 companies throwing their hat in the ring to showcase their data-powered innovations products and services.”
Park said doctors, patients and community leaders will select the 100 best ones through an “American Idol” type of competition.
Park also used his own experience in coming to the government as a way to inspire people to join this effort.
After starting and selling several companies in the U.S. and overseas, Park joined the Department of Health and Human Services as its CTO. He became the federal CTO seven weeks ago.
“The most entrepreneurial experience I’ve ever had, I’ve ever had has been the last 2 1/2 years serving in the federal government,” Park said.
|Full video of TechCrunch Conference courtesy of TechCrunch.com.
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