Coders to Compete for Grants in 2017 Delaware Open Data Challenge and Civic Hackathon






DOVER – Teams of coders from across the state will seek to harness the power of public data and develop innovative solutions to real-world problems at a weekend-long hackathon organized by Open Data Delaware.

The 2017 Open Data Challenge is the final event in a series of sessions focused on creating, designing and developing technical applications with open data in Delaware. This year’s challenge is based around the theme “Access to Hope through Innovation.” Two nonprofit partners, the Food Bank of Delaware and Network Delaware, will present challenge prompts that teams will work to solve with prototype solutions built over the course of two days of civic hacking.

Two teams will be selected as winners and awarded grants ($12,500 for first place, $5,000 for second place) to help them bring their ideas to fruition and produce useable technology for the public. The grants, offered by the Delaware Department of State, will be awarded in two stages to incentivize building, testing and launching the technical applications.

Coders, designers, civic advocates and those interested in making a difference in their communities may view more information about the event and sign up at

What: Delaware Open Data Challenge Hackathon Weekend

Who: Open Data Delaware partners including Technology Forum of Delaware, Tech Impact and the Delaware Department of State; Food Bank of Delaware; Network Delaware; Hackathon team members

When: Kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 2;
Challenge competition takes place Saturday, June 3 through Sunday June 4, concluding with final presentations and awards
(Contact Dana Rohrbough for detailed schedule of events.)

Where: 1313 Innovation, 1313 North Market Street, Wilmington


Contact: Dana Rohrbough
Government Information Center
Delaware Department of State
(302) 547-3763

State of Delaware Business Assistance Website Wins National Award

The Delaware Business First Steps website ( has won a prestigious national award from the Center for Digital Government. The site is a portal to information about business licensing, permits, and filings required for certain business by state, city, and county agencies in Delaware. It was awarded a 2015 Digital Government Achievement Award in the government-to-business category.

“When we launched this site in February, our hope was to provide entrepreneurs with the best opportunity to start and expand their companies here in the First State. Receiving this award is further validation that we are making progress to improve the customer experience with government,” said Governor Jack Markell.

The Business First Steps site was built in response to Governor Jack Markell’s challenge to state agencies to improve access to information about business licensing requirements. The website features a general checklist that most new businesses will need to follow, a list of over 200 different state agency registrations or licenses, and links to business resources. All entrepreneurs need to first decide on their business structure and their business name before starting down the path of applying for a business license or other registrations with various government offices.

“It’s a top priority of the governor to make it as easy as possible for businesses to grow in Delaware. This website helps achieve that goal. A great team spent countless hours making sure the site is responsive to the real needs of entrepreneurs. And we aren’t done yet. This is a dynamic process and we want to see more improvements as the site continues to develop,” said Secretary of State Jeff Bullock.

The Digital Government Achievement Awards highlight outstanding agency and department websites and applications.

“These winners are recognized for responsive and mobile-first design, open government, open data, improved transparency and integration with social media,” said Todd Sander, executive director of the Center for Digital Government. “Congratulations to the awardees for their impressive work to make government more accessible and responsive to citizens.”

FirstSteps.Delaware.Gov was launched in February of 2015. The website was built by the Delaware Government Information Center in concert with state agencies, local government, and advice from the business community. Feedback, suggestions, and comments about the website may be directed to

Government-to-business category winners:
– Bexar County, Texas – Criminal District Attorney’s eDiscovery System
– Helping Delawareans Make Their Business First Steps
– Kentucky Business One Stop Portal
– New Zealand –’s Compliance Matters Tool for Small Businesses
– Utah’s Economic Development Map

Find Delaware Arts Events with the New “What’s On” App

Delaware What's OnDelawareans can now easily find arts and culture events happening today, soon, and nearby with the new “What’s On” smartphone app.

“What’s On” shows an interactive map of Delaware with pins for arts events. Tapping a pin on the map shows an event’s details, contact information, driving directions, and links to the event’s website. Users can also scroll through lists of upcoming events.

The “What’s On” app was developed by Delaware’s Division of the Arts in association with the Delaware Government Information Center (GIC), a state agency charged with helping to connect citizens to government via the internet. Behind the scenes, the app is powered by data from, which has been providing arts event information to the public since 2008.

“We are thrilled with this app as it makes the arts even more accessible in Delaware,” said Paul Weagraff, Director of the Division of the Arts. “‘What’s On’ lets you see what’s happening in the arts from your smartphone. People can easily make plans to attend a performance, museum, film, concert or other arts event on the spur of the moment.”

“Many people are last-minute planners,” said Mike Mahaffie, Acting Director of the Delaware Government Information Center. “People launch apps on their phones to see which movies are playing, find places to eat, and figure out what they’re going to do. As part of the State’s eGovernment initiatives, we’re happy ‘What’s On’ makes local arts events a new option for these people.”

“What’s On” can be downloaded at no cost from the App Store and Google Play (search for Delaware What’s On) or by visiting