Creating Value from Government Data – The July Data Business DC Meetup

Data Business DC is very excited to announce that we have found a brand new home for our MeetUp, at the office of Cooley LLP in the heart of Washington DC. Come out to our next event, Creating Value from Government Data, to network, enjoy some food, and listen to a number of incredible speakers talking about how they create value from government data.

Cooley LLP

1299 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 700, Washington, DC

Innovative companies are our bread and butter, and we like to do what we can to help the DC-area ecosystem. Our historic roots are in Silicon Valley, and we have built a firm with a comprehensive collection of world class practices to support precisely the needs of ourinnovative clients, from initial discussion to formation through IPOs and sales. With more than 130 attorneys resident in the Washington area, we are deeply committed to the emerging companies market and to the Mid-Atlantic region. Further, several deal-making lawyers from Cooley will likely be attending the event; please feel free to bounce ideas off of them and ask them about current market trends.

Sunlight Foundation

What's the present state of open government data -- what's available, who's using it, and how can businesses be built on it? And, most importantly: where might things go next?

Tom Lee is the Director of Sunlight Labs; prior to assuming leadership of the labs, he managed Sunlight's Subsidyscope project, an effort to explore the level of federal involvement in various sectors of the economy. On that project, Tom and his team were responsible for identifying and parsing federal databases covering various forms of government support, evaluating their quality, and composing sophisticated analyses and analytic tools based upon them. Tom came to Sunlight from EchoDitto, where he handled the technical implementation of Drupal projects for clients like Greenpeace UK and Mother Jones. Before EchoDitto, he did .NET development for members of the House and Senate, building constituent services websites and one of the first reusable software platforms for member offices. Along the way he's done Movable Type consulting for Gothamist, lobbied WMATA to open its data, taught screen-scraping to TI Georgia, cleaned data for academics, built sites for numerous bloggers, and mostly avoided electrocuting himself. His writing on technical policy has appeared in the American Prospect, Techdirt, Progressive Fix, and various impassioned Slashdot threads.


Small Business Innovation Research Program (SBIR) is a highly competitive Federal program that encourages small business to explore their technological potential and provides the incentive to profit from its commercialization. In 2010, the SBIR program across 11 federal agencies provided over $2 Billionin grants and contracts to small U.S. businesses for research in innovation leading to commercialization. The company owns the intellectual property and all commercialization rights. Companies such as Symantec, Qualcomm, DaVinci and iRobot were started with R&D funding from this program.

The point of the talk is to introduce the SBIR/STTR program to the Data Business Community and explain that many times the grants are focused on data related topics that members could potentially bid on. Finally, explain that the ConnecTech program at DC Government is here to help potential bidders write winning proposals. Philip Reeves is the Manger of Small Business Technology and Innovation for the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development. He has co-authored successful SBIR and STTR proposals. Previously, Philip worked at a small government contractor doing corporate and business development. He began his career on Wall Street working in private equity. Connect with Philip at You can also follow him on twitter @PhilipdReeves.

Data Transparency Coalition

Despite several years of White House policy statements on open government and open data, certain domains of the U.S. government's data - notably spending and financial regulation - have remained closed. In these change-resistant domains, the government still uses static, unstructured documents for most reporting requirements, and there have been no attempts to create government-wide data architectures. But Congress is seeking to open up spending data through the DATA Act, which would require the Treasury Department to impose consistent XML formats on all financial, assistance, and procurement filings and compilations. Congress may soon also re-introduce the Financial Industry Transparency Act, which would require all financial regulators to replace inaccessible documents with open data  for all the filings they receive under the securities, commodities, and banking laws. Proposals like the DATA Act and the Financial Industry Transparency Act offer significant opportunities for tech entrepreneurs, including the republication of government data; the deployment of anti-fraud and investor-facing analytics; and the automation of compliance for grantees, contractors, and regulated entities. Hudson Hollister is the founder and executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition. The Coalition is a trade association of technology companies, nonprofits, and individuals supporting the publication of government data in machine-readable formats. Prior to founding the Data Transparency Coalition, he served as counsel to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives and as an attorney fellow in the Office of Interactive Disclosure at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Before his government service, he was a securities litigator in the Chicago office of Latham & Watkins LLP.


NonprofitMetrics is a subscription-based web application that helps companies find and evaluate new business opportunities with nonprofit organizations. We do this by providing information and tools that help consultants, bankers, and small businesses conduct targeted lead queries, analyze addressable markets, and benchmark peer organizations. The result is that companies secure more nonprofit clients and customers, better mitigate business development risks, and save countless hours of manual data entry. Josh Hurd founded NonprofitMetrics after his friends and colleagues complained one-too-many times about a lack of useful information on the nonprofit sector. After many months programming nights and weekends, Josh quit his day job and officially started NonprofitMetrics in April 2013. Prior to entering the startup world, Josh was a management consultant for Deloitte, analyst at the Government Accountability Office, and researcher for an environmental policy center in the Pacific Northwest. Educated at Dartmouth College and the University of Chicago, Josh is a self-taught coder who is well-versed in statistics, econometrics, nonprofits, and fly-fishing.


Aneet Makin is co-founder of LegCyte. Aneet spent 5 years on Capitol Hill where he had the opportunity to work on the 2009 stimulus package and health care reform. He quickly realized that our 21st Century government relied on outdated and ineffective methods of information sorting, analysis and decision making.

Aneet co-founded LegCyte with partners Guy Morgenstern and Veselin Sinanov in 2011. LegCyte leverages technology to make legislation easier to understand and generates legislative insight and analytics.