recommended reading

Private Investment in Civic-Minded Tech Startups Soars


Corporations, nonprofits and philanthropic organizations invested more than $430 million in new technologies aimed at making cities and municiple governments more effective and efficient during the two-and-a-half years ending in May, according to a report released on Wednesday.

The report, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, details 177 civic tech investments from 102 organizations. The investments include mobile apps, Web tools and other technology. The largest categories focused on open government initiatives and community action initiatives, such as the petition website

There’s been a 24 percent annual growth rate in the launch of such civic tech companies since 2008, the report said.

The fastest growing field in civic tech is focused on sharing goods -- things such as lawnmowers, cooking tools and rides -- between community members. Sharing apps grew at an annual rate of 36 percent between 2009 and 2012 and attracted more than $240 million in private capital, the report said.

The Knight Foundation also published a data visualization breaking down different sectors of the civic tech field. The study was conducted by the data analytics firm Quid.

The report advocates better coordination between the organizations that build and fund civic software applications so they might benefit from putting more minds on the same problems.

“Though activity and investment in civic tech has grown over time, a lack of insights and common terminology for describing the full spectrum of efforts in the space has hindered collaboration around shared strategies for impact,” Jon Sotsky, the Knight Foundation’s director of strategy and assessment, said.

This story has been corrected to reflect updated numbers provided by the Knight Foundation on Wednesday.

(Image via JohnKwan/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.