Creating Value from Government Data

We have a brand new space courtesy of Cooley LLP, a ton of incredible speakers, and a new model. Come to the reboot of Data Business DC.


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 [masked]. 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.


Cooley LLP

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.


For those of you who will be driving in we recommend using . It will help you find parking near the event so that you don't have to waste time driving in circles. For your convenience, below are links to the apps.

For Apple

For Android


Data Business Drinks

After the meetup, we will hold Data Business Drinks at the Elephant and Castle ( at 1201 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. We have tables reserved and a **large** number of happy hour specials including:


$5 Sam Adams Lager Draughts

$5 Share Plates starting at 6:30

$5 Craft and Domestic 20oz Draughts

$5 Well Liquor Drinks

$5 6oz House Wines by Woodbridge

$7.25 9oz. House Wines by Woodbridge

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  • Sean M.

    We are working to get the slides up. Some need public release approval and a few are being turned into full blog posts by the speaker. All will eventually appear at

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Really interesting group and speakers. I would also really like access to speaker slides if made available.

    1 · July 26, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Would also like to see slides if possible. I run a startup that uses open data for a number of projects but couldn't make this event. Looking forward to the next one though.

      July 27, 2013

  • Tom

    Really enjoyed the event. Are the speakers' slides going to be posted anywhere? Thanks to the organizers!

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • Ethan M.

    Glad to see companies that are based on the use of open data. Thanks for connecting us!

    1 · July 26, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good and relevant topic, with five fantastic speakers

    July 24, 2013

  • Michael P.

    Thought it was very good. Started later than expected.

    July 24, 2013

  • Elizabeth F.

    Enjoyed the people I met and the speakers!

    July 23, 2013

  • Jiankun L.

    Such a wonderful experience. Very informative. Got a lot of helpful info even as an undergraduate student.

    July 23, 2013

  • Michael J.

    Substantive, insightful, and relevant!

    July 23, 2013

  • Robert D.

    Excellent. Tons of great info from all the presenters.

    July 23, 2013

  • Gangadhar R.

    Work commitments :( Hope that you publish any material that might be shared...

    July 23, 2013

  • Nevin H.

    family event, but enjoy the show

    July 23, 2013

  • Greg T.

    Looks like I will be in NYC tomorrow and not able to attend. Hope to see some of you at the Internet of Things DC inaugural meetup next month!

    July 22, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Thank you to Josh, Sean, and Robert for getting the wait list going!

    July 22, 2013

  • Ethan M.

    Advocate for information access at EPA. Ran Apps for the Environment challenge.

    July 22, 2013

  • Mark Stephen L.

    Sorry, I will be out of town

    July 22, 2013

  • Sean Moore G.

    I'll be at a sponsor event raising money for Data Community DC, wish I could be there, especially to see what the take is on SBIR as that used to be my wheelhouse. Enjoy the event!

    July 22, 2013

  • Mark S.

    Unfortunately have to make a last minute cancellation. Would love to get any slides or video from the Meetup.

    July 22, 2013

  • Yelile S.

    Please do send me an email if there is a last minute cancellation. I would love to attend. Thanks!

    July 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I see that the event is full, but would really love to attend if space becomes available. Any chance of starting a waiting list?

    July 19, 2013

  • Daniel I S.

    Unfortunate conflict has arisen.

    July 19, 2013

  • Darius R.

    dropping off. wish I could be there!

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I tried to register but the limit was reached. Any possibility of getting in on a waiting list?

    July 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    This is a great topic - looking forward to it! A full conference (I'm speaking at but not organizing) devoted to this topic will be happening here in DC in September --

    June 25, 2013

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