Woo hoo! Our newest Copy of Erika & Geri with Trendsproject, TrendsOnline, won $20,000 in the UR Boulder Tech Challenge last weekend. The judges said the reason that TrendsOnline was selected over the other four finalist projects is because it demonstrated the greatest amount community engagement. Indeed, TrendsOnline is a product that is being built by the people – our Code for Boulder volunteers – for the people.

“The projects pitched for the Tech Challenge were such great, innovative ideas. We are truly honored and humbled that Code For Boulder’s TrendsOnline project won,” said Erika Stutzman, Director of the Trends Report at The Community Foundation Serving Boulder County. She and Geri Mitchell-Brown, Co-Captain of Code for Boulder, pitched TrendsOnline to a panel of three judges, including Greg Guibert, Boulder’s Chief Resilience Officer; Sean Daken, Founder/CEO of RefactorU, and Michelle Hamilton-Page, of Ushahidi, organizer of the conference.

The Tech Challenge was part of the inaugural UR Boulder conference, which is part of Boulder’s inclusion in the 100 Resilient Cities initiative. The competition was created to engage with nonprofits, city government, and grassroots community groups to improve resilience in Boulder and/or strengthen citizen engagement through open-source technology. It was designed to “help area technologists, coders, and analysts fill technology gaps within local organizations.”

The Tech Challenge provides seed funding to “test out a new idea or scale/replicate a previous pilot that has demonstrated its usefulness”. The funds will be directed to The Community Foundation. With guidance from our TrendsOnline project leaders, the Foundation will engage an experienced designer/team to work in collaboration with Code for Boulder team members to kickstart our development work. 

The biennial Trends publication is a community indicators report, which are common throughout the U.S. For 20 years Trends has been a valuable resource to nonprofits, government, business and residents in Boulder County. The new online version will complement the print edition by making visible the most pressing needs in our community and connecting organizations and people to take collective action. TrendsOnline will become a vital resource helping Boulder adapt and grow by identifying chronic stresses, such as lack of affordable housing, the achievement gap in schools, and economic and racial inequality.

“We are thrilled to be working with the enthusiastic team at Code For Boulder on TrendsOnline,” said Erika. “The report is such an important community asset. The chance we have today to reach a new audience – and reach the community in a modern way – is so exciting.”

Thanks to The Community Foundation for their partnership, Ushahidi for investing in our project, and the Impact HUB Boulder for giving us a home base to work on this project!

Written by Geri Mitchell-Brown

Geri Mitchell-Brown is Code for Boulder's Captain and Director of Corporate Social Responsibility for CA Technologies' Agile Business Unit (formerly Rally Software). Contact Geri at geri@codeforboulder.org and follow her on Twitter at @GeriMB.