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CA Technologies announced the CA Smart Government Challenge, a new innovation competition that invites US-based developers to submit their most innovative ideas for improving the “citizen experience” of the US federal government through open source software.
CA will award up to five finalists a cash prize of $5,000 and the chance to vie for a grand prize of $75,000 and access to the CA Accelerator Boot Camp, an immersive course that has never before been open to outside developers.
Launched internally in 2016, the CA Accelerator operates like a venture capital fund within CA. It provides financial and incubator support to CA employees who have ideas for new software offerings that are relevant to CA’s customers, which include some of the most prestigious companies and government agencies in the world. To date, the CA Accelerator has funded 14 teams, 11 of which are still in business today. Two notable examples are Waffle.io, which provides project management powered by GitHub, and CA Jarvis, an advanced analytics platform, which has been embedded in several products across the company’s portfolio.
With the CA Smart Government Challenge, CA will put this powerful engine of innovation to work in a new area: the “citizen experience” of the U.S. federal government.
“Governments around the world increasingly are looking for ways to improve the citizen experience through software,” CA Technologies CEO Mike Gregoire said in unveiling the CA Smart Government Challenge. “Whether it’s in the form of smart, sensor-driven trash pickup in Washington, D.C., or the ‘whole-government API’ that has been created in Singapore – both developed, incidentally, with help from CA – governments are embracing the opportunity to use software to deliver experiences to the citizens they serve that match modern customer experiences delivered through the private sector. We are excited to help bring fresh ideas that can support the modernization of government IT and complement the good work underway in many parts of the federal government.”
Developers participating in the CA Smart Government Challenge will engage in the following process:
- Submit their idea in the form of a one-page Lean Canvas style business plan.
- A panel of judges led by CA Accelerator founder and CA Chief Technology Officer Otto Berkes will select five finalists to receive a $5,000 prize and a consultation with members of the CA Accelerator team, who will provide suggestions on how to move the finalist’s idea forward.
- After six months of incubation, finalists will present their progress to the CA Accelerator for consideration for the $75,000 grand prize.
- The grand prize winner will travel to participate in the CA Accelerator boot camp session, with travel expenses covered by CA.
The judging panel will select the best software idea based on criteria that include:
- Citizen value: impact on the experience of interacting with the federal government
- Impact on federal government efficiency
- Market opportunity, including potential for growth and applicability to other government agencies or governments
- Creativity and differentiation from other submissions
- Sophistication: use of modern agile/devops development techniques
- Likelihood of long-term success.
“Until today, the CA Accelerator’s work has been focused on developing new technologies that can enhance our portfolio of enterprise IT products,” said Berkes. “We are excited now to apply the Accelerator model, which combines the learn-fast creativity of a VC-backed startup with the significant resources of a major company like CA, to the customer experience of the federal government. The result could be a new company, a free app, some solution that hasn’t even been conceived of yet, or simply a better understanding of the complexity of government services. That’s the beauty of true innovation driven by a pure desire to solve a problem that matters – we don’t know what the end result will be. And as with all projects in the Accelerator, we’re excited to see where this journey takes us.”