Go Code is a statewide business app challenge housed in the Colorado Secretary of State’s office. The award-winning challenge is the first and only statewide effort of its kind that uses public data to solve business problems. It is overseen by staffer Andrew Cole.
This year’s finalist apps focus on housing development, food trucks, childcare and transportation.
Cole thanked the teams for helping to make public data in Colorado more accessible. He then handed out a “2018 Go Code challenge coin,” similar to challenge coins that military members receive upon finishing boot camp. He explained that the story goes if a military member is caught without his coin, drinks are on that person.
This years competition kicked off Feb. 7 in Denver. In attendance were Secretary of State Wayne Williams and his predecessor, Scott Gessler, who was in office when the Go Code Colorado challenge began, as well as various SOS staffers and Colorado lawmakers.
The challenge weekend began April 13 in five cities statewide: Colorado Springs, Denver, Durango, Grand Junction and Fort Collins. Two teams from each location were named finalists, awarded $2,500 each and headed to Boulder for mentor weekend April 27-29.
Colorado’s funkiest and most fun data contest — Go Code Colorado — kicked off Wednesday night, marking the fifth year that the Secretary of State’s office has invited creative minds to use public information to build a product that helps businesses.
“We work hard to make data available and usable for Colorado businesses,” Secretary of State Wayne Williams said in his opening remarks.
Sen. Steve Fenberg, a Boulder Democrat, heaped praise on the Secretary of State’s office and the award-winning Go Code Colorado program during last year’s competition.
“This is, in my opinion, the epitome of how we should be thinking about government moving forward,” he said. “We should be thinking about how to take the assets and the innovation of the new industries that are popping up around tech and see how that expertise and that talent solves some of the problems that maybe government can’t do on its own.”
“A CEO actually took the time to write a full blown letter,” teacher Erin Cummings said. “We need more CEOs to do that. I was shocked when Max showed me the letter.”
Haley told Max his paper was “fantastic.”
“We need more people like you who take the time to research a controversial topic, in this case hydraulic fracturing,” Haley said, “and then draw your own conclusion based on science and facts, rather than what your friends or social media might be saying.”
“May the holiday be with you!” the cover of the card reads, emblazoned over a galaxy.
The flip side shows the OnSight team — Ben Davis, Anne Pogoriler, Curtis Hubbard and Mike Melanson — dressed as characters from Star Wars.
I have a long history with three team members.
Melanson, a founding partner, recalls that I physically threatened him during the 2003 Denver mayoral campaign, which I am sure I did. In today’s climate the police would probably be notified but back then it was called “working your sources.
Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner was introduced at a business lunch in Denver on Thursday as “our environmentalist on Capitol Hill” and dang if he didn’t get up and recycle a joke from his 2014 campaign.
Gardner noted that the attack ads aimed at him featured “grainy black-and-white pictures” and seemed to air “every 30 seconds.”
“One of the greatest places you can go to as a Republican in a heated campaign is Cabella’s,” he said, referring to the giant fishing-and-hunting outlet.
Per usual, the line elicited laughter. Gardner talked about customers coming up to him at the Cabella’s in Grand Junction and asking how he was doing. Two men in particular were staring at him. One walked off but the other said, “Hey, hey, are you — ?” and Gardner smiled and said, “Yeah, yeah, I am.”
“So he calls his buddy over and says, ‘Look, it’s Bill Owens!'” Gardner said, referring to a former governor.
The crowd also welcomed CACI’s new chairman, Travis Webb, a managing partner at BKD LLP, one of the nation’s largest accounting and advisory firms. The Colorado Association of Commerce and Industry ‘s motto is “We champion a healthy business climate.”
Gardner last year defeated Democrat Mark Udall, becoming the first candidate in 36 years to knock off an incumbent Colorado U.S. senator. He told the crowd that he and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet and the rest of the Colorado delegation — featuring three Democrats and four Republicans — get along better than some delegations that are all members of the same party.
The senator touched on a variety of topics, including broadband, deregulation, marijuana and banking, trade agreements and aerospace and technology. He got a big round of applause when he said the Senate passed the first long-term transportation bill in more than a decade, particularly after he spelled out what that money means for Colorado. And he talked about the need to bring the economic boom in certain parts of Colorado, such as the Denver metro area, to the rest of the state.
Gardner also joked on the situation in Washington, saying he is the only senator not running for president, and noted the one thing D.C. can agree on is who will not be speaker. He then pointed to CACI’s executive director, former state House Speaker Chuck Berry, and said a petition was circulating to put Berry in the post.
The line about Gardner being an environmentalist drew this response on Twitter from Conservation Colorado: “Interesting.” His environmental record was criticized during the campaign.