Iowa launches StartupIowa, will host civic code-a-thon

The state of Iowa, through its OpenIowa open data project, is launching StartupIowa, a project for civic developers to work with the state’s open data sets and leverage them for new applications and data visualizations. OpenIowa will also host a weekend long code-a-thon starting on April 27 to get the project moving.

OpenIowa started providing data sets for developers on Friday. Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds announced state support for the initiative during her weekly press conference. The project has also partnered with local media organizations such as the Des Moines Register to build support and awareness for the project.

OpenIowa is part of the Startup America Partnership which was launched with the support of the federal government last year. Startup America seeks to support startup companies nationwide and build regional support networks designed to serve as startup hubs. The partnership is supported by IBM, HP and Intel Capital as well as several non-profits and venture capitalists. Startup America is led by AOL co-founder Steve Case.

Several other states including Connecticut, Massachusetts and Illinois have launched similar initiatives. States involved in the project hope to grow local technology centers while improving government service delivery through civic hacking.

“This initiative is exciting because it blends both our transparency and job creation goals into an effort that will benefit all Iowans,” Reynolds said in a statement.