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DC's Plan To Be Known for Innovation

TodayDC Mayor Muriel Bowser kicks off a month of events called innoMAYtion that will bridge the gap between the most innovative people in DC and the most underserved. Funded through existing DC government resources, it will focus on small business, education, technology, the creative economy and good government. Here's a rundown of what to expect:

  • The mayor will first announce a pilot program with startup incubator 1776 to provide tech training for up to 30 low-income high school graduates and to educate them on career opportunities in the digital world.

  • She’ll announce a coding camp for girls ages 14-17 to learn software development, including video games and apps.

  • She’ll also make an appearance at 1776’s upcoming Challenge Cup competition.
  • The mayor’s new innovation team will be announced later in the month. The team will have strong tech expertise and lead the administration’s efforts to build a more responsive government and make DC a hub of innovation.

  • A hackathon is being planned with DDOT, DC’s Planning and Economic Development office and Code for DC. The day-long event will bring together civic hackers, transportation experts, urban planners and academics to inspire mass transit ideas for the DC region. Best ideas will get awards at the end.

  • The mayor will cut the ribbon on Pigmental Studios, which moved its 50 employees from LA to DC and has promised that 50% of its future hiring will be of DC residents. The 3D animation filmmaker is also providing workshops and training opportunities for people who want design, animation and film production skills.
  • Also launching is an online and interactive mapping tool developed with DC’s Commission on Arts and Humanities to catalog DC’s cultural assets. The idea is to connect the public and artists to art pieces and performance space across the city.

  • The Aspen Institute will host a public conversation with CEO Walter Isaacson (above) and the mayor at Google’s DC office June 1. This will also be the launch event for Aspen’s Center for Urban Innovation, which is also bridging the gap between innovators and underserved neighborhoods.