StartupIowa is bringing the open-data movement to Iowa with the OpenIowa competition, April 27-29. The three-day code-athon—the first of its kind in the state—challenges developers to turn jumbles of government data into something that benefits the state’s residents, visitors, or businesses.

OpenIowa participants will be given access to vast city, county, and state datasets prior to the event. Available datasets are available at OpenIowa.socrata.com, with more to be added each day. The code-athon will kick off Friday night with pitches for using the data for web, mobile, SMS, or software applications. Voting will narrow down the ideas, and teams will form. Coders, designers, and data junkies will then have two days to bring the projects to life.

Open-data initiatives have been gaining momentum since the 2009 launch of Data.gov, the federal government’s effort to increase public access to information. One of the first open-data competitions in the U.S., Apps for Democracy, was held in Washington, DC in 2008, and led to the creation of 47 iPhone, Facebook, and web applications worth more than $2.6 million to the local economy. Similar contests have since popped up across the country and around the world.

The event costs $30 and includes all food and drinks for the weekend. Register using Tikly.

AGENDA:
Friday, April 27
5 pm Registration (dinner served)
6 pm Kickoff/Speakers
6:30 pm Pitches (1 minute/person)
7:30 pm Voting
8-11 pm Teams form, work begins

Saturday, April 28
9 am Doors open (breakfast served)
Noon Lunch
6 pm Dinner

Sunday, April 29
9 am Doors open (breakfast served)
Noon Lunch
3 pm Final presentations
5 pm Winners announced

Be sure to check our blog for updates often!  More logistical detail here.