A Silicon Valley venture capitalist named Tim Draper made international headlines in 2014 when he funded a ballot initiative to break up the state of California into 6 smaller, more manageable states. The ballot initiative failed, which caused Draper to go back to the drawing board.
Draper, who is best known for being an early investor in technologies such as Skype and Hotmail, recently founded a non-profit organization called Innovate Your State. With Innovate Your State, Draper hosts an open competition inviting businesses to submit their ideas on how to make their state a better place.
Although Innovate Your State submissions are still on-going until June 30th, Draper and his non-profit have announced its first winner: OpenGov.
With OpenGov, local governments can give their constituents a transparent method in which to view the ways their local governments are spending tax dollars. OpenGov uses the cloud to procure Big Data from local governments, then that data is translated into charts and graphs providing end users a visual depiction of the way their tax dollars are being spent. That data can then be compared and contrasted to other expenses, making local governments expenses completely transparent for those who wish to utilize the service.
According to CNET, OpenGov was awarded with $500,000 in grants from Draper’s Innovate Your State. OpenGov has said that they will be using the money to get local governments in California on board with the OpenGov program. If a county government in California decides to use OpenGov, they could be eligible to get their first year of service free thanks to the hefty half a million dollar grant provided by Innovate Your State.
While some think that Tim Draper’s plan to bust up California into 6 states was ambitious as best, Draper’s new approach to reforming local governments using the cloud could prove to be a game changer in terms of getting constituents engaged with where their tax dollars are being spent.