With a mission to leverage technology for the force of good, the San-Francisco-based non-profit ReAllocate has organized HACKtivation for the Homeless, a weekend-long hackathon uniting techies with San Francisco’s 7000-person homeless and at-risk community.
In typical hackathon fashion, the weekend began with pitches, this time coming from local non-profits and city agencies. Participating techies joined teams that resonated with their passions and areas of expertise.
Gathering on a rainy Saturday at the Yammer HQ in the Twitter building, teams plugged away on a wide range of projects, each designed to have a lasting impact.
One group I spoke with is redesigning the website for St. Francis House, which serves the homeless elderly population. Another group, working for Larkin Street, is building an SMS-based reservation service for emergency beds, bypassing the need to check-in at the building itself. A third group, led by volunteers from Salesforce, is digitizing the Homeless Prenatal volunteer sign-up form, which they estimate will save 20 minutes per applicant.
GDC, the annual game developer conference, is heating up in San Francisco — as are the bazillion parties oft dubbed “sausage fests” for their preponderance of dudely revelers. Realizing this, an ingenious company called Paymentwall is hosting a sausage fest of its own — but this time, there will actually be sausages.
The cleverly-titled SausageFest takes place tonight at the upscale San Francisco-based Supper Club — and oh, will there be supper. In addition to the obligatory scantily clad women in German regalia (*sigh*), the third annual festival features unlimited German sausages of all shapes and sizes, washed down with free-flowing pints (perhaps even litres?) of German beer.
Ve have vays of making you drink.
According to Paymentwall’s CEO, Honor Gunday, the party will be set to a soundscape of German 80s music, along with a German oompah band. It is unclear whether the mashup geniuses of Bootie will be there to mix the two sounds together, but one can only speculate — and hope.
Paymentwall makes a suite of monetization services for mobile and social games, including subscriptions, offer walls, and in-game currency sales. The company helps free-to-play apps become profitable by incentivizing users to become customers, whether through actions they take, or purchases they make.
Appropriately enough, the SausageFest admission policy eats the dog food — so to speak — of its parent company’s philosophy. Attendees can either pay $10 for admission, or visit the Paymentwall booth at #2030 on the GDC convention floor to redeem a complimentary “MINT Card” for free admission.
Ed Lee, San Francisco’s Startup Mayor (Source: AP)
Recognizing that the spirit and practice of entrepreneurship can enrich and benefit government and the public sector, Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced the San Francisco Entrepreneurship in Residence, a new initiative from the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation.
Working in tandem with the Mayor’s office, talented entrepreneurial teams will build technology-enabled products to drive significant ends towards governmental goals: whether increased revenue, enhanced productivity, or decreased cost.
“We need the top entrepreneurs to work with us on opportunities that are actual pain points and needs of government,” says Mayor Lee. “San Francisco’s EIR program advances our role and vision as the Innovation Capital of the World.”
The program will last for 16 weeks, beginning mid-October of this year and continuing through February. Teams, of which three to five will be selected, will have unprecedented access to the $142 billion public sector market, tackling areas such as data, mobile and cloud services, healthcare, education, transportation, energy and infrastructure.
The moves comes as another inspiring moment for Mayor Lee, whose alliance with Twitter, Spotify, and other leading startups is revitalizing the long-depressed Mid-Market area, bringing jobs and prosperity to an area accustomed to empty storefronts and deserted sidewalks — a long-beleagured neighborhood that the mayor himself is set for a “total resurgence.“