Civic Engagement Through Code

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By Zachary Rendin

Code for Philly is an organization that is trying to raise civic engagement through code. To a lot of people, that may not make sense. The organization works through confronting problems facing a community, and then uses available data-sets and code to build projects that can help address those issues.

Code for Philly is packed with members that offer a variety of resources and skill-sets, who are impassioned to create change though civic hacking. The organization is hoping to strengthen their relationship with communities and organizations across the city and address problems through technology.

Blackboard Founder Michael Chasen Speaks at Start Up Grind Philadelphia

Start Up Grind Philadelphia Chapter President Mike Maher (left) Interviews former CEO and Blackboard founder Michael Chasen (right).

Start Up Grind Philadelphia Chapter President Mike Maher (right) Interviews former CEO and Blackboard founder Michael Chasen (left).

PHILADELPHIA – Have you ever sat five feet from a someone who built a company out of nothing and then sold if for $1.7 billion? I did last night.

Michael Chasen (39), founder and former CEO of Blackboard, was the key-note speaker at last night’s Start Up Grind event hosted at Benjamin’s Desk in Center City Philadelphia.  Chasen sat with Start Up Grind Chapter President, Mike Maher, and told told the story of taking a company from five people in a brownstone in Washington D.C, to 3,000 employees and a value of over one billion dollars.

I arrived at the building located at 1701 Walnut Street just before 6 p.m.  I navigated through the under-construction entrance and squeezed into an elevator with an assortment of young professionals, all eager to make sure we made it to the event on-time.

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A Day In the Life of Small Business Owner Bobby Reed

Philadelphia, Pa.- On Thursday April 17, 2014, I was able to follow Bobby Reed throughout his workday as he was packaging replays and highlights for the Atlanta Braves production team while they faced the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.

 

Bobby Reed is the president of Loaded Pixel, one of the roughly 28 million small businesses in the United States. Bobby is a graduate of the University of Nebraska and has been pursing a career in video and TV production since the age of 15. After eventually moving to Philadelphia and working free-lance work for a number of years for NBC Sports among other agencies, he was able to take the relationship he had developed with co-workers Chris McGlynn and Tim Lazone to branch out on their own.

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It’s Official: The Nerds Are Here to Stay

On Friday April 11 at approximately 4 p.m., the city officially unveiled the re-naming of a stretch of N. Third St. from Market St. to Girard Ave to “Nerd Street”.  The “nerds” held their celebration with a BBQ at Liberty Lands park, centrally located in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia.

The event brought together members of the local and tech community, as well as City Government officials that helped the re-naming take place.

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