Specifically, in 2014, Microsoft New England began to focus on technologies that can help reduce the burden of costs related to government innovations. As a result, Microsoft decided to lead with a Civic Technology Prize here at MassChallenge. The $50K Sidecar prize initiative at MC has had proven success in sourcing, supporting and enabling top-tier startups with access to resources to grow their businesses.
Microsoft New Englands leadership in this initiative to bring positive change and impact to social and urban problems has become the catalyst to set off a chain reaction of civic tech inspiration and innovation. Microsoft New Englands groundbreaking work in the private sector has created need for the government to publicly acknowledge the benefits that Civic Tech entrepreneurs contribute with the MassIT prize where they are looking to identify early stage innovations that can reduce the burden for taxpayers on the States technology needs.
Massachusetts is renowned as a hub for technology and innovation; MassChallenges support of high-impact, early-stage entrepreneurs has helped enhance that reputation. By working together, MassIT and MassChallenge can accelerate the Commonwealths use of technology solutions and harness the wealth of expertise available to us, said Commonwealth Chief Information Officer Bill Oates.
Microsoft and MassIT have aligned with their goals to help cities fully embrace the digital era and these prizes demonstrate the value of the private sector helping to enable and provide leverage for the state. This partnership will help both organizations accomplish their goals and most importantly, support top-tier entrepreneurs.
It goes beyond just the state of Massachusetts though. Promotion of Civic Tech opportunities is one of the best chances the world has to truly achieve global economic interdependency. We look forward to our continued engagement with Microsoft and MassIT as we expand to ten new cities over the next five years, collaborating with local governments to bring Civic Tech innovation and vision to sectors of the world that desperately need it.