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Local hackathon to focus on Zika virus and economic development

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The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership (RTP) will hold its third annual Hackathon June 3-5, 2016 in conjunction with Code For America’s National Day of Civic Hacking (NDoCH). The event will take place at the Lee County Economic Development Office located at 2201 Second St., #500 in Fort Myers.  The event is open to the public and free registration is required at www.swfrtp.org.

There will be two themes for registrants to participate in. One project will focus on thinking boldly about new and transformative ways to prevent, detect and respond to the Zika virus and future threats to Southwest Florida residents. The second theme will focus on developing ways to track and report references and results for the Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network (LEARN), a new organization recently formed by Lee County.

RTP president Marc Farron says, “Our annual Hackathon is held in partnership with the National Day of Civic Hacking.  Computer programmers, software developers, graphic designers, project managers, community organizers and others are invited to join together for a weekend of intense collaboration, leveraging their skills to help their community.”

More About LEARN Hackathon Project

Lee County has just helped launch the Lee Entrepreneurs’ Assistance Resource Network (LEARN).  LEARN provides outreach activities and services to entrepreneurs and businesses in Southwest Florida.  The mission is to promote the establishment, retention and expansion of businesses in the region.  There is a need to develop a way to track the references and results. This project aligns with the Code for America Economic Development silo, which emphasizes how cities and regions are stronger when their residents have opportunities to thrive as entrepreneurs, employers, workers and employees.

More About Zika Virus Hackathon Project

As residents of Florida, we are in the direct path of the Zika virus.  Participants in this project are encouraged to think boldly about new and transformative ways to prevent, detect and respond to the Zika virus and future global threats.  As part of the $30 million Combating Zika and Future Threats Grand Challenge for Development, the United States Agency of International Development (USAID) is calling on the global community to develop bold and actionable ideas to fight the global health threats of tomorrow.  To support this Challenge, USAID has partnered with OpenIDEO to launch an open innovation platform that draws upon talent, inspiration and solutions from around the world to address these pressing issues.  Our aim with this platform is to use the power of the crowd to inform, inspire and guide creative solutions that are deeply grounded in what communities want and need.

About the RTP

The Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership Foundation, Inc. (RTP) was originally chartered in 2008 and is a member of Lee County’s Horizon Council. It is the only group dedicated solely to the growth of the technology cluster in southwest Florida. The RTP is comprised of technology companies and technology users, economic development groups and higher education institutions. Through its strategies of catalyze, cultivate and connect, the RTP produces educational seminars, career forums, professional networking events and the only regional awards program dedicated to technology development and implementation. Membership and sponsorship information is available at www.swfrtp.org.

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