By Angie Chang (Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief, Women 2.0)
John Farmer from the White House Office of Science and Technology flew in to the Women 2.0 Conference 2013 in San Francisco all the way from Washington D.C. to appeal to the women entrepreneurs and technologists in the room to apply to the Presidential Innovation Fellows program for an entrepreneurial tour of duty.
In the first round, the five projects were moved forward in big ways in just six months. They opened up government data to developers – check out Data.gov. Today, you can check out open contracts for web services are available at RFP-EZ. Presidential Innovation Fellows also gave access to health information, called “MyData”. Working with US AID, the Presidential Innovation Fellows moved payments from cash to mobile, a move that has showed to improve the situation of women especially.
These are the accomplishments of the first round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows.
However, John Farmer admitted that there were “neither enough female applicants nor fellows” in the first round of the Presidential Innovation Fellows. He urged the crowd at the Women 2.0 Conference 2013 to apply and tell their networks about the opportunity. Get on a rocket ship. Change the world. Apply to the Presidential Innovation Fellows.
Similar to the tour of duty for Code for America, the Presidential Innovation Fellows is a 6 to 12 month tour to work with government to “move it at Silicon Valley speed.” The government wants to “emulate the best practices of the startup world,” said John Farmer.
“The key is talent. We’re looking for developers, yes, for user experience folks, process reimagining experts and more. We’re looking for skills, not resumes,” said John Farmer. The opportunity is here, the time is now.
Follow the conversation on Twitter with hash tag #w2conf today and shout out to Women 2.0 at @women2!
Angie Chang is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Founder of Women 2.0, a media company offering content, community and conferences for aspiring and current women innovators in technology. Our mission is to increase the number of female founders of technology startups with inspiration, information and education through our platform. Previously, Angie held roles in product management and web UI design. Angie holds a B.A. in English and Social Welfare from UC Berkeley. Follow her on Twitter at @thisgirlangie.