Introducing CURA:Tech – a civic technology incubator for the Twin Cities

I know this is pretty metro-focused, but still fun to share. A good idea worth replicating in other communities…

CURA:Tech <> supports collaborations among diverse communities in the Twin Cities to design, create and deploy civic technology tools and practices.

CURA will make two rounds of awards and provide additional technical assistance to support collaborative teams as they develop civic technologies from issue/need, to proposal, to working prototype.  Phase One includes six awards of $10,000 to develop civic technology prototypes (proposals due May 4, 2014); Phase Two includes three awards of $40,000, $20,000 and $10,000 (due August 17, 2014) to help teams develop more robust pilots.

*Wondering what civic technology is?*  In a nutshell, civic technologies are tools that help people connect, have a voice in public processes, access and deliver resources and information, visualize the present and imagine the future.

In CURA:Tech, we’re especially interested in how civic technology can increase and improve access to jobs, transportation, housing, education, health resources, a safe environment, and engagement with government and decision makers. These tools can be apps, websites, data visualizations, animations, text messages or other phone-based systems. These digital technologies can also dovetail with “low-tech” tools: printed material, posters, physical games and other objects.  We are explicitly interested in how CURA:Tech can create benefit for low-income communities and communities of Color.

*Get involved!*

– We want to know:  *How can technology can strengthen your community?

What’s an issue you’d like to see civic technology address?*  CURA:Tech and local design firm Azul 7 <> are hosting a two-day design workshop on March 21-22 to help teams develop Phase One proposals and additional capacity. Space is limited: applications are due Feb 23. *Learn more* <>

– Join the *online forum* <> to connect with others, and watch *the blog* <> for updates and upcoming gatherings.

– Visit CURA:Tech <> for more info: civic tech examples, an FAQ, how to participate, key dates, guidelines and partners.

– Finally, *we’re excited to talk to you* about your ideas and questions, and help you connect with potential collaborators!  Drop us a line:

Kristen Murray (, 612-625-7560) Neeraj Mehta (, 612-624-8988)

CURA:Tech is a project of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs<>  at the University of Minnesota, with support from The McKnight Foundation<>

This entry was posted in economic development, education, Funding, MN by Ann Treacy. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ann Treacy

Librarian who follows rural broadband in MN and good uses of new technology (, hosts a radio show on MN music (, supports people experiencing homelessness in Minnesota ( and helps with social justice issues through Women’s March MN.

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