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Sprints

Learn about sprints and how we tackle national challenges.

Sprints are 12-week product development cycles that bring together tech teams and collaborators to build public-facing digital products using open data.

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Problem Statement

Catalyzing Investment in Opportunity Zones

Challenge:

Create digital tools and resources to connect investors with community leaders, entrepreneurs, and workers of America’s 8,764 Opportunity Zones

Why This Problem is Important:

Opportunity Zones are a promising way to revitalize low-income communities and bring jobs to local residents. But this can only occur if investors match their capital with the right people and places. Many low-income communities selected to be Opportunity Zones have few resources to market themselves to investors. A community may have easy access to transportation infrastructure, low-cost real estate, a well-trained workforce, and natural resources, but lack the means to document these assets and bring them to the attention of investors. Investors, on the other hand, may tend to flock to the most well-known areas for promising investment projects and overlook communities with under-studied and under-appreciated potential.

Agency

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, White House Council of Economic Advisors

Target Audience

Entrepreneurs, managers of Opportunity Zone funds, and community leaders in Opportunity Zones

Problem Statement

Modernizing Talent Discovery for High Growth Entreprenership

Challenge:

Create digital tools or open sourced data to transform talent discovery, matching, and retention in mid-size cities across the country, to help them achieve innovation and regional economic growth.

Why This Problem is Important:

To increase their capacity for innovation and growth, mid-size cities must find new ways to discover, match, and retain talent so that local companies can grow and contribute to a competitive regional economy. Investors, entrepreneurs, and entrepreneurial support organizations need tools that will help them to identify and match existing talent with high growth companies. This is critical to modernizing talent discovery and leveraging human capital for the knowledge-based economy of the future.

Agency

U.S. Economic Development Administration

Target Audience

Entrepreneurs, entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), incubators, accelerators, seed funds, state and local leaders, and growth companies in rural and mid-sized cities where talent pools are less concentrated or nascent.

Problem Statement

Helping the American Workforce Leverage Multiple Pathways for Career Growth

Challenge:

Create digital tools that help American workers to consider and take advantage of the multiple pathways available to find or advance in careers. Tools could 1)make multiple pathways to career success more attractive by helping people envision them as exciting and prestigious, and/or 2) help to make data on these opportunities user friendly and discoverable by American workers.

Why This Problem is Important:

The American workforce is missing out on many potential educational options to launch or advance careers and develop talent. We need digital tools to help people understand and discover this increasingly important sector of both the economy and the education space. However, finding and assessing these programs isn’t easy. People may not even know where to begin looking, and if they were to search online, data is scattered across websites and not easily discoverable. Some come from the private sector; others are administered by state and local governments, companies, or federal government. As a result, American workers and employers are missing out on valuable opportunities that could help them to launch or advance successful careers.

Product Outcome

Screenshot of Solve dashboard that shows a circle chart with 10 identified barriers that each link to information about organizations working in these areas

Solve

Agency

U.S. Department of Education

Target Audience

Young people (ages 14-24) who are trying to determine the best career path or people seeking new careers or skills, Veterans, People returning from incarceration, Local and state education and workforce development policymakers, Community colleges and trade schools

Problem Statement

Resources to Unleash American Entrepreneurship

Challenge:

Develop tools to empower entrepreneurs and innovation ecosystem builders to find and navigate the variety of resources available across the federal government.

Why This Problem is Important:

Entrepreneurs need flexible tools that allow them to access the right resources at the right time. Yet information about government investment in intellectual property, expertise, equipment and facilities, and publicly-available resources to support entrepreneurs is spread across government agencies and websites. Entrepreneurs unfamiliar with government may lack knowledge about these resources and have difficulty navigating and finding them, posing significant barriers to entry and keeping the best minds and ideas from reaching their full potential. Additionally, resources and access to capital are not reaching all Americans evenly. The best ideas can come from anywhere, but 80% of all venture capital (VC) investment has been concentrated in just three states, and in 2016, only 1% of VC dollars went to African-American and Latino founders, and less than 2% went to female founders. Ensuring that access to resources and capital are not relegated to a few regions but to all Americans is critical to creating a robust and dynamic workforce and inclusive growth, and ensuring the benefits of entrepreneurship not only accrue nationwide, not just in America’s largest cities.

Agency

White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Target Audience

Individuals starting or scaling high-growth, science and technology-based companies – at any stage of their entrepreneurial journey (early stage, scale up or commercialization); innovation ecosystem builders , including entrepreneur support organizations (ESOs), incubators, accelerators, seed funds, and state and local economic development leaders.