Code For America Announces Five Companies For Accelerator Program

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SeamlessDocs used to focus their product on enterprises, but CEO Jonathan Ende realized they could make a larger impact if they worked with local governments.

SeamlessDocs takes any PDF and converts it into a “smart”, dynamic document. It can replace a PDF on a website — as many as 100 or 1,000 — with an interactive document that allows the user to fill it out online, eSign and submit it.The form is then automatically routed to the appropriate department or database.

“We’re taking a process from government that is currently from 20 to 30 steps and is costing billions of dollars a year, and making it one seamless step,” Ende said. “And the great part about it is they don’t have to change anything.”

It’s one of the reasons SeamlessDocs is among five startups selected from a pool of 112 companies for the 2014 Code for America Accelerator program announced today.

The nonprofit Code for America accelerator connects people and local governments to use technology to solve problems in local communities. The organization’s Accelerator program, which is in its third year, provides funding, mentorship and networking for selected companies.

This year’s selected companies are:

  • AmigoCloud: a mapping technology company that provides GIS solutions with offline support.
  • MuniRent: A platform that simplifies the process of local governments renting heavy-duty equipment to other local governments at much lower rates.
  • ProductBio: A data platform that makes it easy for governments or buyers to evaluate products for sustainability requirements and find consumption footprints.
  • SeamlessDocs: A replacement of the PDF, which can convert any PDF into a cloud document that can be completed and eSigned through any device.
  • Trailhead Labs: An outdoor recreation and public transit mapping app that connects and engages people with the outdoors.

Each company will receive $25,000 and will work for four months while receiving mentorship. Previous graduates of the program include MindMixer, OpenCounter and SmartProcure.

The companies present at the Code for America Summit in September. Code for America was founded in 2009 in San Francisco by Jennifer Pahlka (who served as the U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer) to promote ‘civic hacking’, and to bring 21st century technology to government and improve the civic tech marketplace, which is estimated to be more than $142 billion.

Companies are selected based on the viability of their business model, according to Dharmishta Rood, Accelerator manager at Code for America. The accelerator looks at the value proposition and whether a company aligns with the Code for America mission of bringing technologies to local governments and communities.

“As the company graduates through our program, they’re a part of a community of alumni who we keep in close contact with, and often the companies will stay very closely connected to one another, and companies who have been around a year or two will end up becoming mentors to the newer companies,” she said.

The program for the selected companies begins this month and ends in October.