On November 29, 2022, North America’s Tech4Democracy Challenge, co-organized by the Center for the Governance of Change at IE University and Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, was held at Stanford University in Silicon Valley. USAID Administrator Samantha Power delivered a keynote speech in which she highlighted that “when we implement technologies that respect rights, we can make a more democratic world.”
The Venture Day brought together entrepreneurs, policymakers, experts and investors to select the best North American tech startups that are contributing to advance democratic values. It was opened by Eileen Donahoe, Executive Director of Stanford University’s Global Digital Policy Incubator, who stated that Tech4Democracy’s purpose is “to showcase the beneficial applications of tech, and to spur innovation and investment in technologies that support democracy.”
Lila Tretikov, Deputy CTO of Microsoft, presented the company’s work to advance democratic values, noting: “We at Microsoft seek to safeguard open and secure democratic processes and promote a healthy information ecosystem”. The U.S. Department of State was represented by Scott Busby, Deputy Assistant Secretary in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
The competition was guided by a distinguished and diverse jury panel with leading members of the investor community in Silicon Valley, top academics, diplomats and executives. Atlos, an organization that develops technology that is purpose-built for collaborative cataloguing and geolocation of human rights violations, received the award for the best democracy-affirming tech startup in North America.
KEYNOTE REMARKS (v) AND LIVE Q&A
Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development
President & General Manager, Banistmo, S.A.
Founder of Lemonade Capital
President, Y Combinator
Juan Jose Gomez Camacho
Former Mexican Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations in NY and Geneva
Lourdes M. Turrecha
Founder & CEO of PIX LLC & Privacy Tech & Law Fellow and Adjunct Professor of Privacy Law at Santa Clara University School of Law
Director, Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy, University of Toronto
Consul General of Canada in San Francisco | Silicon Valley
Serial Entrepreneur & Creator of the Lean Startup
Executive Director, Stanford Global Digital Policy Incubator
INFORMATION FOR COMPETITORS:
Mentoring: Have the opportunity to profit from an incubation/acceleration process and coaching/mentoring plan provided by IE University and Tech4Democracy Strategic Supporters.
Monetary Prize: Compete for monetary prize in final global competition.
Partnership Opportunities: Have first-hand access to backing and partnership opportunities with IE University and Tech4Democracy Strategic Supporters, as well as democratic governments, companies, investors, civil society organizations, and other stakeholders involved in the initiative.
Networking: Join a global, diverse, and long-term community of like-minded allies, which will be nurtured with news and potential opportunities within IE University’s projects and network and those of the initiative’s Strategic Supporters and partners.
Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub Access:Venture Day competitors will win accelerated access for up to a four-year Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub membership, which includes up to $150k in cloud credits for qualified startups, free productivity software, mentorship community, and technical guidance.
Contribution to Democracy: To what extent does the innovation contribute to the defense and promotion of liberal democracy as a political system and of democratic values such as liberty, equity, inclusion, privacy, freedom of expression, tolerance and mutual respect, access to information, transparency, and fairness.
Technological Innovation: How does the innovation leverage digital or other technologies that are relatively new/uncommon or are used in relatively new/uncommon ways?
Viability/Scalability: To what extent is the innovation commercially viable (if it is still in its development phase) or scalable (if it has already been commercialized)?
Interest for Investors: To what extent is the innovation interesting for investors due to its potential profitability?
Team: To what extent does the company/organization count with an excellent leadership team and staff with regards to experience, knowledge, skills and diversity?
The following are suggested topics:
Data for Good Governance: Technologies that allow for better data collection, processing, and visualization, in order to inform policy-making and decision-making processes in a way that is respectful of privacy and individual rights.
Responsible AI and Machine Learning: Automated decision-making systems that provide equal opportunity, do not discriminate, and are fair, explainable, auditable, ethical, and accurate.
Tools to Fight Disinformation: Technologies that support fact-checking efforts, identify bot activity or work on social data to promote accurate information on key matters, including electoral processes.
Tools to Fight Polarization: Technologies that seek to diminish polarization by promoting thoughtful and mutually respectful engagement across deep social and political divides.
Digital Identity and Trust: Transparency technologies and identity recognition or protection technologies that ensure inclusive access to digital public services and protection of sensible data.
Transparent and Inclusive Government Data: Technologies that promote accountability and inclusive services and foster economic growth through the provision of data, services, and resources that startups, scaleups, and SMEs can leverage to generate business.
Tools for Civil Society: Innovations that expand civic space, freedom of association and freedom of speech, combat surveillance on dissidents, and facilitate advocacy and engagement on national internet regulations and international digital policy.
Privacy-Enhancing Technologies: Innovations that protect data, minimize personal data use, maximize data security, and empower individuals.
Web3: Technologies that reinforce democratic values through decentralization.
Must be an innovator, startup, scaleup, or organization (for profit or not-for-profit) based in North America (Canada, Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, and the United States) that develops usable democracy-affirming technologies.
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Stanford, CA 94305-6055