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The Opportunity Project Summit: Open Innovation for All Press Kit

About the Opportunity Project:

The Opportunity Project, an innovation program founded by the Census Open Innovation Labs (COIL) at the U.S. Census Bureau, brings together government, technologists and communities to co-create digital products that use federal open data to serve the public. To date, 30 federal agencies, hundreds of organizations and thousands of individuals,have participated in 12-week technology development sprints—resulting in over 175 new open data tools.

This year, TOP launched seven sprints in collaboration with interagency and local partners. These sprints envisioned the world post-COVID-19, tackling challenges ranging from equity in pandemic response spending to preventing economic and climate crises for vulnerable communities. 

Simultaneously, TOP partnered with 10 colleges and universities, three of which are minority-serving institutions (MSI). During this sprint, these universities focused on Decennial Data Accessibility, directly responding to Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government.”

This year, COIL also launched the Open Data for Good Grand Challenge in partnership with HHS, NOAA, EPA, the State Department, Earth Day Network, Orange Sparkle Ball, and CivStart. The Challenge will award more than $300,000 and non-monetary prizes to teams that have participated in TOP or leveraged the spirit of the TOP model to create digital products with federal open data. 

Archived Video


World Post COVID-19 Sprint

  • Sprint Lead: Minority Business Development Administration
  • POC: Valencia Woods
  • Email: vwoods@mbda.gov

BCA Culture

BCA culture used Small Business Administration (SBA) data to create an online platform that offers a step-by-step system to position companies to get approved for higher limit business credit and funding.

Weems Design Studio

Weems Design Studio used Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and SBA data to create archymedes, which simplifies the process of obtaining capital for minority entrepreneurs.

Bowie State University

Bowie State University used USA Spending, Center for Disease Control (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index and Vaccination Data, and Census Bureau 2020 Data to create Flow Immersive, which visualizes COVID vaccination rates and distributions of COVID-19 relief funds to better assess equity.

University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research

The University of Kansas Center for Public Partnerships and Research used USA spending COVID-19 relief funding data, Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS) data, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) labor participation data to create the Child Care Planning Assessment Tool which shows local government leaders connections between child care and equitable labor participation and drives local child care solutions by providing actionable insights.

Morehouse College

Morehouse College used Department of Energy (DOE) degree-granting institutions data and USAspending federal spending awards to create the MSI COVID Relief Dashboard for Equity and Transparency, which analyzes equity of COVID-19 relief award distribution for federal, state, and local officials and organizations.

The Mom Project

The Mom Project used Census’ 2020 and annual business survey and SBA paycheck protection program data to create the Predictive Equity Index Model, which uses machine learning and predictive analytics to analyze federal data and understand key drivers of equity and their respective impacts on the distribution of PPP loans for county, state, and national level policy makers.


Forerunner used Federal Emergency Management Agency’s national flood hazard layer and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey (NGS) data to create the Forerunner Floodplain Management Dashboard, which enables local government floodplain managers to effectively communicate flood risk and track changes in their community.


MySidewalk used the CDC Social Vulnerability Index, Census Bureau ACS and Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics data, and FEMA’s National Risk Index to create the Community Resilience Data Guide, which assesses environmental hazard risk, identifies vulnerable populations, and provides guidance on risk reduction for communities across the country.


Mayday.ai used NOAA data to create the Mayday.ai Realtime Risk and Disaster Intelligence (Resilient USA 2.0), which provides multi-hazard early warning and lifecycle situational awareness for community leaders seeking parcel-level dynamic risk scores, as well as automated reporting on demographic, economic, and other data.


Esri used NOAA climate data, Census’ ACS data, FEMA’s National Risk Index and Flood Hazards, Homeland Security Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data (HIFLD), and the United States Geological Survey National Land Cover Database (NLCD) to create the Climate-Smart Communities Hub, which Provides broad access to federal web GIS data layers along with detailed workflows for local and tribal governments to build climate resilience and communicate the work back to their constituents.

City Ventures

City Ventures used EPA Air Quality Index and Census American Community Survey data to create CityBuilder, a web-based tool which provides investors, developers, municipalities, and community members with data-driven insights to make meaningful, place-based investments.


OPS1 used ​​HHS poverty guidelines, Census income and poverty and ACS data to create the Envision App, which Prevents financial hardship and housing insecurity for low-income renters by connecting individuals to resources.


Edquity used Census Bureau ACS and the Urban Institute Priority Index to create the Edquity Rental Assistance platform, which assists cities and states to more quickly and equitably administer emergency rental assistance—from application to case management to payments to reporting—to keep the most vulnerable tenants in their homes.

National Fair Housing Alliance

The National Fair Housing Alliance used CFPB data and the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s data to create Frontdoor, which simplifies the process of applying for emergency rental assistance for low-income renters.


Avail used CFPB data and the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s data to create Avail Community Platform, which provides rental market insights to state and local housing authorities, while also providing the ability to communicate directly with landlords and tenants.

Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Amazon Web Services used CFPB data and the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s data to create the AWS Community Chatbot, which provides pertinent and location-specific information to individual renters and small business landlords who require federal or state and local rental assistance.

Apartment List

Apartment list used Census Bureau ACS data and the BLS O*NET database to create the Remote vs. Onsite Housing Affordability Dashboard, which allows users to explore disparities in income and housing cost burdens between workers in remote-friendly occupations and those whose jobs require them to be onsite.

+ Google

Carto and Google partnered and used Census Bureau ACS and household pulse survey data to create Voyager, a web-based platform which uses mobile device data to help federal, state, and city leaders to track COVID migration patterns across the United States, understand the impacts to a specific location against key opportunity areas—including housing and employment—and predict where gaps and opportunities may result.

Mapbox + Redfin

Mapbox and Redfin partnered and used Census Bureau data to create Pandemic Moves, a tool that uses Mapbox Movement and Redfin Home Sales to identify how change in settlement patterns during the pandemic have impacted infrastructure for local decision makers.

AWS + Precisely + ABT Associates + Apartment List + Mapbox

AWS, Precisely, ABT Associates, Apartment List, and Mapbox partnered and used data to create a platform analyzing housing and migration data with natural language and machine learning, which combines housing data with a 'national address fabric' which can be visualized with ad-hoc natural language queries and machine learning to analyze housing and migration trends.

  • Sprint Lead: New York City Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer
  • POC: Alexis Wichowski
  • Email: awichowski@cto.nyc.gov   

Wordly, Inc.

Worldly, Inc used open-sourced data sets to create Wordly Real-Time Translation, which increases accessibility and inclusivity for 67 million Americans by interpreting conference and meeting speakers into more than 20 languages simultaneously, 24/7, while allowing attendees to follow on smartphones or laptops.


Smartcat used open-sourced data to create a web-based platform which shares the needs, challenges, and opportunities for real-time translation of multilingual content through a white paper.

Government Blockchain Association (GBA)

GBA used Census Bureau Small Business Pulse Survey (SBPS) data and the Coral Gables Reopening of the Economy Report to create SafeDigi-ID, which enhances data privacy for business owners and their employees and customers, as well as prevents business data privacy breaches, expedites employee onboarding, and facilitates certification, training and licensing efficiency for small and medium businesses.


Digisults used Census Bureau ACS data, county business patterns, and community resilience estimates, as well as SBA small business size standards to create the Digisults Report, which helps small business owners make savvy marketing decisions to grow their businesses and recover from the pandemic.

Cybertrust America

Cybertrust America used Census Bureau SBPS and data from the Coral Gables Reopening of the Economy Report to create SafetyNet, which solves small businesses’ pain points in adopting digital capabilities and funding organizations’ lack of visibility for data-driven investment decisions.

Participant AI

Participant AI used Census Bureau SBPS data and data from the City of Coral Gables to create the The City Portrait, which Matches subject matter experts impacted by COVID-19 to opportunities posted by economic development partners.

2020 Census Data Sprint

University of Notre Dame

The University of Notre Dame used Census Bureau 2020 data to create co.alesce, which connects local communities to data-driven tools for community engagement and sustainable change through community-activated design workshops and social media toolkits.

University of North Texas

The University of North Texas used Census Bureau 2020 data to create Hard-to-Count Conversations, a card game that inclusively engages racial and ethnic minorities in hard-to-count communities around 2020 Census data.

Columbia University School of Journalism

The Columbia University School of Journalism used Census Bureau 2010 and 2020 decennial data, and ACS data to create journalistic stories that use data from the 2020 Census and the American Community Survey to report on prison populations, LGBTQ+ communities and the Asian American population in NYC.

Suffolk University

Suffolk University used Census Bureau 2020 and ASCO data to create Asian Owned Boston, an Instagram page that explains the Asian population and related Census data in the Boston area, promotes Asian businesses, and celebrates the diversity of Asian culture.

Philander Smith College

Philander Smith College used Census Bureau 2020 and ACS data to create Floodware, which identifies risk and demographics of flood-vulnerable communities for Florida's government and community decision-makers.

Columbia University QMSS

Columbia University QMSS used Census Bureau 2020 and ACS data to create TrendR, which Enables community organizations working with immigrants from African regions to visualize trends for actionable insights.

Harvard University metaLAB

Harvard University metaLAB used Census Bureau 2020 redistricting data, ACS, and community resilience estimates to create Community LifeRAFT, which combines and analyses U.S. Census Bureau data to help decision makers boost neighborhood economic resilience.

American University

American University used Census Bureau 2020 and ACS data to create XamineYourWorld, which helps K-12 students, teachers, and education stakeholders build data literacy skills through analyzing, assessing, and taking action with Census data visualizations.

University of North Texas

University of North Texas used Census Bureau 2020 data to create Cens(US), which builds data literacy for students by increasing access to Census data.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University used Census 2020 data to create Behind the Numbers, which creates an empathetic and accurate picture of hunger in the United States for those who may volunteer or donate to food aid programs, and Libraries Need Diverse Books, which enables librarians to better understand population distribution in their neighbourhoods and create diverse book collections for their libraries.


  • Ron Jarmin, Acting Director and Chief Operating Officer, U.S. Census Bureau


America Counts

Social Media

Join the conversation online using #OpportunityProject #TOPSummit2021 and follow @uscensusbureau on Instagram for behind the scene photos. Tag @uscensusbureau in your social media posts. There will also be designated times throughout programming where we will encourage social media sharing.



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