Luke Fretwell - 2/25 - GovFresh

Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh. He is also co-founder and CEO of ProudCity. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at

How to be a ‘Start-Up City’

Former Chicago and District of Columbia transportation head Gabe Klein highlights eight lessons leaders should follow when building innovative approaches to better cities in his book “Start-Up City.”

Regulatory hacking

The idea of regulatory hacking — “combining public policy and alternatives to traditional marketing for startups to successfully scale in the next wave of the digital economy” — is important for new companies interested in changing energy, healthcare and especially government itself to understand.

500 Startups opens its doors to (better) government technology

The Department of Better Technology was one of 42 companies accepted into the latest round of the highly-regarded 500 Startups accelerator program, a “4-month curriculum of customer acquisition coaching, fundraising training, and access to 500’s massive ecosystem.”

Patronus solves John Oliver’s 911 issue

Last Week Tonight’s feature segment focused on antiquated 911 technology, particularly its inability to leverage mobile geolocation and effectively pinpoint a caller’s whereabouts from his or her cellphone.

Superpublic wants to supercharge municipal government innovation

The 5,000 sq. ft. lab Superpublic unites under the same roof for the first time innovation teams from the private industry, federal, state and city government agencies and from universities.

Government vendor as an ‘open organization’

Earlier, I wrote about the book “Open Organization” and, via a post originally published on ProudCity, wanted to share my extended thoughts on how this applies to government vendors in the context of the work I’m doing there.

Government as ‘The Open Organization’

For those who want to learn how government can become more engaged institutionally, both internally and externally, “The Open Organization” is the blueprint.

Government ‘Originals’

Grant cites two government originals, Central Intelligence Agency analyst Carmen Medina and U.S. Navy lieutenant Josh Steinman, who both worked to change traditional thinking within two large bureaucracies.

Free webinar: ‘Agile for the Government Project Manager’

Agile Government Leadership has created a AGL Academy to help public sector professionals (and their supporting vendors) learn more about agile development practices in the context of government.

Substantive feedback on White House open source policy as comment period extended

The White House extended the Federal Source Code Policy comment period to April 18 and, to date, there there are 147 comments with much of the discussion centered around licensing and security.

California seeks chief data officer

The state of California is looking for a chief data officer to “promote the availability and use of data in state government.”

Government (software) as a service

Given the ubiquity of both government and software-as-a-service in our lives, it’s only natural they are starting to work more closely with one another.

New digital city pilot program

Cities receive one year of free ProudCity services, and we work directly with them to assess their current digital systems, how they can be optimized, and then help them quickly onboard to the platform.

Kickstarter campaign for city design method cards

GreaterPlaces is holding a fundraiser for city design method cards and a mobile app that “brings all aspects of city design together in one resource designed for everyone.”

California seeks CIOs

Of significant importance is the state CIO opening, and its convergence with evolving talk of establishing a government digital service team, much like what has been done in the United Kingdom and here in the United States with the U.S. Digital Service and 18F.

U.S. government releases federal open source policy

The White House has published a federal source code policy that requires custom code paid for by the U.S. government be made available to all federal agencies, and a portion be released to the public.

GovReady wins $1.1M DHS contract to make security more open

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced it has awarded startup GovReady a $1.1M certification and accreditation contract that will be critical to bringing an open source approach to security.

Feds want to build better digital ‘front doors’ to government

Borrowing from Code for America’s Digital Front Door project, the federal government is riffing on the concept so that it can better assist those seeking government services.

Insights from federal digital design leaders

Ethan Marcotte and Karen McGrane have been on a roll lately featuring federal government design leaders on their Responsive Web Design Podcast.

Beta government

The beta period has eliminated the fear associated with the a big launch. Knowing that beta is the beginning of a collaborative process eases that fear and creates a feedback culture that is much-needed in digital government innovation.

Say hello to ProudCity

Today, I’m excited to announce a new civic startup, ProudCity, founded by me and three others, committed to making it easier for cities to stand up and manage municipal digital services.

4 ways the federal government can improve

Managed by the Federal Aviation Administration,, the federal government website tasked with helping agencies write better for those it serves needs renewed attention. While momentum on better government digital services is in full-swing, it’s time to re-invent how plain language is presented.

How to build a lean startup inside government

Leaders from 18F and the White House Presidential Innovation Fellowship program presented at the 2015 Lean Startup Conference on “Lean Methodologies When the Organization is the Product,” and this is the best video you’ll watch on getting a holistic approach to building a lean startup inside government.

How you can follow and discuss government technology news using HashtagGov

I’ve been using Slack for a while now to follow government and civic technology news and, while it’s mostly a tool for team communications, the integrations features make it a great way to manage and digest a lot of information.

Thank you

Every day I get to engage with entrepreneurs, public sector innovators and journalists on re-imagining and re-energizing how government works, what it means to be “civic,” and this year has been an incredible one for many friends and colleagues.

Funding government technology

I’m always inspired talking and working with entrepreneurs trying to solve big civic problems, especially those who realize much of the challenge lies within modernizing and empowering internal government operations, so it was great to finally meet with Govtech Fund Founder and Managing Partner Ron Bouganim this week.

Government and the ’empowered product owner’

The 18F Delivery team released a “Partnership Playbook” that aims to help federal agencies understand what to expect when working with 18F, and the gem within is play number two, “We work with an empowered product owner.”

9 reasons why is the future of federal government websites

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs released a beta version of, and it’s the future of federal government digital development.

Why local government must go digital

The Welsh Government released a report of its findings on how local government in Wales can better leverage digital technologies and realize significant savings while still providing quality, scalable citizen services.

California commission wants the state to design a better government

A California bipartisan oversight committee, the Little Hoover Commission, has issued recommendations on how the state can bring a more customer-centric government to residents and visitors.