Chief Data Officer
Carlos Rivero

Virtual Virginia Datathon: 10.01.2020 - 10.02.2020

Former Governor Terry McAuliffe announced in April 2014 the first Virginia Open Data Portal. In September 2014, the first Virginia Datathon was held during the Commonwealth of Virginia Innovative Technology Symposium in Richmond, Virginia. The event was a first of its kind among state governments across the country. Teams from different agencies across the state were challenged to create applications using state data to promote efficiency and transparency within state government. The teams presented their projects to a panel of expert judges and conference attendees who voted for the best team. The event was initiated by former Deputy Secretary of Technology, Anthony Fung, and organized by former Secretary of Technology, Karen Jackson. The goal was to encourage collaboration and innovation by providing a sandbox and tools for state employees to exercise their creativity. 

The Office of the Chief Data Officer and the Library of Virginia are gearing up for the Virtual Virginia Datathon this year that continues bringing together state agencies, students, localities, non-profits, and the private sector to leverage technology and data to develop innovative solutions addressing complex problems.

Watch the Virtual Virginia Datathon opening kick-off and the recorded team presentations (including the winners!) on the Library of Virginia YouTube channel.

The purpose of the Datathon was to explore and identify open data assets supporting solutions that deliver outcomes positively impacting communities across the Commonwealth. The Virginia Datathon didn't end on October was just getting started! The first, second, and third place teams will receive AWS WorkSpaces credits towards an instance on the CIT Secure Data Enclave to continue building their solutions. Teams will then present their final solutions to stakeholders in January 2021.
If you're interested in learning more about the solutions submitted by the first, second, and third place teams, send us an email to join the list of stakeholders who will get a first look at the production-ready solutions early next year.

2020 Virginia Datathon Theme

The theme for the 2020 Virginia Datathon is Communities and COVID-19. The COVID-19 pandemic delivered unique and unprecedented challenges for many. The impact of the crisis continues to be felt across communities in different ways and has affected employment, education, health, business, and more. This far-reaching theme serves to explore the multi-faceted effect of COVID-19 and contrasting community experiences along with what solutions can mitigate the impact of another crisis and ultimately aid Virginia's recovery.

Meet The Judges

Vida Williams

Vida Williams is the Chief Diversity Officer and Advanced Analytics Solutions Lead at SingleStone and utilizes her experience as a data scientist to drive social and economic change in communities. Recently her endeavors as an adjunct professor at VCU’s da Vinci center has led her to be named the school’s first ever “Innovator in Residence.” Vida remains active in her community through board memberships with Code VA, Podium and Virginia Union University’s (VUU) Center for Undergraduate Research.

David Der

David Der is currently CEO of Forestry Machine Learning and is focused on delivering solutions in this space to customers across industries. He is an experienced consultant and entrepreneur, having successfully exited his last company with an acquisition by Capital One where he spent two years as a director in the Center for Machine Learning.

Chandra Briggman

Chandra Briggman is President and CEO of Activation Capital, a leading innovation ecosystem development organization providing social, knowledge, and financial capital to tech clusters across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Before being named the CEO in May 2020, Chandra was Director of Venture Café Foundation located in Cambridge, MA, and was responsible for the strategy and operations of the global network’s flagship Venture Café Cambridge innovation hub.

Frequently Asked Questions

Things are a little different in the world now so below you'll find information to help guide you through the first Virtual Virginia Datathon. Have a question and don’t see an answer? Contact Paul Casalaspi for more information.

What conferencing tool are you using for the event?

The Virtual Virginia Datathon will use Zoom for the event. There will be a main room for the event and then teams will go into virtual breakout rooms to work. Get your cameras and headphones ready! You'll be able to chat and communicate with other teams, sponsors, and subject matter experts.

How do we submit our solution?

Teams should record their presentations (maximum length is five minutes) and submit in .mp4 format by 1:45 p.m. on October 2, 2020. Team presentations will be shared with everyone, judges will review the submissions and awards will be announced. More details will be provided to registered teams on submitting presentations. Tableau is providing teams with licenses if they would like to build solutions using their analytics platform.

Who owns the rights to the solutions developed?

The event objective is for Commonwealth of Virginia agencies to work with the teams to utilize the solutions or models developed but the ownership of the intellectual property belongs to the team unless you are participating as a Commonwealth of Virginia employee or state agency in which case the intellectual property belongs to the Commonwealth. Read more.

Are we allowed to bring our own data?

Teams are allowed to bring their own data as long as they provide the data to other participating teams. Sharing is caring. The suggested open data for the event will be posted on the Virginia Open Data Portal beginning September 28, 2020.

Who can participate?

Anyone! Whether you are a student, state employee or community member, we invite you to participate.

How many people can be on a team?

Teams can have up have to six people but most teams have four to five participants.

2020 Sponsors

Terabyte Title Sponsor



Gigabyte Sponsors




Megabyte Sponsors



SWaM Sponsors

Sponsorship Opportunities

Interested in sponsoring the event? Send us an email for more information or view the 2020 Sponsorship Package.

State entities cannot directly accept corporate monetary contributions, so sponsorships are payable to the Library of Virginia Foundation, a private 501(c)(3) organization that receives grants, bequests, and donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and other organizations in support of the Library and its activities. The Foundation will receive a 4% administrative fee for providing this service.

Team Registration

Team registration is now closed but sign up for the Datathon Email List below to be the first to learn about the 2021 Virginia Datathon!

Datathon Email List

Sign up to receive event updates and information.

Awards and Prizes

The judges for the Virtual Virginia Datathon will award prizes to the top team submissions. Every team member on the 1st place team will receive a $500 Amazon gift card. Every team member on the 2nd place team will receive a $300 Amazon gift card and every team member on the 3rd place team will receive a $150 Amazon gift card.

Participating Team Organizations

American University
Briarwoods High School
Capital One
City of Norfolk
Clemson University
College of William & Mary
Deep Run High School
DePaul University
Ellis Analytics
Flying Phase
General Assembly
Harrisonburg City Public Schools
Impact Makers
Ippon Technologies
Kearney and Company
Noblis, Inc.
Novare Technologies
Old Dominion University
State Council of Higher Education for Virginia
Tracks and Roots, LLC
Truist Financial
University of Maryland
Virginia Commonwealth University
Virginia Department of Transportation
Virginia State University
Virginia Tech