TC50 Demos: BreakThrough, CitySourced

By September 17, 2009

One in four Americans has a diagnosed mental disorder, but only 25 percent get treatment. BreakThrough fights the stigma of mental illness by keeping treatment anonymous, connecting patients with medical professionals. Some members of the review panel showed awkward hesitation when addressing the site’s potential, mirroring society’s general reticence to understand mental illness and any non-Freudian structures required to treat it. I suspect that BreatkThrough’s main funding problems will come through misunderstandings like this, met with jokes about the mentally ill instead of any real attempt to understand the issues BreakThrough is trying to address.

CitySourced. While all eyes are on the Obama administration, most of the most interesting things in government IT are happening at the state and local level. I have no idea how it works to be a private company operating in the government sphere, but unless cities specifically adopt CitySourced’s technology, there will be stiff competition.

San Francisco launched a similar service in June, @SF311, which allows SF residents to tweet complaints about problems that need to be addressed by city services. The city of San Jose just signed a deal with the Bay Area's largest city, San Jose, with portends very well for the startup.

City-service notification platforms are among the most visible in the local government 2.0 space and will hence be among the most quickly adopted by municipal governments. If CitySourced can convince cities to use its service instead of creating their own proprietary apps, it should do really well in the next 12-24 months.

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